Ok, so I know this is late, but Stephanie was in Houston this summer and she is the one that keeps me honest about posting these things in any sort of timely manner lol!
My stomping ground is generally the front range, but with all the thunderstorms, I have been having trouble finding a free day with safe climbing weather. I have also been trying (for some time now) to get my friend Jake up a mountain. So I felt very lucky when we got a Saturday where Jake was free and without thunderstorms until late afternoon. Since Jake has been living in Chicago for the past few years and hadn’t really done much in the mountains when he lived in Colorado, I decided Mt. Sniktau would be a good easy trip. So the team was Jake, my younger brother Matthew, and me.
I had originally planned on leaving by 7am. Jake got to my house on time but alas, when he did I was still asleep because my alarm died in the middle of the night. Luckily I had packed the night before so after running to the grocery store for some lunch sandwiches we ended up leaving only 45 minutes late. We started our hike at about 9:30am. I think I may have a bad habit of late starts...lol.
While, overall, the hike was pretty easy, I had forgotten how steep the first section from Loveland pass is. Either it got steeper, or I am really out of shape compared to the last time I went climbing from Loveland pass. I think that may have taken longer than the rest of the hike put together. However, we did eventually make it after a copious amount of breaks.
Jake with Torreys in the background.
My brother with the first steep pitch in the background.
The remainder of the hike was surprisingly uneventful. We walked along the trail and talked and enjoyed the scenery. One thing that surprised me was how much snow was left up in the mountains. This time last year it was almost gone. The views were, of course, amazing and Torreys looks as impressive as ever. Jake commented that he felt like the music from Lord of the Rings could be playing in the background when you hike in the mountains and it would be completely appropriate. He and I, of course, proceeded to shout something that possibly resembled the adventurous music of Lord of the Rings (only ridiculously off key). Thank goodness it wasn’t crowded on the trail because I think if it were my brother may have jumped off the mountain in embarrassment.
Jake with one of his typical self portraits. This one was just higher in altitude than the ones he usually takes.
Our only break after the first pitch.
The ridge to Sniktau. You can't see the top from here.
We got to the top at about 11:30am and enjoyed a leisurely lunch of deli sandwiches. We took pictures of the top and I took my requisite panorama shot. As we stayed we watched the sky and saw the clouds building up along with worrying levels of uplift. Since moisture + uplift = thunderstorms (or at least that’s my very basic understanding of it) we decided to go ahead and go down. It was a good climb, and the ease of it made a really good choice for the fat returned-from-the-flatlands Jake, and my first timer brother. When we got back down we did some victory poses and went home. Somehow my brother fell asleep even though Jake and I spent the whole time singing along with Dropkick Murphy’s.
Jake and Matthew were both very impressed with the USGS marker at the top lol
Jake at the top.
Matthew on top. Although he may be a little to young for this pose...
Me at the top!
The three of us enjoying the top of a mountain together. Friends are the best part of climbing!
My pano image. Please excuse the lack finishing on it. Too lazy to reinstall my editing software.
Matthew's victory pose!
My victory pose!
Jake's victory pose?
Of note, this is the first time in a long time I have gone mountain climbing without Stephanie. I had a lot of fun with Jake. I really enjoyed taking my brother up his first mountain. But it really just wasn’t the same without her. (Stephanie being in Houston is also why there aren't as many photos as usual btw. She is the photographer, not me.)