Great mixed route with rock and still some snow in the upper couloir. V-Notch up was dry except for a 9-meter snow traverse of the couloir just past the notch.
Started from the outhouse parking at 5:41 am. Made it with a stock Subaru Outback but did bottom the rear bumper out twice in the ascent up the 4X4 road. The recent monsoonal rains have made the basin extremely wet. The road had many puddles in it after the parking area. We took the Wrights Lake trail to Blue Lake Pass. A couple was exchanging wedding vows on the pass. The Southwest Ridge route was covered in graupel from either yesterday or the day before. This made the climb a little tricky but we managed. Super fun route up. Summited just before 9:00 am. Views were wide and far. We decided to descend the South Slopes route due to the icy nature of the SW ridge. We descended fairly quickly and ended our hike at 11:14.
First 14er. Done solo & on-site. Amazing day!
Summitted fairly early, though not first. V-Notch is over-sold. Not that bad, not at all. A nice easy scramble to the top, a slog back down, but worth it. Unparalleled views in the SJs. Now I'll have to return and bag the rest of Yankee Boy Basin. Some great peaks!
I didn't think this route was too bad. I do want to get back and try the SW ridge.
Liba summed up my thoughts very well. The approach is very good, but the ending is just out right awful! When going down this route not only was it loose rock but at one point I slipt and lost control going down hill. To make it even worse I got tons of rocks in my shoes. When doing this mountain, do your self a favor and go up the Southwest Ridge. I do admit that this route is probably decent when snow covered, but not when it's dry!
I did this route several times - it was a tradition for me to run Imogene pass run, and the following day to hike up Sneffels this way. Lately, I prefer other routes. I don't like the loose rock/boulders. Fun in the late springs - skiable couloir.
Although my motorcycle couldn't even make it to the lower parking lot I still had a great time. This was my favorite route out of the 7 peaks I climbed during this trip. See my Trip Report about doing seven 14ers in eight days.