I can't believe the obvious couloir right the middle of this baby isn't a "listed" route. It was fabulous and not too hard. We had some poor weather coming in, but decided to just hurry up and down. The bottom of the couloir offered solid kick-stepping, moving to some more advanced axe-work on thinner snowpack as the angle steepened. By the top of the coulior (in full conditions by now) , we were on roughly 60-70 degree terrain, and climbing thin snow, some ice glaze, and rocks. A couple of sketchy moves gained the ridge --- I had a second micro-tool along, but never used it --- fingers in cracks and front points on glazed rock were enough. From there, the summit was just a short ways off, involving one exposed 15ft step of exciting moves. The way down was actually harder, as we traversed along the backside over glazed rock (eek!) to reach and descent the NW couloir route. Rount trip was about 7 hrs.
Climbed with my brother, John Snell, via the West Buttress during a glorious day in July of 1993. We were treated to incredible views of Silverton and the rest of the San Juans from the summit. Descending was kind of difficult, as the higher guy invariably dislodged rocks onto the lower guy. Nevertheless, we made it car to car in about 3-4 hours. Despite the loose rock, I highly recommend the climb. After all, loose rock is a fact of life in the San Juans.