| Sniffles on Sneffels
The road to the trailhead is a fun road on the cliffs of the mountain. We drove up at night and we could not see the cliffs, though. On the drive out this is what we saw.
That is my truck under the overhang in the canyon.
We set out at 6 AM from the lower trailhead. Because it is a relatively short hike we decided to start at the lower trailhead to get the full experience of a hike.
Route finding was really easy at first, considering it is the road. As we climbed, and the sun rose, the green valley became more beautiful by the minute.
Once at the top of the road, we were graced with the beauty of the lake just below the upper trailhead.
We met two hikers, Chelsea and Amber, who decided to hang with us for the southwest ridge route. This calls for ascending the saddle, going around behind the pinnacles, and heading up the ridge. As we climbed, the view became astounding.
This is a view from just below the saddle at the pinnacles. We followed the route description as best we could. That called for going to the left side of the pinnacles.
Below is a view of the other side. We stayed below at the edge of the pinnacles towards the rocks ahead.
We followed the route description as best we could and made it up when needed.
I hadn’t taken many pictures of myself, so midsentence I snapped this shot of myself.
Jen had just ascended some steep stuff and was feeling strong.
The route description mentioned the kissing camels formation. We assumed this was it. Cute!
Another beautiful view!
Once we gained the actual ridge we stayed either on the ridge or climbers right of the ridge. The rock was loose in most places except right on the ridge. For this I preferred the ridge when possible. However, the exposure is high. For those with heights issues, the right side was preferred. We chose what we were most comfortable with and helped each other route find and build confidence.
We finally summited around 10 AM.
I did my ritual headstand.
After a little while we headed down. We decided to go down the standard route. Since we did not ascend this way, we were not familiar with the route. However, several other hikers came up the standard route and left the summit while we hung out. We followed in the direction they traveled and found some cairns here and there. It was decent rock and not as difficult as what we ascended. We liked the change of scenery. We followed this to the rock gulley and looked up at climbers attempting to down climb the gulley. I think that is the standard route, but what we came down was much better. When you get a chance to leave the gulley to gain better rock, I would recommend it. A group that left the summit 30 minutes before us was still in the gulley by the time we arrived there. I know you shouldn’t leave the route, but we were following cairns and it was good rock to walk on.
When we reached the talus scree field we scooted/hiked down it. This was a less than desirable part of the route. However, we made it down unscathed.
The rest of the route was easy to spot and we made it back around noon. It was a beautiful hike with beautiful views.
On the way down, Matt decided to ride his bike down the road. Weather came in and dumped on me in my truck. However, Matt was just ahead of the storm and it missed him. He was cruising very fast. He met us at the hot springs in Ouray and we relaxed in the hot springs. It was nice. I would recommend going to the hot springs after hiking. It was very nice. Wilson Peak was on the schedule for the next day. To set up camp in daylight we left the hot springs at 5 PM. It was a nice, short hike up Sneffels.
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