Mount Sneffels Elevation 14,155ft. (July 19, 2004) "South Slopes" trail from Yankee Boy Basin (4X4) trailhead. The South Slopes trail up Mount Sneffels is a class 1 to 2+ trail that runs (4.5 miles rt. with 3,000ft. gain). From wherever you decide to start your climb, you go up a jeep trail and then onto a hikers trail. The slope is easy until you reach the talus field at the base of Sneffels. This year I did not have the benefit of the snow fields that cover the left side of the talus field in the early Summer, and therefore I had to climb up the loose talus and dirt. The gully to the summit however still contained some snow.
|Saturday||2:30PM||-Arrive in Ouray. Earlier in the day I climbed Wilson Peak.|
|Sunday||6:15AM||-leave TH to climb the Mount Sneffels.|
|8:15AM||-summit Mount Snefflels via South Slopes|
|30 min.||-hangout on the Summit|
|10:20AM||-back at the TH.|
|7:30PM||-back at Home.|
On this climb, the normally closed gate across the 4X4 road was open so access was available to well above 12,000ft. We choose to park near the Sneffels and Blue Lake TH registry. My trip last year added an additional 1/2 mile hike to the round trip mileage. On this trip we found a camping area that was much higher up in the valley.
We started out hike in the middle of the pack, that is their where people well ahead of us as well as people that would start the hike en as we got back to our vehicle in the late morning. From the Registry box you can choose to climb up the hikers trail or take the jeep road up. The hikers trail take a more scenic route, so that is how we went up. On the way back to the TH we decided to take the Jeep road. From the TH make sure you do not get fooled about which peak you are going to climb. From the TH you continue up the valley and then turn to the right at the end and head up the talus gully.
From the base of Sneffels to the top we took a couple different route, no one wanting to hike behind another person of rear of loose rock tumbling out from under ones feet. The hike up to the saddle was not that difficult though. The trail could use some better markers, as the trail sees a lot of traffic and erosion problem are very visible. Make sure you reach the saddle before deciding to take the ravine up to the left and the summit. From the ridgeline up the chute, you climb a mixture of large talus and snow. The crux of the climb is to find the exit crack to the left about 30ft. before the chute tops out and you are looking out towards Montrose. If you find the right crack, then a cairn will be just on the other side of the ridgeline. From the other side of the crack you can take a number of different routes, but a switch backing approach make the travel the easiest. Tim's dog, Hilda, even made it to the top. Hilda needed a little bit of help up and over the crack but once on the other side she made it right to the summit.