Peak(s):  Mt. Wilson  -  14,246 feet
Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Post Date:  06/09/2011
Date Climbed:   06/04/2011
Posted By:  Carl

 Skiing Wilson & Sneffels   

Mt. Wilson
Route: Boxcar / East Face
Vert: Approx. 4,200
Mileage: Approx. 12

Mt. Sneffels
Route: Birthday Chutes
Vert: Approx. 2,900
Mileage: Approx. 6

Marc and I headed down to the San Juans last Friday after work to ski Wilson and Sneffels. Got to the Cross Mountain trailhead a little after midnight, got a few hours of sleep, and were headed up the trail by 4:30am. To our pleasant surprise, continuous snow started around 10,300ft. For more info on this route, check out Matt's trip report

At 11,000ft we left the Cross Mountain trail and contoured for nearly a mile over to Slate Creek. Mark following the Creek towards Wilson and Gladstone.

Skinned up to the Boxcar, stashed some water and our skins in the avy debris, and began climbing.

Marc in the Boxcar with Lizard Head in the distance.

Topped out on the Boxcar around 8:45am. Snow was getting pretty soft so we hurried towards the summit. Marc got this shot of me.

Looking back at Marc at the top of the Boxcar. Smoke from the distant wildfires fills the horizon.

Marc climbing the final couple hundred vert to the top.

Me on the summit with El Diente in the background.

Only spent a few minutes on the summit before dropping. Snow isn’t continuous but it’s about as close as it normally is, which is sweet for June. After the first 100 vertical the actual turns begin.

The Boxcar would have been chunky and had a little bit of a runnel so we opted to cruise the apron.

Me enjoying some of the best corn of the season. Then had to put the skins back on to make the traverse to the Cross Mountain trail which took about half hour, before skiing/hiking out.

Late lunch in Telluride at Floradora followed by an early dinner a couple hours later in Ouray at Buen Tiempo, then off to Yankee Boy Basin. They have cleared the road to the lower trailhead at 11,350 so Sneffels is a pretty solid bang for the buck ski descent right now.



Sneffels ridge.

Marc climbing the Birthday Chutes.

Near the top about 3 hours after leaving the parking lot.

On the summit with the sun poking through the smoke.

Had brought a rope to rap into to the Snake but decided to leave it in the car and make a game time decision. Sure enough, the rope wouldn't have been necessary to enter the Snake. Although after a while of siting around it was still only 9am and we didn't feel like waiting for the sun to make its way into the Snake so we hit one of the Birthday Chutes.

This aspect hadn't warmed up yet either but we were anxious to get to Arby's in Montrose so we started skiing anyway.



Still a lot of snow up here.

Skied back to the truck by 9:30am. The fact that they plowed a dirt road this high made a great weekend that much better. Arby's was good too.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Nice Work Fellas!     06/10/2011 13:21
That's a productive weekend if I've ever seen one. Looks like you skied the same Birthday Chute as Brian and I back in April (far looker's right), it's a short but sweet route isn't it? Nice work on Wilson as well, it still looks really good down there!


Sweet weekend, Carl     06/10/2011 14:17
Well done buddy.


Arby's never fails     06/10/2011 14:27
Amazing to see not much has changed since April and these lines are very much in. Carl, you gotta admit, aside from thoughts of Arby's, as a ski mountaineer, you could appreciate the abundance of aesthetic lines in the Yankee Boy region that aren't on Sneffels.


Sweet looking lines in every direction...     06/10/2011 15:21
...that's for sure. We should spend a Memorial Day weekend car camping at the lower TH and picking off aesthetic ski descents.


Or     06/10/2011 16:33
pack up to outhouses and hit lines right out the tent......


Nice Carl     06/10/2011 16:47
Too bad the box car wasn't in good skiing condition, but it looks like you guys still had fun anyways!!


Winter 2011...     06/10/2011 22:08
Apparently won't give up...Way to take advantage Carl! The B-Day Chutes look fantastic right now, but man is it hard not to think about the Snake when Sneffels comes to mind. No reason not to ski that mountain twice though.


Nice one guys!     06/10/2011 22:38
As Caleb says, winter just isn't giving up. We could still be skiing in August this year!


Sweet Carl and Marc.     06/11/2011 14:43
Sneffels is the one mountain I've been wanting to do all spring. I think I am finally going to go next weekend. Good to see all the snow still hanging around down there. I might just take Friday through Sunday off from work and hit others as well. Thanks for the beta guys.

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2015®, 14ers Inc.