Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Date Posted:  07/22/2009
Date Climbed:   07/10/2009
Author:  Ben

 Standard Route with Variation  

Mt. Sneffels
Standard Route with Variation

Sorry for the late report; much of the information here won't be too helpful for this season as the snow/ice I avoided is probably gone. This is my first attempt at a trip report; up to this point all of Bill's route descriptions have been excellent and I have had very little to add. Also, I am not tech savvy and don't know how to resize images. The photo numbers listed refer to the Picasa album linked at the bottom of the page. Onto the good stuff…

When a friend calls you on a Tuesday and says, "Hey, want to go to Telluride tomorrow? We have a condo, an empty room, and it is already paid for because someone cancelled," the answer is an easy "YES". The catch was I had to drive and spend 12 total hours in a car with a girl and her mother. Hmmm. This made the decision a bit tougher, but still an easy choice.

I packed for the next morning and away we went. I selected Mt. Sneffels and Wilson Peak as the 2 summits I wanted to attempt in a day. I was limited to these peaks because I have a Subaru sedan and did not bring camping equipment (car too full of girl crap for a 3 day trip).

First up, Mt. Sneffels. I left Telluride at 4 am. The road to Yankee Boy Basin was rough, but my Legacy made it fine. The car thermometer read 45 F. I parked at the 2WD location and started the hike up as the sun began to light the basin at about 6:15. Photos 1-9. I passed a gentleman who had camped in his truck at the restrooms. Myrone later became one of my hiking partners for the day. Eventually, we caught up to another solo hiker (Ed) and the three of us began the ascent from the 4WD trailhead.

We followed Bill's description up the terribly loose gully. We found better passage on the larger rocks in the center of the gully, but these were far from solid. Care must be taken not to set rocks loose down onto those below you. Photos 13, 14, 16, 17.

We avoided some snow on top of the gully and turned left. At the top of the gully fantastic vistas are everywhere. Photos 19, 20, 22. I knew from previous reports that the next portion of the hike was full of snow (at this point in the morning it was solid ice) Photo 26. Steps had been kicked and looked OK, but a misstep would send you on a quick slide into a rocky run out. I also did not have an ice ax and this did not look fun. I had read in previous trip reports that there was a variation to climber's left which avoided this ice choked col. I believe Roach describes this route as Variation 30.1V. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Ed and I took this route while Myrone ascended the snow/ice. Photo 23 approximates where we exited – just below where the snow ends on the right edge of the col. A small cairn appears to be visible in this photo on the right edge of the image on the ridge. This image is about 1/3 the way up the col. Cairns mark the entrance and subsequent route. About 20 ft of class 3 climbing on solid rock and a quick stroll across a ledge helped us around the rock rib where straightforward class 2+ climbing got us up to the "V" notch. Photo 27 is the view up after crossing the rib. Photos 28 and 31 look back down on the route, most of the route is not visible in the image. Do not stray too far from the ridge on the left; the summit is almost directly above you. We had to avoid a bit of snow/ice just before we rejoined the standard route at the "V". Photo 30 shows Ed next to the notch. We rejoined Myrone here. The summit is only a few minutes away. Photos 32, 33 show some of the quick scramble to the summit. Spectacular views surround you, Photos 34-36. Photo 37 is me on the summit. Myrone joined Ed and I on the variation decent.

There was a tremendous amount of traffic in the area on our way out: Jeeps, sightseers, other ill-prepared hikers. It was a bit of a disappointment considering the relative solitude our trio had enjoyed during the hike.

It was a pleasure hiking with you Ed and Myrone. Myrone – thanks for the ride back to my car. I needed to save all the energy I could for an attempt on Wilson Peak the next day.



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