Start at the Andrew's Lake trailhead and follow the well established trail through the switchbacks into the forest south of the lake.
On my map at waypoint#1 there is a metal trailhead registration box where you take a left. If you continue without turning left you hike out to Crater Lake.
Turn left at the registration box and proceed past the small ponds into the meadow and continue in a south east heading towards Snowden Peak.
The trail continues into the forest and passes a waterfall just prior to getting into steeper terrain.
Stay on the trail and continue past the boulder field and proceed up the steeper trail to the top of the left saddle. There is a cairn marking where you turn right to begin climbing the rocks that follow the spine of Snowden. There is a trail that is just off to the right side of the beginning of the spine that takes you to the obvious light brown dirt saddle before the hands on section.
Once past the light brown saddle, continue up onto the larger Class 2 and 3 rock and work your way up on the left side of the spine. There are cairns that are fairly easy to follow up to the summit and no snow at all this date.
A liitle airy just below the summit. Had the summit to myself (Monday).
Lovely outing with duchess, first was thinking about doing Naked Lady Couloir, but Duchess does not do well on a steep snow anymore (and there was some rock climbing involved towards the top). So, we stayed on the ridge (NE), negotiating some snow and I had to lift Duchess up at many places near the top. Very peaceful, only 2 cars parked at the TH, and the other guy was in Naked Lady way after we left the mountain.
Traversed to South Snowdon afterwards.
An easy day to recover from the Grenadiers. Nice view of the Needle range.
After horrible back spasms the night before, Ryan and I decided to take it easy and see how it went as we gained elevation. He eventually stopped before the saddle north of the main ridge. I continued on with difficulties encountered with route-finding but eventually made it. Gorgeous way to end 4 days of San Juan Sweetness.
Naked Lady Couloir, the steep section 2/3 of the way up and the last bit at the top were both melted out (hence "modest") and a little loose. We were a little late in the season for this one, but still a fun climb. Traversed to "South Snowdon", climbed with Floyd.
Small snow banks encountered upridge, near NE Col, 4th/5th class, vaguely cairned after serious notch (go to the left), traverse over to E ridge; Easy summit from that point. However, most cairns missing on descent. 250m lateral 5.4-5.7 traverses required for 120m descent. Wonderful hike/climb. Not for those afraid of exposure and heights!!
Awesome climb on a beautiful day
Did one of the coluior routes after a back country ski in. Made for a dawn to dusk day.
Perfect weather made for an easy ascent to the northeast ridge..snow was still present in areas leading to the saddle but can easily be maneuvered around. Made the ridge just fine but turned back about half way into the traverse to the east ridge...a little airy for my liking...definitely not a place I want to experience my first class 3 solo. All in all, had a great day, the rock proved incredible in comparison to anything else I've been on in the San Juans! I will definitely be back to this mountain.
A note, the northeast ridge route was until shortly after the notch (where I turned back) not cairned. On the way back down I noticed a few which had succombed to weather. So make sure you understand the route before attempting or it may become confusing.
Made an attempt on the NE ridge route but Purgatory snow report wasn't even close to reporting how much snow was *really* on this mountain. Since we didn't bring our snow shoes from ABQ we were pretty much screwed and gave up at 11,700'ish when it was getting too late in the morning to make our turnaround time.
one of the best long scrambles i've done, and the roman candles provided summit entertainment
gorgeous territory!! Sleeping overnight in the meadow at the base was the greatest. The ground was so soft it was like a pillow underneath you! Headed for the top early in the morning, grabbed water from the stream using a filter system, it sparred some weight. Reached summit well before noon. The back view after reaching the ridge is breathtaking. The peaks on the adjacent side are majestic. Some small exsposure going up but nothing to hairy. The descent was lots of fun... made a game of descending down all the fallen trees. Probably crossed a couple hundered meter of distance just walking on the fallen logs... great descent and overall great climb.
tppoing out was a bit tricky...a dog startled me just as I got on top and about sent me reeling backward....whew.
I love this one. It is like a mini Sneffels
A quick outing on great rock and superb position. Whatever route I found up this was low 5th-class.
Went up to Snowdon today and climbed two of the arete to the right of the main west buttress. both aretes are 4th class for all but the bottom portions. the first "pitch" (i was soloing it) on the first arete to the right is around a 5.6. The first couple of "pitches" on the next arete to the right is around 5.7. fun climbs. will be a great training area this winter.
Great 4th class climb with NO loose rock. Not sure what others are talking about. The descent of the NE ridge is loose, but not the West But. Fun car-to-car climb that can be done in a few hours and you get an amazing view of the Needles and Grenadiers.
Jathan Cantu reached the summit at 10:15am, 3 hours and 15 min. from the trailhead at Andrews Lake. A large herd of elk were spotted descending a slope near timberline, a short distance downstream from the approach to the saddle. The perfect weather brought beautiful views from the summit in all directions. The scramble up the last part of the ridge was the hardest I've done yet. Thank God for the cairns (east side of ridge) left by previous hikers to guide the way! On the way up, just beyond the first meadow and slightly off trail, is a wonderful waterfall forming a pool which flows to a second small waterfall and then down a gorge--a great place for a cool break and some fresh (use filters) cold water. In summary, a very enjoyable, challenging,and satisfying 13'er.
surprised the Naked Lady route (the name used by our guide Marcus from Southwest Adventures) isn't listed. This route is the obvious couloir just to the east of the peak. Awesome climb, about 1000ft, up to 65 degrees but about 50 for the most part. Beautiful hike in via Lake Andrews. Beware of those swift San Juan storms! We ran into some electricity at the top! Pretty clean class 4 descent to the east back down the north side and back to camp for some grub and a good night's rest.