Peak(s):  Sniktau, Mt  -  13,234 feet
"Cupid"  -  13,117 feet
Date Posted:  11/25/2015
Date Climbed:   11/25/2015
Author:  CreekRunner
 Last Chance...  

Mt. Sniktau(13,234) & Cupid(13,117)
Start Time: 7:50am End Time: 10:40am

With the snow coming in and Thanksgiving break already halfway finished, I scouted out a hike before the mountains were completely blanketed. I had hiked Mt. Morrison a day earlier, but I desired a bit more adventure (Although the scrambling at the end of the hike can be fun). The fact that Loveland Pass is basically on a ridge to begin with, along with the lack of snow on much of the trail, it appealed to me as a safe hike until I take an avalanche class and feel confident in evaluating the terrain. Until then, this will most likely be my last hike for the season. Starting up to Point 12,915, I was shocked to experience such little snow on the trail. I didn't expect much in the first place, but less than an inch on basically the entirety of the trail was unexpected. In my opinion, the toughest part of the hike was in the beginning, probably because 15 minutes in, my calves started cramping so much that it hurt to walk.

The first steps of the day.

After the cramps subsided, I followed the obvious trail, let alone its ugly ten foot width is visible from far away. I did meet two hikers who were coming back from Sniktau; we didn't talk much, but it was a bit of relief to receive a conditions report and that everything was fine. The snow that did exist remained on the east side of the ridge, easily avoidable by confronting the wind and staying on the west side. By 8:10 I had made it to the summit of Mt. Sniktau, not bad time including the stints spent switching layers, stretching out cramps, and taking a pit stop in between.

The remainder to Sniktau from Pt. 13,152

Heading back to Pt. 12,915 I found that with the lack of snow and gentle terrain, I could jog on parts of the downhill and all of the flats with ease"sounds like a good ridge run for the summer. By 9:20 I had made it up the gentle slopes of Cupid and took time to eat, take pictures, and take in the beautiful day. Sitting on the summit, I was interrupted by a huge, jolting, boom. I have to admit, I freaked out for a second until I realized it was avalanche blasting (I couldn't see any slides, so maybe it was Montezuma Bowl in A-Basin).

For another day...

That too...

Looking at Keystone & Dillon Reservoir

Looking back from Cupid. Pt. 12,915(Left), Pt. 13,152(Middle), Mt. Sniktau(Right)

I was still feeling fresh and was itching to make the journey to Grizzly, but I didn't want to stray from the plan (Mt. Elbert did a good deal of that). I resentfully jogged down Cupid and up back to the intersection of Pt. 12,915, back down to the parking lot. Every once in a while, a blast would catch me off guard, causing my adrenaline to kick in. Blasts aside, this hike was a great choice in terms of accessibility, and lack of technicality. For a beginner pre-winter trek, I thought it was great way to spend a morning in the mountains.

I'll have to bring my rocket launcher next time. Hehehe

Oh, and one more thing. For as long as I can remember, the fence on Mt. Bethel has confused me. It looks like a snow fence, yet I don't notice any avalanche chutes below it, so maybe someone can answer that enigma.

The mysterious fence

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

11/28/2015 09:28
The fence is to stop snow from being transported by the wind into the avalanche path on lookers right....on 70 you can see the path clearly, and you can see where they dug trenches to prevent debris from reaching the road.


12/03/2015 08:48
Enjoyed reading your trip report with excellent pictures. I myself am planning to summit Mt.Sniktau tomorrow.

I understand that you suffered cramps while hiking. Did you drink a plenty of fluids prior to starting your climb?


12/03/2015 09:51
First of all, thanks SolarAlex for the explanation. My research never made that avalanche chute obvious.

rpdawes, I’m pretty confident I drank lots of water beforehand,(I guess there’s always room to improve) but on Monday I ran my last cross country race of the season and never stretched after, along with climbing Mt Morrison on Tuesday, so I was still sore by Wednesday. Have fun on your trip and be safe!

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