This is my first trip report, and I know some of the photos are tough to see. My camera was being its normal self. Anyway, I set off for Ouray with my pickup and two dogs. I drove up the shelf road long after dark and made a wrong turn somewhere. So I just packed up and slept on some nearby road. As soon as the sun started to come up, I quickly found the trailhead. It was late, something like 10:30 a.m. by the time I started. I hate to start that late, but I had a week on my hands, so if I didn't hit the summit today, I would just chalk it up as getting acclimated. The weather was supposed to be sky blue all day, and luckily it was. As I was leaving the trailhead another guy came in from skiing. I don't know if he made the summit or not. I was too embarrassed by leaving when he was returning to ask how he had done. Anyway, after I got over myself I started the hike with snowshoes on. Looking back at the trailhead
Looking back to the trailhead from 12,800' from 12,800'. I used snowshoes the whole way, and was glad to have them. The snow is becoming rotten everywhere now. I've read so many trip reports about Yale claiming victims, and people "slogging" through waist deep snow that won't support show shoes. No doubt. That was my first hike of the year and it was so deep, and so rotten. Comparably, the snow at Sneffels was much better, but it is still rotting out. Shoes are going to be necessary for a while. View of South Ridge
This is the view as you approach 12,800' Once I turned toward Lavender Col
A look up Lavender Col. I changed to crampons just in case. I've made an early spring attempt on the Loft and a solo attempt on the Bell Cord without success. Those are the only two snow climbs I have attempted, so my confidence on "snow climbs" or culoir routes is a bit low. Surprisingly, I made it up to the Col. The snow was soft all of the way. Somebody had postholed downhill, and in the steeper parts their tracks became helpful. The culoir was clean though. Tracks that had been there were mostly erased. The snow was still soft, which made for an easier climb. The culoir from the top
Looking down the upper culoir. Andre and Hannah had made it this far, but they could make it no further. They rested in a room with a view while I summited.
Two mountain dogs waited here. Me.
Obligatory summit shot. The Panorama
Panoramic from the top. 4 hours to the summit. 1 hour to the trailhead. I love glissading.
Sneffels was an awesome challenge, but a manageable one. As a snow climb, I definitely consider it a classic.