ELK RANGE TRAVERSE 2010
Monday August 23 to Friday August 27.
I did a really fun Solo traverse of the Elk Range, a solid 50 miles of combined backpacking, camping, and climbing of peaks in 4 nights and 5 days. I was able to climb three major peaks along the way: Capitol (14,130'), Snowmass (14,092'), and Pyramid (14,018'), including a handful of other peaks above 12K and 13K while crossing some high ridges. The highlights of the journey are shown below, including a dip in the Conundrum Hot Springs, where my parents met me to help me hike out and complete the journey on the final day.
Some friendly mountain goats on Buckskin Pass (12,200'), with Snowmass and Capitol in the background.
Day 1, Monday August 23 (8.5 miles)
Start 545p Snowmass Falls TH
Went up to West Snowmass Creek and camped near the summit of K2 at 13,200' by 10pm, with a spectacular nearly full moon!
Day 2, Tuesday August 24 (9.5 miles)
Start 415am, climbed to the Summit of Capitol Peak (14,130') by 540am in the dark.
descended to high camp by 715am after 30 minutes on the summit.
Descended to Pierre Lakes by 9am via the Wandering Dutchman Col
climbed towards Snowmass via ridge col and traversed ridge until 11am before dropping back to Geneva Lake by 1pm.
Climbed West ridge of Snowmass (14,092') to Summit by 3pm, arrived at Snowmass Lake by 6pm after nearly and hour on the summit.
Day 3, Wednesday August 25 (10 miles)
Departed Snowmass Lake at 930 am, arriving at Crater Lake via Buckskin Pass by 1pm. Was to Buckskin Pass by 11am and spent 45 minutes at the pass viewing some mountain goats. From 215p to 545pm climbed to the summit of Pyramid (14,018') via NE Ridge. Spent the night on the Summit. No wind and full moon!
Day 4, Thursday August 26 (13 miles)
Started 730am from Summit of Pyramid,attempted to traverse the SW ridge of the peak. After 1 mile or so too dangerous on ledges, so climbed back to the summit and descended via the NW ridge and then down the West face back to the West Maroon Trail by 11am.
Sunrise on the Summit of Pyramid, Maroon Bells and the moon as the backdrop.
A One hour Break at the creek, and then hiked to top of West Maroon Pass by 2pm.
LOOKING NE towards the Maroon Bells.....a much different perspective!
A shot looking across West Maroon Pass towards the back side of the Maroon Bells.
Traversed south across the high ridges for 2-3 miles then into the East Maroon Drainage (4pm), up and over East Maroon Pass(530pm), down to Copper Lake 615p),
and up to Triangle Pass by 7pm, down to Conundrum Hot Springs by 8pm.
Approaching Triangle Pass on Day 4.......almost 13,000 feet!
Day 5, Friday August 27 (9 miles)
After a refreshing soak in the Hot Springs, I hiked out with my parents to the Trailhead from 10am- 2pm with an hour break for lunch along the way.
Bob and Barb (Mom and Dad) soaking it up for their 34th Anniversary!
What a sweet trip overall!!!