Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Date Posted:  09/17/2011
Modified:  09/21/2011
Date Climbed:   09/16/2011
Author:  MOJO8800
 Sneffels and Co.  

I hiked Red Cloud and Sunshine on 09/15/11. Blizzard like conditions on summits and ridge, but occasionally the sun would break through to show so much beauty! I'd camped in the Xterra the night before, but thought I would drive into Ouray after my hike via Cinammon pass and get a hotel room for the night, then return the same way to hike Handies. I'd heard Cinammon was mellower than Engineer, but a couple of dirt bikers I talked to on the pass told me I would still have to drive the roughest part, which was just before HWY 550. I'd had enough of abusing my vehicle, so I drove the easier route down to Silverton, got a room, and resolved to do Sneffels instead so as to not have to return over this road, and not have to drive the long way around (Ouray to Montrose to Lake City).

The road approaching the trailhead was beautiful, and took much longer than it should have because I had to keep stopping to look and take pitures. I parked just past the lower trail head. Just before I started hiking (around 0830), it (again) started to rain and snow.

The gullys had about 4-6 inches of snow, and I think this made the hike easier. As I saw no one until I was just about down, I didn't have to worry too much about falling rock.

The "V" notch was slightly more than advertised, at least when wet and partilly covered in snow. I though I was going to have to turn around at this point, but then the sky got a little lighter, and I brushed some snow away to reveal rocks in the cracks which provided good, solid foot holds. I was pretty nervous about coming back down it, which took away from my experience on the summit, but it turned out to be no big deal. The sun never broke through on this hike, so there was not much of a view, but I was still very greatful to be up there. A big thank you to the builders of cairns, and the placers of rocks!!

I put on my spikes for trip down, which was absolutley more pleasant in the snow relative to dry scree and loose rock. The sun came out again, so the drive down took even longer than the drive up. Is there any place more beautiful than the area around Ouray?

I'm going to try to upload some pictures, but computers aren't really my thing, so no promises...

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

09/18/2011 01:11
The San Juans are God's country.

I often wonder how the miners survived there in winter.


the damn v notch...
09/18/2011 06:22
I did the Diente/Wilson traverse just two days prior to this hike and that damn V notch still was more than I expected. I thought about it too much on the summit as well.

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.