Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Post Date:  07/06/2008
Date Climbed:   07/05/2008
Posted By:  oldschool

 Mt Sneffels the LONG way!   

I decided late on the 4th of July to go climb Mt Sneffels. I drive along Hwy 50 and 550 all the time and always look up and say " I need to get my butt up that...". Well I did it.

I loaded up the gear, the dogs, and off I went. I left the house in Junction about 3:00 pm or so and got to the Blue Lakes trailhead at about 6:00 pm. The mosquitos were so bad I decided to set up a tent down by the creek. (Image)I ate, let the dogs swim in the creek, and off to bed I went. I set my alarm for 4:00 am on July 5th. I wanted to be off the summit no later than noon. I slept so badly! I swear I didn't get an hour of sleep. I ended up getting up at 3:30 am and got my day pack together. I brought along rain gear, an ice axe, headlamp, food, water, and camera. I started hiking at 4:10 am. Left the dogs though.

I knew the hike was approx. 6.8 miles to the summit. I made the 3.3 miles to lower Blue Lake in an 1:45 minutes. Image Fast pace but knew I would slow down as I got higher. Some snow still around the lower lake Image and lost the trail a few times but finally found it after walking around a bit. The creek crossings were a challenge. High water at the crossing after the lower lake! Got my feet wet. After the lower lake the trail gets steeper. Slogged and slogged up the switchbacks above the upper lake. Image Very pretty though. Still icebergs in the upper lakes. Image Made it to Blue Lakes Pass in about 4 hrs. from the trailhead.

At the Pass I decided to drop down to Yankee Boy Basin Image and the Lavender Col route. I didn't lose too much elevation as I dropped down just a bit then traversed close to the ridge to get over to the talus slope going up to the Col. Saw around 10 or so others going to the summit. Up, up, up I went. Pace slowed down for sure! At the top of the talus slope I had to pull out the ice axe to get over the cornice then up the chute. Image Chute was full of snow. Image No crampons, just the axe. Made the summit in 6 hrs. total from the Blue Lakes trailhead. Image Spent about 30 minutes on the summit taking pictures and relaxing. Image Image Image Image

Decided to go down the SW Ridge to get back to Blue Lakes Pass. Much faster! Back to the Pass in 30 minutes! The SW Ridge was snowy in lots of spots and the rock is loose as all crap as you get lower down. Be careful! Started to rain as I got back to the upper lake. Glissaded down some snowfields just off the Pass too. Made for a quick descent. Uneventful descent. Got back to the trailhead in 3hrs. 30 minutes for a total time of 9 1/2 hrs.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

nice work!     07/07/2008 03:47
still so much snow in some parts of the mountains! Love the pics!

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