| Blue sky day in Sneffels
We started driving on Saturday afternoon up to the lower 4WD TH. The road is good for the first few miles and then it becomes rough. This time we did not have the "old rusty" (Toyota) with us (we were on our drive to Salt Lake City for work so this time we had the little Suzuki SX4). Amazingly he did a good job getting up to the TH at 11,350, good job little one!
We then got our backpacks and started hiking up the trail to where there were no cars anymore. We camped at 11,800 feet in a pretty grassy spot next to the waterfalls. Somebody else had camped there too.
Soon we could see the beautiful alpenglow in the mountains around us…
Next morning (religiously at 5.30 am) woke up, drank the usual espresso and a snack and started our hike up Mt. Sneffels around 6.15. The road ends at 12,460 but a good trail continues up northwest.
The climb soon gets steep in a broad gully.
The views are impressive, blue lakes pass is seen on the right.
We finally got to the saddle, where the col ends.
And we could see the steeper gulley to our left.
From here it did not look like there was a lot of snow, but as we approached we realized there were a few sections that could not be avoided. I had read somebody else's report recommending an ice-axe for this route, and we were glad we had them. The snow that early in the morning was ice, and even though there were some steps it helped to have the ice-axe as a safety point. Later we realized we were the first ones on this route that day, which helped our ascent (avoiding crowds on this narrow part of the hike).
Looking down in the gulley.
We got to the notch, which turned out to be not that difficult to climb.
We reached the summit at 8.20 am, my 36 fourteener, still counting up!
The views from there were amazing. This one is looking towards the Wilson group (I think).
And this one is looking down towards Blue Lakes.
And towards the trail we came up.
After spending a good hour on top we started down. A group of hikers joined us on the way down. I was a little bit worried about going down on the hard snow, but to our surprise it had softened and it was easy to walk down.
Looking down the trail, it looks steeper than it is.
We saw literally hundreds of people coming up as we were going down. We were so glad we started so early in the morning. I can not imagine the "cue" on the notch…
Here is a shot of other hikers going up the steep gulley and the col.
Going down on this scree trail was not that bad, at least not like Columbia or Maroon Pk. It is steep but if you look carefully where you step it is fast and straightforward. Of course, boots help, I would not recommend doing this trail in tennis shoes.
We were back at camp in less than 2 hours. The flowers were spectacular.
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