| Sneffels- Why the CAIC shouldn`t be your sole sorce.
Sneffels- Why the CAIC isn't always right
End Result: Lots of fun and experience gained but no attempt on summit from Lower TH
Elevation Gain: 3,000 Ft.
Total Mileage: 10
Climbers: Micah (me), Matt, Ben
This will be rather long, but I hope to point out what types of safety calls we were constantly having to make and how our due diligence most definitely prevented us from any fatalities. While this may be boring for the experienced snow winter/spring mountaineer, it may be very valuable for the less experienced while providing great beta for those looking for a shot at this mountain.
I normally don't post TR's with failed attempts, but in this case I feel that I can provide some good beta and would say that I don't feel as bad when there are conditions out of my control preventing the bagging of a summit which is always just a bonus to me on top of the Zen that these trips usually provide.
My normal routine this winter has been to seek out peaks 1-2 weeks in advance and do all of the necessary research and acquire partners as necessary. To be honest, the hardest part always seems to be talking someone into going. If it was summer, I would be more likely to solo, but not in winter. Two weeks ago, not realizing that this was Easter weekend, I decided to plan a trip for Sneffels this weekend, hoping for my first Ski descent this spring. I choose the Lavender Couloir route for skiing with a avy danger backup of the class 3 ridge route both from Yankee Boy Basin. I got Matt on board from the start and then Ben, my brother-in-law, who hardly gets to come on trips calls me up and asked my mountain climbing schedule. I invited him along to Sneffels knowing that my tent only holds three. Without more partners and another worthy tent, I was forced to kick the dog out. A couple of days later, we realize that we have planned a trip over Easter. I thought this would never fly with the wives, but sure enough they let us go (this will probably never happen again).
On Tuesday, I called the Ouray Sherriff who told me that there was 26" new snow from the previous few days and that CR361 (Camp Bird road) was usually plowed to at least camp Bird. I then called Telluride Ski patrol, knowing they were nearby to see what kind of Avalanche activity they were experiencing. They said just minimal slide activity and recommended that I call Helitrax who guides Heli and Cat skiing in the area. Helitrax told me that the snow was surprisingly stable up in the Imogene area but that they hadn't seen Yankee Boy Basin. They had been throwing bombs out and couldn't even cause any slides but said to caution to the coming storm.
Rest of report located at my blog here
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):