Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Date Posted:  06/26/2008
Date Climbed:   06/19/2008
Author:  Jack Brauer
 Sneffels by Moonlight  

Last week (Thursday June 19) I did a great hike up Mount Sneffels in the moonlight.

After catching a few ZZZs at home in Ouray, I woke up and got out of bed at 1am, drove up to the spring trailhead in Yankee Boy, and started hiking by 1:45. The full moon was brilliant and I had no trouble at all seeing my way.

Walking on the snow was a tricky since the surface had melted into deep suncup ridges and runnels. It reminded me of walking on railroad tracks... a bit awkward.

Nevertheless, I made good time, and donning my crampons below the Lavender Col, I made it to the summit at 4:15am. The air was really calm and the temps not too cold. I relaxed on the summit for about an hour before the sun started to rise, just soaking in the massive vista of peaks illuminated by moonlight. Once dawn light started glowing, I set up my camera and had some fun taking photos of the vista during dawn and sunrise light.

I left the summit at 6:30am and got back to my truck just as other hikers were just setting off! After the quick ride back to Ouray, I crawled back into bed and slept until the afternoon.

All in all, this was one of those magical hikes where everything comes together perfectly. Unfortunately I don‘t have any moonlight exposures from the way up, but here‘s some of my photos of the sunrise from the top.

Dawn light illuminates Gilpin Peak, among others. This was a several minute exposure.

The full moon sets above the San Miguel Range, which includes three fourteeners: Wilson Peak, Wilson Mountain, and El Diente.

Sunrise light shines on Kismet, the peak in front. Potosi is in the upper left.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

05/02/2011 14:23
Those shots are awesome. Thanks for sharing. You've got a great collection on your site, that picture of Lone Eagle with the reflection is amazing.

Phill the Thrill

06/26/2008 17:57
Love those shots from the summit. Thanks for sharing.


06/26/2008 20:59
As always, Jack, beautiful shots.


Fantastic Photos!
06/26/2008 22:17
Those are some of the best mountain shots I‘ve ever seen. Thanks for posting them!

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