Mount Sneffels - 14150' - SW Ridge Class 3
After Josh and I got back from Utah we settled on climbing Mount Sneffels. Josh really wanted to climb this one since he had seen so much about it when I took the SummitPost page. Since I had already done it I agreed to do the SW Ridge since I had heard it was a fun scramble. So I drove up the Yankee Boy Basin Road as far as I could. I got quite a ways up and parked within a mile of treeline. So we hiked the rest of the way up the road and continued high up into Yankee Boy Basin. To my surprise the 4WD roads went almost the entire way to the base of the Lavender Couloir. Last time I was here it was all snow covered and the Lavender was a great snow climb. This time it looked like a mess and we continued up to Blue Lakes Pass. The weather was iffy at best and we had already been rained on once before even reaching the pass and it was before 10am! Since the clouds didn't look really ominous I agreed to keep going. There was a break that looked big enough to be able to finish the climb. The first half of the ridge is the most difficult with the most class 3 climbing. The crux is finding your way through a big notch by heading up a couple chimneys. Once above that the terrain eased and was mostly talus hopping to the summit. I got to the summit to see rain cells completely surrounding Sneffels but to the southwest towards the Wilson Group there was partial clearing so I felt safe. Josh Views to Dallas and Teakettle Peaks were great and Blue Lakes really are blue! Josh reached the top about 10 minutes later and I could see he was very tired. Only minutes after he summitted a huge clap of thunder rumbled over towards Teakettle Peak and it began raining hard over Potosi and Teakettle Peaks. You better believe we began running down the Lavender Couloir route. We slipped through the V-notch and got to the col in no time at all. Then we basically skid on our feet down the ball bearing slope back to the base of the standard Lavender route. That route sucks without snow. We caught up to a few people heading down and some others still heading up. The hike back to the car was very pretty as the sun was beginning to pop out making for some great photos.