TR: Mt. Sneffels, 14,150 via the SW Ridge. July 24, 2013.

Last week my friend Niki and I went down to the San Juan Mountains near Telluride and Ouray with the intention of climbing 14,150 Mt. Sneffels.

Mt. Sneffels

The objective, Mt. Sneffels

The morning started early with wake up being 4:30 a.m. and hitting the trail at day break at 6:00 a.m.  With in about 30 minutes of starting up the trail we began to get rained on.  We figured we would press on until we reached Blue Lakes and see what the weather was doing at that point.

Rainy and over cast on the hike up.

Rainy and over cast on the hike up.

There were many waterfalls on the way up, along with some stunning mountain views.

IMG_9820b

We made it to Blue Lakes and the rain picked up.

Sneffels in the distance on the left.

Sneffels in the distance on the left.

Rain.

IMG_9835b

Blue lakes, especially lower Blue Lake, are really stunning.  The lakes are an almost tropical color.

IMG_9829bWe hung out under a tree for a bit, thinking at this point there was no way that we would make the summit, but thinking we might go up to the upper most of the three blue lakes. As we pushed up, the rain stopped, but we encountered some gusty winds.

Blue LakesBlue lake and a waterfall pouring down the mountain side.

Blue Lakes, Mt. Sneffels

Niki at the upper Blue Lake.

The wildflowers in the basin were absolutely stunning.

Colorado wildflowers

Lots of colors.

At this point, the rain and wind had stopped and the sun seemed to be trying to burn through, so we decided to continue to the top of Blue Lakes Pass.

IMG_9881bWe made it to the top, and had fantastic views for lunch.

Blue Lakes Pass, Mt. Sneffels, Yankee Boy Basin, Blue Lakes Basin

Blue Lakes Pass

IMG_9892bNot bad.

With the weather improving, the rocks drying, and the summit with in reach, we decided, finally, to go for it.

Mt. Sneffels SW ridge.

The way up is Mordor-esque

The 3rd class scramble through the scree and loose rock was, well, spicy. But fun and worth it for the unbelievable views.

Blue Lake

Blue Lake

IMG_9932b

So cool up there.

Looking across Blue Lakes basin and south towards Telluride.

Looking across Blue Lakes basin and towards Telluride.

Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin from the SW ridge of Sneffels

We made it! 14,150 feet above sea level.

We made it! 14,150 feet above sea level.

Climbing up was spicy, climbing down was intimidating. Large, steep drop offs on either side of the ridge, loose rock, and lots and lots of exposure. But it was gorgeous.

Niki on the descent.

Niki on the descent.

We made it down safely and headed out to Ridgway to sit in some gorgeous hot springs and soak away the aches and pains of the nearly 14 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain covered between the trail head at East Dallas Creek and the summit.

The views in this area are so stunning that it seemed unreal and otherworldly. I hope you all enjoyed the pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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