| Sneffles - Yankee Boy Basin
Wednesday May 30th – We awoke at 4:15 a.m. to grapefruit, coffee and almond cookies. By 6:00 a.m. we were at trailhead, stopping first for the restroom. PU, thanks to who ever left the twosie on the toilet seat!!!
We set out for our hike by 6:10 a.m. on a crisp morning of clear skies. The trail begins and continues as a wide, clearly marked path. The first 1-2 miles are hard packed snow fields all the way to the ridge.
We reached a snow bowl and followed one of many already climbed paths up to the first ridge. Icy, we took careful steps up in just our hiking boots. The ascend became quite steep near the ridge that is basically an iced over cornice. Rick broke a new foot path at the last 15 steps through deep snow to get up and onto the ridge. We were atop the first ridge by 7:50 a.m. and needed to get grounded before traversing up the steep icy gully.
We decided to strap on snow shoes and pulled out the ice axes to climb the last gully. Some foot paths remained but it was tough to follow with snow shoes due to steepness and shoes not fitting the tight prints. Rick went ahead climbing with all 4's and jabbing the ice axe in deep to assure stability and pull up every step of the way. We would climb about 20-30 feet, stop, gain bearings, rest and push on. We sumitted by 9 a.m. At top, there was another huge cornice with little room to rest, narrow rock ways requiring technical climbing through the notch. It was skinny and icy to the top.
Heading back down the col. was a bit unnerving. We inched down, following the boot steps and without snow shoes. We used the ice axes as stabilizers but now realize crampons will be our next purchase.
Down the bowl we hiked to a point where we could glissade. Though, due to ice, we would only go about 100 feet, self arrest and then glissade again. The other ice fields were easier to glissade once we were in the sun, yet parts were slushy. This left us post holing when hiking.
We stopped a few times to soak up the rays… a beautiful day surrounded by glorious 13ers. We were back to the truck by 11 a.m. and enjoyed the bumpy drive down and through the rocky C-shaped walls.
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