I ran the loop counter-clockwise beginning at the Snowmass Creek trailhead and heading up West Snowmass Creek to the Haystack Mountain Saddle. Though not technically a pass, I am giving it pass status as the ascent begins below 9,000 feet rising to nearly 12,000 feet. It sure feels like you have arrived at a pass when you top out. I began the run with an alpine start, so here is the view at dawn looking back at the Roaring Fork valley shrouded in a sea of clouds.
|View from the Haystack Saddle|
After descending the from Haystack, I climbed up to one of my favorite spots in the Elks, Capitol Lake and Pass. Shadowed by the impressive and massive Capitol Peak headwall, the lake is nestled in an ominous rocky basin.
After a short descent to Avalanche Creek I climbed Grassy Pass where I was treated to unique and spectacular view of Capitol Peak.
|The view from Silver Creek Pass|
|Meadow Mountain Traverse|