Friday, May 18, 2012

Mount Sneffels 14,158'

Mount Sneffels Southeast Face

As I clicked into my skis at Lavender Col on Mount Sneffels it was hard to believe that days earlier I finished up rock guiding in Las Vegas where the high was forecast to be 99 degrees. though I have spent loads of time staring up at Sneffels throughout various adventures in the San Juans I had never climbed this crown jewel, our local 14er.

The benefits of an alpine start

I bet you can't guess why this peak is named Teakettle
I managed to drive my small SUV up Camp Bird Road past the ice climbs (now waterfalls), past the Camp Bird and Revenue Mines, past the turn off for the well known Imogene Pass to the trail head for Yankee boy basin. In a few weeks, with a 4x4 vehicle more substantial than my underpowered Korean SUV, motorists will be able to drive a few more miles to the proper trailhead. Either way this made for a pleasant camp as I ate the pizza I bought in town and went to bed early for the next mornings 4am alpine start.

From the summit!
After coffee and oatmeal in the darkness of the morning, I shouldered my pack with skis and ski boots and made my way up the trail. Eventually I switched from sneakers to ski boots then skinned and cramponed my way to Lavender Col, up the summit couloir and finally to the summit of mount Sneffels.

Looking south towards the many venues we use for SJMG programs!
I could see for miles in every direction. I could see south to the Wamanuche where SJMG runs alpine courses, I could the ridgeway resevior. It was an incredible view of the CO landscape!