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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-09-28||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Snow free. Easy, short, not very pretty in the basin but the views from the summit are great.
|2015-09-23||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Climbed Sneffels via the standard route. Yankee Boy Basin is clear of snow. From Sneffels we could see Chicago Basin, Pigeon, Turret, anything near Chicago basin had snow down to at least 13,000 on northern aspects in the morning. Sneffels had snow on the north face as well. Thin layer most likely melting fast. Colors are definitely showing on the drive into Yankee Boy Basin.
|2015-09-19||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Trailhead: I have an unmodified 2014 Tiguan and was only able to make it to about 11,800 before deciding not to risk absolutely tearing up my undercarriage on the upper part of the route. Most 4WD vehicles should be able to make it to at least 11,700. The hike up to 12,600 where the upper trailhead is really not bad at all anyway. Route: Once you get to the talus field, it‘s a steep hike. It was hard to stand upright at any point - most of the time I was having to lean into the mountain and found I made quicker progress when I had at least one hand on the ground. To compound, there is a ton of small gravel type rock so it is very hard to find good footing. Definitely stay to left side of the first gully where there are some bigger rocks to get traction on. The second gully is much easier before getting to the V-notch. Not going to lie, the notch was the my first experience with that type of move and the palms were sweating...Take your time when you get up there. The summit was very cold and it was very windy the whole time. Took me 1:40 to summit from 11,700 and 2:20 to get down since I was going sideways most of the way down. Beautiful day, though, with sun and a beautiful payoff once you get to the top.
|2015-09-13||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Ascended class-3 route, descended the scree route. Rare warm and sunny day of climbing. Low winds at summit. No snow. Road Conditions: dry except a couple of shallow water-filled holes, easily driven through with 4WD. My modified 4Runner had no problems at all reaching the upper trail head. The last part was a fun, very bouncy ride that requires driver skill as well as good clearance (mine is a couple of inches higher than stock). It was bumpy enough that my back seat passenger decided to walk down to parking area two. Mountain conditions: Dry, no snow. Truly excellent, very fun 3 class after hike to Blue Lakes pass. We followed Bill Middlebrook‘s route until near the end, where we decided to upclimb/traverse some high exposure rock that was somewhat more adrenaline-pumping than the description, as the rock was rounded with fewer good hand holds. Rock condition: Excellent. Good, solid hand/foot holds throughout except as mentioned above. Very fun 3 class where the heart pounding came from the stunning views instead of dubious holds. Descent on scree was long and unpleasant due to so many climbers below (some coming up that way; why anyone would do that boring route up is beyond me). I would have glissaded down most sections. As it was, it was a tedious way down. If I do it again, I‘ll go back down the 3rd class route, down climbing sections as I go up to make sure I can do them safely. Besides, the rock climbing is so fun, that would make it worth it alone!
|2015-08-24||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: This is my 32nd fourteener this summer. My goal is to climb them all by the end of the summer. You can read more on this hike and others by visiting sunshineof1985.com. Enjoy! Distance: 7.07 mi. (Parked .5 miles below first parking lot described) Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft. Time started: 8:50 am End time: 1:55 pm Time to Summit: 3 hours Time to Descent: 2 hours Overall Pace: 1.4 miles per hour *GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat (didn‘t use), light weight puffy coat (didn‘t use), lightweight gloves (didn‘t use), day pack with water sack (64 oz), snacks. *Road Condition: The road is typical with small pot holes and some rocks, but overall it‘s a very nice road. My car made it .5 miles before the first parking lot with the restroom, but after that, the road is horrible, and you need 4WD, and even then, it would help if it was lifted. *Trail Condition: Walking the road isn‘t bad as it is scenic, and you are constantly looking for Mount Sneffels to show up. The flowers are also quite pretty. Once you make it to the actual trailhead, the whole hike is talus. You walk around to the left side of Sneffels before you start heading up into the giant 500 foot scree field. Stay near big rocks to help you get up easier. You‘ll then run into another 500 foot gully to your left, but this one is fun! Climb up boulders and right before the top, head to the left to find the "V" notch. Once past that, follow the cairns to the top! Because of all the scrambling, expect it to slow your average pace.
