Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Post Date:  07/24/2011
Date Climbed:   07/20/2011
Posted By:  Wish I lived in CO


 First Snow Climb   


MT. SNEFFELS
7-20-2011, Solo


Round Trip: 6 miles, 2,950 ft elevation gain
Hiking Time: About 6 hours


This years hiking trip to Colorado would only be five days due to personal and work related limitations. The first four days were in the Chicago Basin hiking the (4) 14ers over there, 4-H Climber provides his excellent account here: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=10430 I had one extra day left after that, so the next closest 14er would be Mt. Sneffels. For difficult peaks, the wife prefers I not hike solo. But since Mt. Sneffels is rated at only class 2, I thought this should be a relatively easy and safe way to finish the trip as a solo hike. Mt. Sneffels provided a bit more challenge then I anticipated .........

I had brought to Colorado an ice axe and climbing helmut and brought both for this hike. As is explained better in 4-H Climber's report, he had to leave a day early from the Chicago Basin, but he very graciously left his crampons for me to use as we saw some snow on Eolus from below the day before. Turns out I did not need them on Eolus. I packed them here for Mt. Sneffels, but I fully anticipated that the axe and crampons would be dead weight .......

As a summer climber, up to this point I have only carriend an ice axe for self arrest protection in case of crossing small snow fields if absolutely necessary. And amittidly as a cane on steep slippery grass, such as at the lower part of challenger. Upon reaching the upper gulley, voila - snow. Thus having 4-H Climber's crampons was very fortuitus as I would not have attempted without them. Having read, heard, and watched about snow climbs I thought this would be a great introduction climb to do, plus some other climbers were in the vicinity.

The climb was great, very easy as it is only a few hundred feet and steps were well cut in by the many others in the recent past. I decided to be careful and plunge the axe at each step. I felt great, and safe.

It was a bit discouraging however to see I was the only one of about a dozen or more climbers that had crampons, only one of two with an axe and helmut. Some used trekking poles, and some had none of the above. For snow climbs I'm a novice as I'm well admitting, so I was wondering if I was overly cautious, or not. Turns out, one person had an unintended and uncontrolled slide in the gulley as I was getting ready to downclimb the snow. Luckily he was OK and as I found out later he had skimmed a rock which rolled a bit with him to absorb the energy allowing him to stop.

The only technical move was at the crux and it was more difficult then I anticipated. Going up I rehearsed the downclimb on it a few times to remember where the footholds would be. Turns out I was able to get a visual spot anyway to confirm what I had rehearsed. So no problem.

Pictures and Conditions on the Climb:

Image
Alpinglow in the Valley


Image

Image
Sunrise!


Image

Image
Lavendar Colouir - Snow Free


Image
Looking up the Upper Gulley from the Saddle


Image
Climbers in the Upper Gulley


Image
Starting up the Snow


Image
On the Summit


Image
Yankee Boy Basin


Image
Heading Down the Upper Gulley


Image
The Notch


Image

Image
Mountain, Lake, and Flowers


Image

Image
Sucking some Exhaust on the Way Down


Image
Overhang on Road out



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
greenwok


Solid Beta! + Yes on your Gear     2011-07-24 22:23:39
Solid Beta as we are aiming for that next weekend 8) As for your questioning whether or not you were ”over cautious” Heck no! You went on to explain the individual who experienced the uncontrolled slide...nuf said Good stuff! Nice photos! Thanks for posting!


DScott49


Nice job!     2011-07-25 10:47:43
Congrats on all your accomplishments. I just did Sneffels two weeks ago and I wore microspikes and anchored with my axe for each step. I was surprised by how many people were completely unprepared for the snow ascent. Caution is smart!

Dr. Dave


MtnHub


Good job!!     2011-07-25 10:55:06
Congrats, Pete! Nice to see you getting them in! I won't be home until the weekend, but getting a few in myself! Take care!



   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. 14ers.com 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 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2015 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.