Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Date Posted:  08/29/2011
Date Climbed:   08/28/2011
Author:  gonzalj
 Sneffels - Standard Route  

So, in my quest to explore more of our 14ers and give myself a taste for what some of the more difficult terrain is like, I decided to attempt sneffels this weekend as I was in Telluride for several days. On Saturday I arrive at the standard yankee boy basin TH and car camp and end up meeting mountainturtle and his wife and we were chatting about standard route vs. SW ridge route (my initial thought process was to attempt the ridge). As I'm up at the TH, I just can't help soaking in how beautiful the basin is (right up there with american basin as my 2 favorites so far). Anyway, following morning we all wake up at 5:15 get ready and start hiking by 5:40. As we're approaching the upper TH (the walks a breeze at this point in time), we start noticing some clouds (they weren't threatening at the time, but wanted to account for what might come of them) and we all decide to limit potential route finding challenges on the ridge, so we approach the standard route to try to ascend a little quicker. As I'm making my way up to the base of the 1st gully, I'm processing the 1st major challenge at hand. At that point I tell myself, just focus on making little push after little push and for a while that helped really well and before I knew it I was halfway up the gully. I kept taking this approach through the rest of the gully, but did find that the 2nd part was a little steeper than the 1st part and my stops were closer between. After about an hour or so I reach the top of the 1st gully and even though my legs were worked, I felt really good and happy that I was able to conquer the 1st major challenge. At this point I'm looking up the 2nd gully that takes the left turn from the 1st gully and immediately just start taking the same approach of little push after little push. A little in front of me was mountainturtle and his wife and they took a left hand turn about halfway up the 2nd gully and I followed. What we found out is that we turned a little too early (before the "V shaped" notch in the route description) and entered a terribly steep and loose gully with hardly any foot holds and few handholds (thankfully there were a few where I could grab and pull myself up) and make my way to the solid summit rock and shortly thereafter passed right by the "V shaped" notch. Long story short, it took me 3 and a half hours to reach the summit, where I spent 5 minutes due to storm clouds looming over everything I could see from the wilsons, sneffels and chicago basin. It was incredibly georgeous up there and I'm really glad I was able to experience what difficult class 2 and easy class 3 is like and am excited for more. We summited at 9:10 and then were back at our cars by 11:45. Also, in terms of the turn off that I took halfway up the 2nd gully, I was on the left hand side of the gully, turned left and took like 4 or 5 steps to the "top of this little dirt gully" that then proceeded to turn right into a looser and steeper gully that was about an extra 40 feet or so to the top of that one, before the coast was clear. Anyway, make sure to go almost to the very top of that 2nd gully to located the notch.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice to meet you!
08/31/2011 03:50
That early turn out of the gully was interesting. A little variation to say the least, glad we didn't have to go back down it .


Nice to meet you too
08/31/2011 14:16
Yeah, that was definitely an interesting variation and I was also very glad we didn't have to go back down that. Anyway, great to meet you guys and maybe we'll run into each other again somewhere.


08/31/2011 16:04
I climbed Sneffels on Saturday. Saw a group who took that left hand gully too early. Not sure they meant to either. Dropped alot of rock towards climbers below. Looked loose and steep. Guess that's one way to avoid the V notch!


08/31/2011 16:10
We climbed it on Sunday, but yeah we made the same mistake. Fortunately on our way down we saw the V-shaped notch and came down that way (instead of the way we went up) and I was really glad we didn't have to go down the other way. Incredibly loose.

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