|2015-08-04||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The standard route from the upper trailhead, overall, is clear of snow and no special gear is required such as ice axes and micro spikes. The first gully up to the Lav. Couloir is as described in the route guide with the scree, but more navigable towards the left as you ascend. The final gully from the saddle heading to the V-Notch contains snow off to the left, but can be climbed easily to the right with somewhat of a defined path to the Notch. Notch is free and clear of snow. Final ascent to the summit is a non-issue. Summit log had several spiral bound notebooks with empty pages, but always bring a pen/pencil just in case... Enjoy!
|2015-07-25||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: We climbed Sneffels via the Southwest Ridge and descended via the standard route on Saturday. The Southwest Ridge is entirely snow free, however there is still a large patch of snow in the gully on the descent down the standard route. The snow was soft enough to sink into and walk down (we used microspikes to help), but you can also avoid it by staying to the climber‘s left and hugging the rocks.
|2015-07-22||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Hey, lots of Sneffels updates recently, but I wanted to provide some better information about the "alternate" route to avoid the snow in the trough. For starters, if you arrive near the top of the trough in the morning, the snow is firm and the steps are great. You can get up without any traction/poles. However, coming down can be a little iffy. The past few Sneffels CTs mention a route on the left of the trough, but don‘t really explain where it is. I had some trouble locating it from the bottom because you can‘t really see a good line to the top. But, eventually i did find it. As you head into the trough look to your left about a 100 yards in before the main snow area. You‘ll see a small snow trench. If you look up you‘ll see a cairn. Head across the snow trench and head up the rocks. Once up on the rib, it‘s kind of choose your own adventure to the summit, but keep the trough to your right. Nothing tricky (Class 2 +). See picture.
|2015-07-20||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: Just an FYI that the secind gully is still snow filled. We were able to just skirt up the left side on the edge of the snow but you might want your axe, I forgot mine.
|2015-07-16||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The road driving up to Yankee Boy Basin was in great shape. Once you see the sign for 4 Wheel Drive only you should take heed. There are 3 - 4 places in the road that require 4WD and a high clearance. We stopped at the lower trailhead at about 11,350 feet and hiked from there. (Toyota Rav 4 driven) The loose rock and dirt in the gully was a bit of a challenge since the ground kept sliding out from under me. At times if felt like I would lose half a step for each step. Stay to the left side on your way up. It‘s much easier to walk in the loose rocks than in the dirt. Once you reach the saddle and turn to the left and head up the steeper gully you‘ll encounter quite a bit of packed ice and snow after less than 100 feet into this gully. Do not take this route unless you have crampons and an ice axe. It‘s too dangerous. Instead climb up over the rocks to your left once you reach the snow. There‘s little to no exposure there and the sunshine has melted all of the snow on this section. It‘s dry and easy to walk on and made mostly of large rocks that don‘t move much. Pick your own path towards the summit and don‘t venture too far away from the trough. You‘ll eventually pass by the V notch that was the exit from the trough. It will be on your right. Ascend normally at that point. The route is clear of ice and snow. Descend the same way you came up and DO NOT enter the V notch without crampons and an ice axe. You could slip and slide down several hundred feet to your doom. Descend, keeping the trough to your left until you come to an outcropping of rock that looks too steep to descend. It is. Climb back into the trough. You should be at the bottom which is clear of snow and ice. Several people that had the proper equipment lamented that they didn‘t take the route we took even though they had the gear. Personally I think I would take this route and climb the rocks to the left of the upper trough even if it were free of snow. I was nearly hit by a rock someone knocked loose above in the trough. Rolling rocks isn‘t a big issue on the path above the trough.
|2015-07-14||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Cloudy day, weather window was perfect for us with a 5am start about 0.7 miles below the bathroom trailhead. We planned on doing the SW Ridge route, but the questionable weather convinced us to go up the standard route. Several other climbers we ran into made the same descision. Summitted at 8am, rain showers in the vicinity. Some snow in the coulier to the summit. First 2 fields rather short and slushy, highest snow field was harder and sustained for about 80 yds. Ice axe definitely helpful on the ascent, and allowed for some fun glissades on the way down. Crampons of questionable advantage, not worth it. Encountered thunderstorms at the upper trailhead on our way down. Quite a few people were still pretty high up - not the place to be then.
|2015-07-11||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Final Gully is snow filled for second half. Doable without micro spikes or axe, but if one would have been laying there I would have used it. Easier to cut up where snow starts and climb over ridge. No harder than the notch imo but it‘s easy cruising after the first Couple moves.
