Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Date Posted:  09/06/2006
Date Climbed:   07/31/2006
Author:  14ergirl

My husband and I have been wanting to climb Sneffels for a while and since I had a little more than 20 easy 14ers under my belt and him 15 we felt it was time!! We made a weekend out of it, Climbing Massive on the 29th. (It's hard to get away with a 3yr old who wants mommy and daddy all the time) So grandma took the little one and we were off. Mt. Massive was long, but super easy and I will write that trip report some day after I go back and add more of Massive's peaks to my list.
So onto Ouray- We arrived in Ouray on Sat and played around at the hot springs, let our legs rest from the long 13.6 mile hike the day before. Met up with our friends Lou and Tina and headed up to Wright's lake in the evening. We wanted to do the Blue Lakes side, but just found it a little more convienent this way this time. We headed up the 4 wheel drive road in our Expedition and them in their Dodge pick up. The trucks did fine and we actually made it past the trailhead with them- a little rough, but nothing like the road to south Colony Lakes. I hate going that far, but on this trip we didn't pack light and the concensus was to get as close as we could to where we were going to sleep. We then headed a mile up the road/trail to wright's Lake and camped on the other side at about 12,200ft. It was raining, but figured it was okay- storms usually die down at night. WELL, WERE WE WRONG!!!!!! At about 11pm after having been asleep for a good hour or more I was awokened by flashes of light. I hit my husband hard and said did you see that and right about then there was thunder- I said \"SHIT It's lightning!!!!!\" I don't know about everyone else, but regardless of being in a valley somewhat- the fact that we were above treeline and it was lightning scared the crap out of me!!! We ended up 4 of us huddled in our friends 3 man tent, me shivering with fear the rest of the night. It poured on us all night and our friend Lou's shoes were soaking wet by the morning from the water some how leaking in.
After 4 hours of broken sleep (at least me anyway) we all got up to an absolutely beautiful morning.
You wouldn't have even thought it was storming all night.
So we started up the first part of the easy trail to about 12,800 just before it turns to a talus and scree field. This was my first hard hike up a 14er so I looked at the slope and thought I might have been in over my head. But once you get to it you can see there is a nice trail that leads up the rocks and it isn't that bad. Image
It took a while, there were several local ouray folks just practically running up it, so I felt slow. Once at the saddle I took some pics and looked up at Scree Col or \"Lavender Col\" and realized it probably wasn't much worse than what we had just did. Image
Although again it did seem to take a while, we headed up nice and easy- I put my hands down a lot just to make myself feel more stable. I have crappy balance. Once at the exit crack that I had been waiting all morning for, we climbed through rather easily with the most spectacular view of the San Juans and Telluride on the other side that I have ever seen. Image
This is the view next to the crack. If you watch your footing you will be fine. Image
The rest was a fun class 2+ scramble to the top which I had no problems with and found it easier than the loose scree in the two previous sections of the hike.
The top had def. some of the best views in Colorado. Looking down on Wright's Lake Image and then over to Blue Lakes. Image
On the descent we didn't mark our way and ended up coming down a section that could probably get passed off as class 3. I was on my butt at one point scooting down to lower sections, using my hands to hold on. We did quickly catch back up with the route and over the crack that takes you back to the Colouir down. Coming back through the crack we faced in to down climb and had someone tell us where to place our hands and feet- It was only about 3 to 4 moves total and then back on the othe side and down the colouir. Image
The down sliding (as I like to put it) wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I stayed on my butt most of the time just cause I felt more comfortable that way. Image The scree on the last part was pretty fast cause you can really just ski it if you stay on the dirt and smaller rocks. Image
I want to go do this one again even though my husband said I seemed scared the whole time I was hiking it. I imagine that it just seems easier once you've done it once. I am looking forward to an easy class 3 climb- any suggestions anyone??????

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Mel McKinney

Thanks for the photos
12/17/2007 23:37
I really get a sense of what the notch is like with your attached photos. I‘ve wanted to hit Sneffels for a while but it always seems to be snowy and stormy when we‘ve wanted to climb it. Congrats on making it through the nightime storm and on getting the summit!

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