May 18, 2013 · 6:00 AM
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May 18, 2013 - Back to the original Date. Moving the date forward a week due to the early road opening was not popular! Sorry for any confusion this may have caused. Again, Pls reconfirm your RSVP.
The road is already OPEN to the trail head in Yankee Boy Basin. I drove to the trail head today (Friday, May 3rd) and the road is in the best condition I seen in years. (Honda Civic parked 1/4 mile below trail head.)
Approach via Ouray and Yankee Boy Basin - The goal is to park at the lower trail head(11,400’) or beyond. This road requires a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. Hence, the number of hikers is limited by the number of vehicles. I have room for 3 others in my jeep. If you have a 4x4 and can drive please let me know so we can expand the number of participants.
Ouray County keeps the gate (near the Lost Revenue Mine) locked until they plow the road up to the lower trail head. Plowing starts in May. The road to the upper trailhead is normally blocked by snow drifts until mid June or early July and is a serious 4x4 road even in the summer. If the gate isn’t open by May 18th we will reschedule.
For hikers familiar with Yankee Boy Basin/Mt. Sneffels, the lower trail head is where the permanent pit toilet resides. The upper (summer) trail head is about 1.8 mile at 12,500’ elevation (+1,100').
Hopefully, the terrain will be entirely snow from the upper trail head all the way to the top of Lavender Couloir. The wind and sun normally removes the snow form the V notch at the top of the couloir to the summit. The snow is normally hard and crusty in the morning on the way up and softer/mushy on top in the afternoon. This is not powder snow so boot and crampons (not snow shoes).
Hiking (climbing) Mt. Sneffels in May on the snow is a joy compared to summer ascends on the talus. Mt. Sneffels/Yankee Boy Basin is beautiful in May before the snow melts. Let’s hope for sunshine, puffy clouds, and no wind (sun block and sun glasses), but plan for the alternatives (layers, wind breakers, and gloves).
Gaitors (to keep the snow out)
Poles if you like for the lower slopes.
Proper clothing in layers and good socks (non Cotton), wind/rain gear, gloves.
Summit snacks and/or light lunch
Fundamentals – basic first aid for yourself (moleskins) and headlamp.
Camera – This is the Colorado high country at its best.
Thanks Andy. I have up the limit to 8 attendees.