28 March 2011

Snowflake Monday

I climbed my first 14er in 2000. After learning there were 58 more, I decided I would be like just about all the other climbers in Colorado and climb all the 14ers. Emergency back surgery in 2004 changed my perspective, but even before my injury, I was beginning to wonder if I'd be able to climb some of the more difficult peaks.

I modified my goal to shoot the peaks instead of climbing them. This goal was born of a quilt I made when lingering back pain prevented me from hiking as much as I wanted. I printed photos of all the 14ers I'd shot at that point on fabric, and I stitched them into a quilt I then entered in the Denver National Quilt Festival and Quilts at the Capital. I had to borrow a few photos from The Lizard and a mountain-climbing friend, Ferenc, because I had never seen five of the remote peaks back then. My own photo shortage made me even more determined to get pictures of my missing 14ers.

I still want to climb as many of the 14ers as I can, but I finally completed my goal of photographing all the 14ers nine years after my very first climb. In 2009, The Lizard led me and a trio of bears up Buckskin Pass to get my first close glimpse ever of Snowmass Mountain (I'd seen it very distantly through a telephoto lens from atop Castle Peak in 2004). The Buckskin Pass climb resulted in my final missing 14er photograph. I had finally finished the 14ers – my way.

This snowflake was inspired by a 12-inch dump we received in February when only 4 inches of snow accumulation was predicted. After shoveling for what seemed like hours, The Lizard named this snowflake (which yes, I created while he worked hard and burned billions of calories) and informed me Snowmass has a rich, multi-faceted history.

I began researching, and boy, The Lizard wasn't kidding!

Snowmass is more than just a 14er.

Snowmass Mountain (14,092 feet) was named for the permanent snowfield, a "snow mass", upon its eastern face, yet the mountain is so reclusive, its namesake snowfield may be viewed only from summits of nearby peaks.

Snowmass Peak, on the other hand, isn't really a mountain (because of all those crazy 300-foot rules) but often is mistaken as Snowmass Mountain or Hagerman Peak by hikers along Snowmass Lake because from there, Snowmass Peak appears taller than surrounding peaks. It also has a much more dramatic face than the other peaks, so hikers who are not peakbaggers assume it's the biggie.

Snowmass Mountain and Snowmass Peak are not visible from Snowmass Village, which sits in the Brush Creek drainage, not the Snowmass Creek drainage. When the nearby ski area was named, Brush Creek was considered an unappealing name, so the name of the drainage in the next valley over was used instead. (Does it make you wonder why Brush Creek got stuck with that name instead of something more... appealing???)

In Snowmass Village is a reservoir that just recently burst int
o the archeological scene. The Ziegler family hired a local called "Dirtball Johnny" in 1961 to build a small dam to divert water from nearby East Snowmass Creek and create the lake at the entrance to their property. The 12-acre lake, known as Ziegler Lake, also has been called Lake Deborah. That alone makes it worthy of mention here. (Now which name would you have favored if you were the lake?!? I guess it depends upon whether the lake is male or female.) Note to self: MUST GET PHOTO OF LAKE DEBORAH!!!

Dirtball Johnny also bulldozed a two-mile driveway with 11 switchbacks on the property, but he apparently didn't recognize the dirt and rock he moved as anything special or memorable. Last October, after the reservoir was purchased by Snowmass Water and Sanitation District, another bulldozer operated by Jesse Steele unearthed what was later identified as a mammoth tusk. More digging resulted in the discovery of the makings of an Ice Age zoo, including ten mastodons, four mammoths, four Ice Age bison, two Ice Age deer, a ground sloth, a tiger salamander, iridescent beetles and evidence of Ice Age beavers.

Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area includes 100 miles of trails, six of Colorado's 14ers and nine mountain passes higher than 12,000 feet in elevation. The fourth-largest wilderness area in the state, it was one of five original Colorado wilderness areas designated by the 1964 Wilderness Act.

Snowmass ski area has the most vertical feet of skiing of any ski area in the United States.

Snowmass, the word, does indeed have a rich history. So the name belongs on a rich snowflake.

This snowflake makes an attractive decoration when finished on any round after the third round.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 7 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, glue, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

NOTE: Pattern in Icelandic may be found here, translation graciously provided by Ólöf Lilja.

Snowmass Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, *ch 2, 2 dc in ring; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 1, 1 hdc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (ch 1 and hdc count as final ch 2, and you will be working over the hdc in the next round). Do not pull magic circle too tight; leave small opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over hdc post below, *2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 5, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times, 2 dc in same sp as starting 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (ch 2 and 1 dc count as final ch 5, and you will be working over the dc in the next round).

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over dc post below, *10 dc in next ch 5 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 5 dc in same sp as starting 4 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 4: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc *sk next 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 7, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; sk next 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 3, 1 tr in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 (ch 3 and 1 tr count as final ch 7, and you will be working over the tr in the next round).

Round 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 6 dc over tr post below, *7 dc in next ch 7 sp, ch 15, sl st in 11th ch from hook, ch 4 (figure 8 made), 7 dc in same ch 7 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 7 dc in same sp as starting 6 dc; ch 15, sl st in 11th ch from hook, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 6: Ch 10 (counts as 1 dc and ch 7), *1 dc between next 2 7/dc groups, ch 7, 3 dc in next ch sp (bottom loop of ch 15 figure 8), 1 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, in next ch sp (top loop of ch 15 figure 8), work [3 sc 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 3 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 3 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 3 sc], in bottom loop of ch 15 figure 8 sp again, 1 sc, 1 hdc, 3 dc, ch 7; repeat from * around 6 times, ending with 2 dc instead of 3 on final repeat and omitting final ch 7; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 10; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.


  1. Ooo, Ooo, Ooo! Cool [Brrrr] ice age story! You just never know what history lies beneath your feet, or car, as you go down the driveway.
    I would love to see Lake Deborah, too!

  2. Love your Snowmass snowflake and can't wait to see your Lake Deborah someday. The Dirtball Johnny story is a good one. Amazing stuff in those mountains!

  3. love this snowflake! had a hell of a time making it, though. what sort of tension do you use? i'm worried mine was too tight- it warped and buckled all over the place. also i couldn't seem to pin it out as nicely as yours, haha. here's a pic of mine: http://oi49.tinypic.com/1z16369.jpg any tips are welcome :D thanks for all your awesome patterns!

    1. Thanks, Jet! I think yours looks good. In the photo, it looks like you're using a larger size thread than I did, perhaps size 5? I crochet pretty tight, regardless of what size hook I use, but I think I pin them pretty darned tight, too. I've accidentally ripped paper and boxes with stick pins while stretching snowflake points out as far as I can get them. :)

    2. Off topic... the box you used to pin your snowflake looks like skin, and all I could think was, "OWIE!!!!!!!" :)

    3. lol nope not skin, just a shipping box :P i did use size 10 thread, but it was so wavy and ripply i soaked it in water first hoping it'd be easier to stretch out when wet (which sort of worked, lol)

      i'll have to try pinning tighter- i think that might fix my problem. thanks! :D (i'm working on your Marikamum flake today :D )


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