In the boulder strewn valley high above Geneva Lake, lies an unnamed 13er that’s referred to locally as “Siberia Peak.” Its name is derived from its proximity to more officially named Siberia Lake, which sits in the basin below.
Because it’s unnamed on popular maps, few are familiar with Siberia Peak. It’s a summit that is more often discussed among well-informed local circles, and by those who catch a view of it while visiting the nearby 14er Snowmass Mountain and Geneva Lake.[Just to clarify, when summits or other geologic features are named locally but not officially through the USGS, those names are often kept in quotes, as if it’s an informal nickname of sorts.]
Back in 2006 we made a trip here to ski the West Face of Snowmass Mountain. It was on that adventure that we first saw the 13,420 foot summit and its snowy east face that looked so fun for skiing. We didn’t have time on that trip to climb and ski the mountain, though we did try, and we told ourselves we’d be back someday.
Fourteen years later we finally made it back. I guess you could also say better late than never.
Three friends were joining Christy and me— Chris Davenport, who we’ve seen a lot of this spring, Allen Hadley, our friend from Crested Butte, and Chris Lane, a fellow adventurer from Aspen and the boss at ACES.
We made the somewhat arduous approach to Geneva Lake and set up camp for the night. The lake and surrounding area was still snowbound, but we did manage to find a melted out sunny ledge that made for a good group hangout area.
We had a few hours at camp to enjoy the early evening before heading to sleep. Our ski line on Siberia Peak was east facing so it caught early sun. It was late May, and the sun’s increasing intensity this time of year warrants an earlier start than normal, so to avoid the overheating of the snow and potential wet avalanches.
The cruise up the meandering valley was gorgeous, we ascended pretty high on Siberia using skins, and switched to crampons for the final 500 feet or so. The upper part of the mountain is somewhat steep, typical for the Elks, and if you end up having to walk the summit ridge for a while you’ll earn some bonus alpine points.
The views were incredible. Capitol Peak to the north, the West Face of Snowmass Mountain to the east. The Ragged’s, Marble, Treasure and others to the south and west.
And as is often the case, the skiing was the easy part.
Once back at camp we packed everything up and made the trip out and down to Marble. Hopefully it won’t be another 14 years before we get back to this spot!