Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
"Kismet"  -  13,694 feet
Cirque Mtn  -  13,686 feet
Post Date:  09/11/2009
Date Climbed:   09/06/2009
Posted By:  JMB

 Mt Sneffels S & E ridge loop  

Mt Sneffels Trip Report : Mt Sneffels S & E ridge loop

Date of Climb : 9/6/09
Peaks Climbed :
1) Mt Sneffels – 14155', Ouray CoHP
2) Kismet – 13694'
3) Cirque Mtn – 13686'
Distance : 7.7 miles
Elev Gain : 4093'
Time : 6:30am – 5:00pm

I car camped at lower TH 11350' in Yankee Boy Basin for the Labor Day weekend. On Sunday morning I got up at 4:30a to eat breakfast and then read my book for awhile waiting for a little light outside and the rain to subside. I started hiking up the road by 6:30a and reached the turn-off hiking trail to Wrights Lake by 7:02a.

7:18a – Wrights Lake 12180' with Upper TH 12310' in the distance

7:45a – heading up to Blue Lakes Pass to join Sneffels S ridge

8:00a – start of S ridge

8:30a – looking down S ridge toward Gilpin Pk

8:40a – bypass this pinnacle by NOT going left

Instead, go right, drop down gully, climb back up other gully to regain ridge

8:56a – this seems to be where the real Class 3 begins. I climbed over the right fork.

9:12a – looking back at the bypassed pinnacle

9:15a – Kissing Camels up to the left, but exit right

9:20a – Kissing Camels

9:33a – conditions high up on the ridge ~13700'

9:56a – exposed section of ridge ~14000'

10:07a – enjoying the summit

10:07a – view of Blue Lakes, Dallas Pk, W Dallas, & T 0 from summit of Mt Sneffels

10:25a – looking down the crux section of the std route on the return

10:50a – heading SE from Lavender Col up on Kismet's W ridge

11:14a – ridge on W side of Kismet rough, yet fun, but leads to dead end

11:39a – obstacles like this created decision points of a) turn-around, b) climb over, c) bypass on L or R, or d) go down for awhile. Up here map & GPS were of no help. I had no beta with me either since it seems not many climb this.

11:43a – reached the dead end on Kismet's W side approach. View of gaping gap on Kismet's NW side.

11:56a – so downclimbed this gully to ~13400'. Looks like total esc route if necessary.

12:14p – looking back up at gully I descended

12:40p – traversed some more, not going any lower than 13300', and then found this gully at 13400' and decided it was time to go back up, hopeful that I had passed the gap and was on the E side of Kismet now.

12:51p – yeah! I think I was in the right place. This was the homestretch climb up to Kismet from the SE side. I'd say Class 3-4 depending on route choice.

1:06p – view of Cirque Mtn, Teakettle Mtn, Coffeepot, & Potosi Pk from Kismet summit

1:13p – Kismet summit with Mt Sneffels in back

2:30p – having bypassed 13500', view of Cirque Mtn

2:55p – on Cirque Mtn E summit viewing the W summit (hi pt), Kismet ridge & Mt Sneffels

3:41p – heading back to camp on a 1 mile downward traverse from 13000'

There were patches of sun & rain on way back, but all in all, a great day!

Topo route plan & track

GE route plan & track

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Kudos to you!
09/11/2009 15:10
What a cool loop you did ... you don‘t see much info on Kismet ... need to get up and do that one. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!

Chicago Transplant

Cool route
09/11/2009 16:20
I had heard there was a nasty notch on Kismet‘s west side, glad you were able to poke your way around and find a way to make this route work. Nice job!
I did Kimet and Cirque together from the east, the east ridge on Kismet goes (some easy 4th, but mostly 3rd), Presto if you want more info let me know, but not having any info made it kind of find to figure out.


nice tour
09/11/2009 18:15
Good TR and info on your tour.
Thanks for sharing!


Nice report
09/11/2009 23:04
From your times you might have passed us on the road in the morning and just missed us getting to the summit. The pictures capture the feel of the day. You chose a bolder route than we dared!

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