"Finally - a winter ascent of a 14'er!! One of the most beautiful peaks I've ever climbed. Never would have made it without my good friend and primo-partner, Rain Sussman. Also, my first approach using skis instead of snowshoes -- WOW, am I ever sold on 'em!!
We parked at the standard route trailhead, reaching Blue Lakes Pass early and began our traverse around to the north. In a little over an hour into the traverse we’d gained a few hundred feet to cross the man eating scree field immediately below the cliff band and dropped several hundred feet to cross a large scree bowl to come within sight of the couloir. It turned out to be cool and inviting, narrow tall walled, steep, mostly good footing, relatively good rock and gradually curving up out of sight. After an hour or so on, we were at the DogLeg looking down a thousand feet of ice into Blaine basin. Looking up to 500 feet of ice in the couloir above and an inviting ledge system on the right shoulder of the couloir above. We followed the ledge system to the ridge, joining the standard route and on 300 feet to the summit. Later returning via the standard route.
The traverse is mostly 2nd class and the couloirs are mostly 3rd class with a few moves of 4th class. The upper couloir especially has several sections of loose rock wall. We were continually aware not to pull a refrigerator size rock down on ourselves-literally!! The trip from car to summit is probably about 4 to 5 hours. We took a couple hours longer as we were enjoying the sights and had not actually planned to summit. The weather was excellent and everything seemed to invite us on.
More info in trip report. I do not know of anyone else trying this route and as we had a wonderful time would love to hear you experiences.
Climbed Sneffels during the dry season. Even though, we encountered lighting on the way down and hiked back to Yankee Boy in the rain. It is best to start early and get down before noon. Not having 4-Wheel drive made the trip much longer. It is possibe to start from the 12,000 foot level with 4-wheel drive in the summer. The notch at the top of the couloir could be considered minor rock climbing, but once past the notch the summit pitch was rather easy. It is the opinion of this climber that the pitch to Lavender Col was the hardest part of the route. Mostly due to the lack of footing the loose scree provides. By the way an article in the Denver Post revealed that Sneffels is actually 14,153'. A recent Geological survey set the mark three feet higher. So now your t-shirt is obsolete!
I HATE scree! I took the standard Lavender Col route and didn't care for the stretch of scree bed below Lavender Col at all. Another little tip: when you go up the couloir after reaching Lavender Col, don't go all the way to the top! I got stuck up there and ended up doing some pretty scary scrambling. You want to turn left and go up some rocks about 50 feet below the top of the boulder laden couloir. Fortunately on the way down, I found out where I had gone wrong -- good thing too 'cause I had no intention of coming down the way I went up!
Started at the lower end of Yankee Boy Basin at 7:45 because my little Chevy Prizm couldn't make it up the rest of the road. Made the hike much longer than it really was, but it was a gorgeous day for it. There were only 2 other hikers on the mountain (save for the occasional jeep that passed me). What a great way to enjoy the outdoors! Made summit by 11:00 am. Third 14er and first solo.
This is a very enjoyable hike in the summer time, I loved walking through the basin with all the flowers and green grass. Absolutely beautiful!
Mount Sneffels is a difficult climb, but it is well worth the effort. Start early and get down early is the only way to be sure that you won't be overcome by a thunderstorm (I learned that the hard way). So, keeping that in mind, have fun and don't forget to sign the registry at the summit!
Started off to climb the class 3 southwest ridge and made it to about 13,500 when suddently it began to rain which turned to freezing rain, gropple, and finally snow. This made the rock very slippery so we decided to head back down and try again some other day. Little did we know that that other day would be just a few hours later. Around 4pm the clouds broke up and the sun came out. So we decided to give it another try. We dug deep and pushed our way to the summit in a very quick 3 hours using the south slopes route. What an amazing view from this summit. By far the best summit I've hiked.
This is the first 14'er since I turned 50. My first attempt was laughable. I drove to the end of the Yankee Boy Basin road (it's now closed). Got there after noon. Grabbed my Camera bag, and took off. I made it to the scree col. It was there I realized I shouldn't have taken my camera bag and I should have taken some water. The couloir was full of snow and me with tennis shoes. I went home to reexamine my climbing.
On my second attempt, I drove to the end of the road the night before and spent the night in my PU. Got up at day break, took my camera only, some water etc and climbed to the summit. Wasn't ready for the final 2+ scramble at the summit but I decided I would have to "just do it". I did it. I couldn't take any pictures because I spent about 20 minutes in a cloud. I caught a few glimpses of Blue Lakes but not much else. Sneffels is the only 14'er that can be seen from Grand Junction, my home town. But only on clear days.
Fun climb with my two dogs! I had to climb a steep coulior to the left because the standard routes final 2+ move was not good for my large dogs!
Very fun class 3 climb. Descended the standard route back to Yankee Boy.
Strange having trucks full of people go by that high but a beautiful hike.
Rain/Hail from the previous night had washed out the access road & added 2 miles to the hike. I was "tricked" into following the Southwest Ridge instead of the standard route & turned back at about 13500ft due to noon-hour thunder/lightening storm
sneffels was an easy second climb, great for beginners, and it has an extraordinary north face. just a sheer drop.
For the most part, a fun hike. I didn't care much for the Scree Col though, but did enjoy the trough from the saddle to the summit. Great views from the summit!!
This is the highest mountain i've hiked and thus far my last 14er. The view was increadible.