Hanging Valley Wall
On this page you can find photos and descriptions of the most difficult terrain and ski trails at Snowmass. The two prominent areas for expert/extreme skiing on this mountain are The Hanging Valley Wall and The Cirque.
The photo seen directly below was taken from the Elk Camp lift. This shows the Hanging Valley Wall prominently in the foreground. The Hanging Valley Glades are just out of sight on the backside of the Hanging Valley Wall. Located farthest away in the top-right of the photo; you can see the cliff band where you can find the trails; Possible, Baby Ruth, and Cookies. These areas contain some of the most difficult terrain at Snowmass.
In the photo above you can see another area on the lower Hanging Valley Wall. This area can be found near the ski trails; Cassidy’s and Willy’s
Pictured above; the cliffs near Baby Ruth and Cookies. These cliffs make one of the most difficult parts of the mountain even more difficult.
Pictured Below; The area just below Baby Ruth and Cookies. The Hanging Valley Glades can be seen just beyond the foreground.
The Cirque and Cirque Headwall
The Cirque and Cique Headwall are located just below the top of the ski resort at 12,510 feet. This area can be accessed by riding the Sheer Bliss or Big Burn Chairlifts, and then riding up the Cirque surface lift.
You can see an avalanche slab that broke off in a closed area of the Cirque Headwall below. The ski patrol does avalanche control work here in order to make this zone safe. You should never enter any part of the cirque when it is closed because the avalanche danger can be significant.
You can see the eastern-facing side of the cirque in the two photos below. The first photo shows the trails AMF (left) and the KT Gully (Right). The lower photo shows the view from farther down the cirque near the Rock Island and Buckskin.
The photo below shows the Cirque surface lift ascending above Snowmass. You can see that the terrain alongside of this lift is fairly mild. A groomed path will usually guide intermediate skiers down the mountain from here. This allows non-expert level skiers to access the summit and enjoy the beautiful mountain views. Expert skiers can use this lift to access the Cirque.