When I climbed Sneffels, I went up the standard route on the snow. It was my first time ever using an ice axe, and I wasn't so sure I felt comfortable descending it. Different story today, of course.
So going down, I "discovered" this way and found myself wondering why this wasn't the one more people used.
Hi Bob, I think b/c most people use Gerry Roach's route descriptions, and he does not describe this one in his book. And then, people start copying the route descriptions from one book into another... I found it easier that the deep couloir... + they already got a little bit of snow at the higher sections (inside the couloir).
You are no doubt right, Liba. I used the Roach guide that time myself.
I thought Roach does mention this as an early summer alternative for the Standard Route, but I don't have the book in front of me so I'm not sure. Either way, I somehow ended up on this variation after initially starting up the SW Ridge. Some miscues later a climber at the Lavender Col told me it as a good way avoid the steeper snow up in the gully. I would've made a page for this if I had taken more pics, but I attached a few of the ones I did take. Again, nice work on the route!
Thank you...I found this route better that the couloir with loose rock.
You are right. I am checking out Roach's book and he mentions this, but did exit couloir after about about 20 meters, and Roach writes about 300 feet, so I guess there are several alternatives. Definitively, a better way to go up in the early summer, if you want to avoid the snow in the couloir.
Many thanks for very helpful description. Last Sunday I finally decided to go by standard route but looking from the summit that variation appears more logical. Really nice mountain. Much deserved to be back. Perhaps I will do that South Slope variation next year.
Thanks, I prefer the SOuth slopes more, although the last section to drop into the Scree Couloir is a little bit exposed. Good luck hiking.