Ascending the trail to Snowmass Lake we began encountering snow on the trail, though not terribly bad. We were clad in running shoes and running shorts--the minimum necessary. We passed several parties laden with heavy backpacks, obviously in for "the duration", a long backpack into the base camp and then the ascent with all the requisite gear, etc. Etc. Our philosophy was "travel light, move fast, enjoy more".
Snowmass Lake was snowfilled. We proceeded around its east side then began the ascent to the basin below Snowmass. Snowmass Peak (not to be confused with Snowmass Mountain) dominated the view from Snowmass Lake. Later as we climbed into the basin we saw that it was not nearly as high as Hagerman Peak to its right, and of course Snowmass Mtn further right along the ridge.
In the basin we espied four climbers who had nearly reached the final ridge. Though they were far above us I asked Jonathan, "think we can catch them?" And as on Pyramid, the push was on once again. We didn't catch them before they reached the summit, but we were close! Sam the wolfdog had only one difficulty on the class 3 climb on the final ridge to the summit.
There was a lot of snow on Snowmass (hence its name I suppose), but we didn't glissade down on account of the limited protection to our backsides--with only running shorts I had learned my lesson on a previous climb in which I wound up with open wounds on my buttocks that scabbed up painfully for weeks afterwards. Running down mountain and down trail we arrived at the trailhead after around eight hours total time.
After driving back over Independence Pass we opted to stay in a motel in Buena Vista Monday night. We cleaned up, bought some beer and wine and food for the evening and relaxed, the next morning rejuvenated for a quick dash up Yale.