|2015-07-05||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Just climbed it on Sunday morning. The road to lower TH is in good condition. Route is mainly dry up to and past the upper TH. There are a few patches of melting snow up towards saddle. The Col still retains snow...but it was soft at 6am. The notch is clear and the final pitch to summit is dry. You will have no problem getting up or down as long as you are comfortable on soft snow. Bring an ice axe and some sort of traction for your feet. I used microspikes. I did have to self arrest 2x in couloir but I was descending fast and not being super careful or thoughtful with each step. My partners descended slower, more methodical and never lost control. Have fun...wild flowers up there are great and the waterfalls on the way up are all full flowing cascades.
|2015-06-22||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: The road up Yankee Boy is closed about 1/2 mile up from the bathroom. From there it is no longer necessary to have snowshoes to get to the summit. I started hiking at 10:30 and was back to the truck at 2:30 p.m. While there was some annoying post holing, I would not have bothered putting snowshoes on and off if I had them. It occurred only in short sections and not very deep. SNOW WAS PERFECT TO BUTT SLIDE THE ENTIRE WAY FROM ABOVE THE COL TO THE 14ER INITIATIVE TRAIL. Get there while it lasts! The SW Ridge from Blue Lakes pass has lots of snow. An ax is advised. No crampons or spikes of any sort used today, but use good boots and gaiters for sure. I exited through the V notch on the traditional route. Probably easier and safer to descend the rock just to the south of the gully. Notch was snowy and a little sketch. See photo.
|2015-06-15||Route: Snake Couloir
Info: A runnel has formed on the right side of the couloir, filled mostly with snice. Some steps are well over 60 degrees. The direct 5th class exit to the summit is 70 degree snow with rock ledges. TR to follow.
|2015-06-07||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Snow-free up to the outhouse. Still plenty of snow past that. Conditions were a bit icy all around, but some pockets of softer snow can be found
|2015-05-30||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Absolutely amazing day on Mt. Sneffels. Right now a 4 wheel drive vehicle can make it all the way to the lower trailhead. In the morning the snow was perfect for microspikes on the approach and crampons above the upper trailhead. I didnt sink in past my heels until the couloir. Conditions up the couloir were pretty decent only punching through a few times. We stashed our snowshoes near the upper trailhead which was perfect because from that point on during the descent we needed them the rest of the way down back to the road.
|2015-05-20||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The road was in good condition up to 6.9 from the milage start. Snow drifts from 6.9 to the summer TH. Solid coverage from the TH. Crews are working on CR 26 right now. Construction delays were not significant. Slide indicators covered most aspects. Roller ball and loose slides above most terrain traps with cornice intact. Consolidating very soon!
|2015-05-10||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The winter gate is now open (opens on May 1st) and the road is passable up to the bathroom and summer trailhead. With close to 12 inches of fresh snow, avalanche conditions were a bit sketchy (lots of shallow storm and wind slabs on north aspects that were pretty reactive). It will be winter on Sneffels for some time to come! I would recommend flotation if you are planning on travelling in Yankee Boy Basin anytime in the near future.
|2015-04-12||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Road is closed at a gate about 4 miles prior to the junction for Governor‘s Basin. The road past the gate however, is dry until the junction. We rode mountain bikes from the gate to the junction. We started at 3am to get to the bottom of the Lavender Couloir early enough before the snow softened. The snow at 8am was still icy, and semi-bullet proof in sections. It was not so bad that it couldn‘t be climbed, but it was certainly not "good" snow. From the saddle at 13,600‘ up to the V-notch is better snow. Both are pretty light in snow coverage though. I suspect in about 4-6 weeks it will all be gone. There is a couple in interesting moves from the top of the notch to the summit, which were made interesting by some snow/ice on the route. Nothing too bad, but you do not want a lapse in your attention here. Coming down in the afternoon the snow was better, but still not great. The first gully was still icy in spots. Snowshoes were a necessity hiking back out in the soft afternoon snow. We had them on from the bottom of the gully all the way back to our bikes at Governor‘s junction. Image 1 (Map) below: Point 1 = Gate closure (sign says it will open May 1st) Point 2 = The junction to Governor‘s Basin (where we parked bicycles) Point 3 = Sneffels