Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Date Posted:  10/06/2010
Date Climbed:   10/06/2010
Author:  schrund
 Snowed Off of Sneffels  

I had reason to head to Montrose yesterday so I figured I'd see if I could fit in a trip up Yankee Boy Basin this morning before Old Man Winter arrived in ernest. I had my sights set on the Southwest Ridge, as I have been on it but not completed it yet. I managed to drive all the way to the upper TH which I figured would improve my chances of success. Three days ago when I first hatched this brainstorm the chances of precipitation today were 30%, but when I departed Montrose this morning at 3:45 AM the chances had increased to 60%. I gave it a shot. I got to Blue Lakes Pass before the Sun came up. Image The wind was blowing and there were several inches of snow on the pass, a half foot along the trail leading up to the pass. I decided the terrain on the Ridge wouldn't be much fun plastered in snow and ice, so I headed back down into the basin. I decided to give the South Slopes a shot, the terrain seemed more forgiving for the conditions. Being down lower the wind was not a problem. As I neared the Scree Col SE of the Summit though, the snow came in. Visibility dropped somewhat and I knew I had a snowy drive on a 4WD road yet to negotiate. I decided I didn't want to come back for the Jeep in the Spring and headed down. Here's what the slope looked like from my highpoint just below the Col:
And looking back down into Upper Yankee Boy Basin as visibility dropped:
I literally started running at this point as I envisioned getting stuck for the winter~

The Jeep after a frantic and unsuccessful attempt to put on tire chains for the drive out:
And some of the classic views on the way out after the sun came up:
And yes, there are still a few Aspens out there to be photographed!
Are we Livin the Dream or what? where we can spend a morning playing in the mountains, blab about it from a coffee shop in Ouray, and be back home in Denver by evening~

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice attempt
03/08/2011 16:12
I was there 2 weeks before you from the Blue Lakes side (see ”In Storm and Sunshine”) and got chased over the pass by lightning. I can't imagine trying to negotiate that SE slope with snow. It's hard enough getting down it when it's dry. It'll just be that much more rewarding when you get a chance to try it again.


Livin the dream
10/06/2010 18:39
Your last words say it all. Gotta love Colorado!


10/06/2010 22:20
Livin the dream! This is one of my favorite climbs, hope you get it one day!


Turned Around
10/06/2010 23:34
My partner and I tried climbing this in May 09 thinking the spring climbing would offer slightly technical challenges for us but man did we underestimate this mountain. After a freak spring blizzard woke us up in our tent havin a hard time breathing we set out for the Lavender Col. Avalanche concerns had us unnerved but we pressed on til about halfway up to the Col and we realized as my buddy Adrenaline constantly warns me, ”Chris there are old climbers and bold climbers, but there are very few old bold climbers.” We turned around and for the SECOND time was turned away from the summit...youll get it I finally did...


It's coming...
10/07/2010 03:51
And pretty soon the last of that yellow will fade to white. Thanks for the report. Those are some interesting and varied conditions you experienced. Looks like fun even without a visit to the summit.

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