Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Post Date:  06/20/2008
Modified:  10/28/2009
Date Climbed:   06/19/2008
Posted By:  benners

 Sunset Snave   

Peak: Mount Evans, Front Range
Date Climbed: June 19, 2008
Group: Ryan (scollard) and myself
Route: Snave Couloir
RT Distance/Elevation Gain: 1.5 Miles, 1,400 Feet
Time: 2.5 Hours

Ryan and I were bored yesterday afternoon and decided to head for Mt. Evans for a sunset summit. All of the routes on Evans are either ridiculously long or ridiculously short, needless to say we went for one of the short ones; "the Snave". I think we left Westminster at 3ish in the pm and headed for Evans. After the $10 fee we parked at Summit Lake and headed for the Snave.

Ominous looking clouds

Looking back at the Mt. Evans Road

We made it up into the bowl below Evans in no time and spied the route.

The route we took winds to the right around the cliff band

We worked our way up fairly quickly to the base of the cliff bands and began to climb them. Ryan ended up climbing the cliff bands directly and I took a detour around to the right up a small snow couloir.

Ryan climbing through some sketchy cliff bands

I got myself into a rough spot at the top of the snow couloir, it took me a few minutes to execute the move I needed to top out as there was an eight foot chimney that needed to be surmounted blocking me from exiting.

The top of the couloir

From this point we traversed east across the snow field above the cliff bands to the mouth of the couloir leading to the summit. Ryan took a slightly different route up to the right of the Snave couloir and ended up cliffed out, he had a brief scare but was able to continue to the summit, I on the other hand insisted on taking the couloir the way the route describes as I was a little done with sketch ball moves at this point.

The upper Snave couloir, 8:24pm

A few "Class IV" moves and I was atop the notch between Evans' two summits and could see a few groups of tourists on the summit and in the parking lot.

The sun's last gasp, 8:32pm



We watched the beautiful sunset over the silhouettes of Grays and Torreys, Holy Cross, and the Mosquitos. We snapped a few summit photos and began traversing towards Bierstadt. Our plan was to descend the North Face route just to the West of the Snave.

Ryan and I

. . . and again looking Northeast

We began descending and quickly had to break out the headlamps, it took about 45 minutes to get back to the car where we could see distant thunderheads releasing lightning over Denver. It was really cool because we were at the same altitude as the thunderheads and we could see the lights of Denver far below. About an hour later we found ourselves in Colorado Mills AMC theatre watching "The Happening", which was okay I guess. A nice evening 14er, movie combo.

The last photo we took

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions
Mel McKinney

What fun!     02/05/2011 00:22
I could see a huge thunderhead to the east from the Vail area last night (looked awesome with the setting sun shining on it). Probably the same behind you in the shot. Looks like a fun way to spend an evening!


Hmmm....     10/22/2008 10:35
Climbing snow in LATE afternoon on a warm day...doesn‘t sound too bright to me. Least you didn‘t get hurt.
Good pictures though.


Well Kiefer . . .     11/30/2010 17:28
I guess one just had to be there to make the judgment call, but the snow was fine, otherwise we prolly wouldn't have climbed it . I appreciate your concern however.

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