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Snow Ascent -Mt Sneffels

  • 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).


Homework: http://www.summitpost.org/mount-sneffels/150272

Bring:
Comfortable daypack
Waterproof boots
Gaitors (to keep the snow out)
Crampons
Ice Ax
Poles if you like for the lower slopes.
Proper clothing in layers and good socks (non Cotton), wind/rain gear, gloves.
Water (>2L)
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.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    posted to 360 degree view video on youtube. link is below http://youtu.be/QS1Jwaaq8F0

    May 20, 2013

  • daniel lee w.

    Perfect! A few years ago I only dreamed of doing things like this. I remember more than 17 years back how a young veteran returning to civilian duties said how he longed to do Sneffels. I think this was the Ah ha moment in my life. I have to say that every time I do a 14er it is a very bright moment to me,... physical, emotional, spiritual,. I left Sneffels felling so alive. I wont do these things by myself. Thank you Tom! I trust that we may soon go on another adventure.

    May 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for sharing, Dan. It was a beautiful climb, fun and just enough challenge to push me out of comfort level. We did it. Glad to have shared the experience.

      May 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Glad you enjoyed. As I said you both earned a big ataboy (atagirl). Especially for climbing the rock face to exit the coulor and going down the southeast face.

      May 20, 2013

  • Lori L.

    Awesome photos! Looks like you folks had a great time.

    May 19, 2013

  • daniel lee w.

    Be there tonight leave at 2am if you like. been up early all week.

    May 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm inclined to keep to the game plan. But, let's start as early as possible. So, Daniel when you are leaving GJT give me a call. Cecili and I will have time to get to Target i.e. early if possible

    May 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Forecast looks sketchy. Any thoughts? Even earlier start time? Keep the game plan? Reschedule?

    May 16, 2013

  • Andrew K.

    Sorry for the short notice. Work just grabbed me for this weekend, so I can't make it. Enjoy!

    May 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Some options for post ascent - Ouray for a burger, a cold one, or soak in the hot springs pool. Have any thoughts??

    May 15, 2013

  • daniel lee w.

    Andy maby we could work out travel together saturday am? donate for gas. phone # is[masked]

    May 13, 2013

  • daniel lee w.

    got new start time , I'll be there

    May 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Still going. Will still lobby for an earlier start :-)

    1 · May 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I agree an early start will give us bettor snow conditions i.e. down before it gets too soft and mushy.

      May 8, 2013

  • Barrie B.

    OK I will be there. My friend said that she is going to a wedding on the 18th. The 11th would've worked for her but not me.

    May 6, 2013

  • daniel lee w.

    mountain hungry and hopefully ready, will bring a friend, she will probably stay at th. give me a basic overvue of what I may need other than snow shoes ski's ect.

    May 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Daniel, there is an overview and detailed list on the Meetup web for this trip. The snow will be crusty on the way up (freezes each night). Extreme skiers do ski down after noon when the top layer of snow is mushy (not my plan)

      May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Back to the original date/time - May 18th,[masked]:00am. Moving the date forward due to the early road opening was not popular.

    May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good with the date change. Thanks

    May 5, 2013

  • daniel lee w.

    work that day cn't go

    May 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please note that this event was move forward to Saturday May 11th (from May 18th).

    May 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Barrie here, Tom can I add a friend from work? if so change my RSVP to me + 1. Brenda won't be going.

    April 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      A friend is fine with me.

      May 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Doug,
    On the other hand, the Courthouse trailhead is only a small distance from the Owl Creek road up West Cimmarron Creek. It can be a fun hike in mid May. Depending on snow condition (in the trees), you may 'post holes' a few times. You will need someone who knows the way if nobody else has been up Courthouse as the trail is in the trees will be hidden under snow much of the way in the trees. On the bright side, the weather is forecast to be warm for the next week so this should thaw/freeze and get a solid crust on top.

    I would be a GO for Courthouse on Sunday but not the other peaks along West Cimmarron. Too early in the season.

    April 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Barrie here. Courthouse would be good Sunday. I was up it last yr with Suzy & crew. Maybe Brenda will do it too.

      April 30, 2013

    • Suzy N.

      It will be a bit different from last August, for sure!

      April 30, 2013

  • Suzy N.

    Dang, I'll miss this one. It sounds really cool! I'll be with my group in the Gunni Gorge. Would it be tacky to sneak away...? LOL.

    April 30, 2013

  • Doug Van E.

    My inclination then, Tom would be to use my Micro-Spikes since I am confident in them and in my footing on snow. I do not have a 'mountaineering weight or stiffness boot so do not have much that crampons would be very good on. Though I do also have a pair of Kahtoola 10-point crampons that I might see if would also work on these boots.

    What about a Sunday activity too? Have you been up Precipice Peak in the West Fork of the Cimarron? I wonder if in there we could do Coxcomb in a day or is that too much to hope for? Ideas for other peaks? Wonder if we could do one of the Wilson Group on snow Sunday?

    April 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Barrie here I have a pair of LaSportiva mountaineering boots size 42. I would gladly trade or loan them for an ice ax.

      April 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a high clearance AWD, but it won't handle much snow. Coming from Denver the night before. Any BLM or other camping recommendations south of GJ?

    April 30, 2013

  • Barrie B.

    I have a 4x4 P/U. Or I can ride with someone.

    April 28, 2013

  • Ron S.

    The north facing notch just before the summit of Wilson Peak would be prohibitive for most until it gets snow free regardless of what the approach is like. It holds snow late and gets it early.

    April 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    As far as Wilson Peak, I don't know the condition of the access road to Wilson Peak i.e. when it plowed etc. The trail up to the saddle is on the north side and would likely be snow in mid May. I also don't know what the conditions would be mid May once you cross thru the saddle and get on the southwest side of Wilson Peak. The trail head was closed for many years until the Forest Service moved the trail head (a couple of years ago). I did Wilson Peak the first year access re-opened (new trail head) in mid summer. From the new trail head, Wilson Peak is a long/tall hike with scrambling to the top.

    That's my knowledge dump.

    April 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Doug,
    Yes, I have done Precipice (and most of the peaks accessed from the West Fork of Cimmarron Creek). Coxcomb is a long hike into Wetterhorn Basin then a scramble/class 5 climb from there. Leave the trail head VERY early or camp in Wetterhorn basin the night before. Precipice is a day higke (cross country hike then scramble). But, I don't think mid May would be good for Coxcomb or Precipice as the road up West Cimmarron beyond Owl Creek Pass road is not plowed (to my knowledge) i.e. you most likely can't drive (4x4) to the trail head(s) which are both on the north side of the creek. It is normally hard or impossible to cross West Cimmaroon on foot during the spring high water run off. I have done it but only with a long cross country hike up the south side of West Cimmarron to find a snow bridge.

    April 26, 2013

  • Andrew K.

    I have a 4Runner with 4wd, so I can take a lot of terrain and take 4 passengers. Email me with questions/comments, because I don't check this wall often.

    April 26, 2013

  • Doug Van E.

    Tom are you familiar with Kahtoola Micro-Spikes? Does this require front points or might micro-spikes do the job?

    April 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Front spikes are NOT required. This is snow and not over 45 degrees.

      1 · April 26, 2013

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