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Trip Details

Date Saturday  2/15/2020
End Date
Group State CMC
Event Title TRAILBLAZERS: Parnassus & Bard Peaks
Start Time 7:00 AM
Status Approved
Leader Jeff Golden
Member Price Free
Available Participants Full- Join Waitlist
Waitlist Participants 4
Type Trip
Trip Type Snowshoe
Pace Moderate
Classification Difficult C
Trail Mileage 9.3
Elevation Gain 4,600'
Driving Distance 82



Meet at 5:30 a.m. at the Wooly Mammoth Park and Ride in Morrison (I-70 Exit 259), in section "CC" in the southwest corner.

For more info Contact

Jeff Golden


This is a Trailblazers trip for CMC members ages 21-39.

Bard Peak (13,645') and Mt. Parnassus (13,579') are two high 13ers on the north side of I-70, directly across from 14ers Grays and Torreys Peaks. We'll follow the Watrous Gulch Trail, which is popular with skiers, to the saddle between Mt. Parnassus and Woods Mountain. Flotation (snowshoes, backcountry skis, or a splitboard) will be mandatory, as we'll likely be breaking our own trail in deep snow for a mile or so.

From the saddle, we can expect dry and windblown conditions up the broad Northwest Ridge of Parnassus. We'll pass over the summit of Parnassus on the way to Bard before retracing our steps back to the vehicles. The elevation gain just for Parnassus is 3,300', but we'll have to drop 600' to the Parnassus-Bard saddle twice on our way out and back. Lots of up and down on this ridge run! The route stays on low-angle, windblown, westerly-facing slopes, helping minimize the avalanche risk.

Please note that this half-day hike in summer is much more strenuous in February. I anticipate a full day (7-8+ hours) of effort in cold/windy conditions, including areas where we might have to create our own trail in snowshoes. This hike is probably not a good choice for beginners unfamiliar with the rigors of winter mountaineering. We will have a backup hike if weather or avalanche conditions don't cooperate for a long day above treeline, which is a 50/50 proposition this time of year.

To join, please email the leader, Jeff Golden, at with your responses to the following questions:

  1. Which 13ers or 14ers have you done in the last 12 months? Bonus points for peaks summited between October and May.

  2. What's your experience and comfort level with winter conditions above treeline? List any CMC (or equivalent) schools you've taken here, and/or elaborate on other hikes not mentioned in answer #1.

  3. What is your estimated hiking pace in winter conditions? GPS tracks, round-trip times from recent hikes, your estimated miles per hour or elevation gain per hour -- it all works. Just looking for a ballpark estimate to ensure the group is compatible.