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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-05-30||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Absolutely amazing day on Mt. Sneffels. Right now a 4 wheel drive vehicle can make it all the way to the lower trailhead. In the morning the snow was perfect for microspikes on the approach and crampons above the upper trailhead. I didnt sink in past my heels until the couloir. Conditions up the couloir were pretty decent only punching through a few times. We stashed our snowshoes near the upper trailhead which was perfect because from that point on during the descent we needed them the rest of the way down back to the road.
|2015-05-20||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The road was in good condition up to 6.9 from the milage start. Snow drifts from 6.9 to the summer TH. Solid coverage from the TH. Crews are working on CR 26 right now. Construction delays were not significant. Slide indicators covered most aspects. Roller ball and loose slides above most terrain traps with cornice intact. Consolidating very soon!
|2015-05-10||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The winter gate is now open (opens on May 1st) and the road is passable up to the bathroom and summer trailhead. With close to 12 inches of fresh snow, avalanche conditions were a bit sketchy (lots of shallow storm and wind slabs on north aspects that were pretty reactive). It will be winter on Sneffels for some time to come! I would recommend flotation if you are planning on travelling in Yankee Boy Basin anytime in the near future.
|2015-04-12||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Road is closed at a gate about 4 miles prior to the junction for Governor‘s Basin. The road past the gate however, is dry until the junction. We rode mountain bikes from the gate to the junction. We started at 3am to get to the bottom of the Lavender Couloir early enough before the snow softened. The snow at 8am was still icy, and semi-bullet proof in sections. It was not so bad that it couldn‘t be climbed, but it was certainly not "good" snow. From the saddle at 13,600‘ up to the V-notch is better snow. Both are pretty light in snow coverage though. I suspect in about 4-6 weeks it will all be gone. There is a couple in interesting moves from the top of the notch to the summit, which were made interesting by some snow/ice on the route. Nothing too bad, but you do not want a lapse in your attention here. Coming down in the afternoon the snow was better, but still not great. The first gully was still icy in spots. Snowshoes were a necessity hiking back out in the soft afternoon snow. We had them on from the bottom of the gully all the way back to our bikes at Governor‘s junction. Image 1 (Map) below: Point 1 = Gate closure (sign says it will open May 1st) Point 2 = The junction to Governor‘s Basin (where we parked bicycles) Point 3 = Sneffels
|2015-03-29||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: We ended up having to park at the winter road closure and walk an extra 3.3 miles on a perfectly dry road to the Governor Basin split off. Both Sat and Sun there were cars that got through the gate early. I am not sure when it is open and when they close it. It is probably determined by the mine schedule. Both parties got locked in. I am guessing they had to grab someone from the mine to let them out. Simply put, expect to walk an extra 6.6 miles or have the gate locked behind you. Snowshoes are a must from the Governor Basin Junction. There is still several feet of snow on the road from there. Lavender Col has consolidated nicely and was very firm and stable. Crampons and ax are a must. Even with a warm sunny day, conditions were decent around 10 am for the descent.
|2015-02-15||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Climbed Sneffels Saturday and Sunday. Current snow conditions are the best you can ask for in February. If you have the chance get out there! Road closure is at senator falls roughly 5 miles(?) To revenue mine. It‘s a long way but the road is snow free after you‘re off the road and heading to the basin snow shoes are necessary. Snow in the lav col/couloir was crampon hard. A bit too hard for a nice glissade but definitely nothing to worry too much about. Any questions feel free to pm me
|2014-12-07||Route: Visual from afar
Info: Views of Yankee Boy peaks from the S. I don‘t have info on conditions in the basin, or about how far on the road one can drive. Snow conditions in the Red Mtn Pass area on S/SE/E aspects at and above treeline were supportable/firm with a few inches of slough on top. Didn‘t feel instabilities on slopes up to ~30ish*. Pix: #1 -- Gilpin & Sneffels (l. to r.) #2 -- Cirque, Teakettle, Potosi (highpoints l. to r.) #3 -- T0 (far left) & Dallas (center)
|2014-10-04||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: I was really looking forward to a snow climb, but as we made our way up the basin it became pretty apparent that it was unlikely. The SW facing slopes only have patchy snow, while the northern facing slopes still have a thick blanket. The difference in snow coverage on the varying slope aspects was really pretty astonishing. Lavender Col is still a miserable scree slog with ribbons of breakable crust snow. The gully heading toward the V notch was knee to thigh deep slush. The notch itself was choked with snow. We had a motivational crisis at that juncture and bailed. We parked at the lower TH where the toilet is, and hiked the road up which was snow free for the first half. Then it is mostly snow covered (it looked like a few jeeps had attempted to get up but obviously failed). The trail from the upper TH is patchy snow. Snow shoes/skis would be useless since you‘d have to take them off frequently.
|2014-09-30||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Made an attempt on Sneffels today despite the heavy snowfall on Monday. No trouble getting to the lower TH but definitely used the 4WD feature on my truck to get up there. The mountains are pure white and you would think its the middle of January not the end of September. Deep drifts and post holing up the couloirs. The ‘V‘ notch (pictures 26/27 in the route description) was the crux of the route and we had to turn back at that point. The rock was covered in rime and snow and there is serious exposure below the notch. Without a rope to protect the move we decided it was just too dicey and not worth it to continue. Met a couple all-mountain badasses at the TH and we ended up being the only ones brave enough to attempt the mountain. All previous groups either wandered around off trail aimlessly or turned back at the apron of the ascent gulley. Fun day, but be prepared for full on winter conditions up there!
|2014-08-10||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The route is completely dry and clear except for a stretch of about twenty yards in the col below the V-notch, which remains covered with snow/slush/ice. I didn‘t see many people with shoe spikes, but I had mine and was glad I did, made things much easier. Couldn‘t believe how many people didn‘t have helmets, though, particularly given that I heard at least three "rock!" calls. Wear a helment on Sneffels, people. ‘nuff said! --BF
|2014-08-06||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Still a bit of snow for a short portion in the couloir. Maybe about 50 feet at a relatively mild angle. The rest of the route is completely dry aside from a few stray patches of ice. I would recommend an ice axe, but most people on the mountain were using a sharp rock as a substitute. This should be gone within the next couple of weeks. No gear needed really.
|2014-08-03||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: A small patch of snow exists at the notch (pic 21 of the route description). It should be gone within a week or so. Wet rocks on the next steep pitch made it the crux. As the last report noted - The Lavender Couloir is still holding snow in its upper portion. Having my ice axe made the descent 5 fold safer. Took the descenders right variation out of the LC (class 3 downclimb). pic1 - steep wet crux pic2 - Lavender Couloir pic3 - LC variation
|2014-07-30||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The Lavender Couloir still has snow in the upper third. It requires climbing about 100 yards of snow to reach the notch. Not recommended without ice axes or hiking poles to stabilize in the snow. I witnessed two people struggling to control their descent without ice axes, poles or crampons.
|2014-07-12||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Prior report by Ldub 7/3/14 remains good information. Ascended the SW ridge - there‘s a gully with soft snow and ice underneath after you drop down to bypass a gendarme, reascending the gully. Traction and an axe are ideal for this spot. We ended up ascending the gendarme on rock, C4 -low 5 climbing, then cutting across the snow higher. On the standard route, after the notch on the descent, the gully remains full of soft snow/ice. People are bypassing it on the rock rib to the right (climber‘s right on descent), staying out of the gully. Agree it‘s C2+ - C3 on this bypass. The scree descent from the saddle is muddy/wet up high, but dry lower.
|2014-07-11||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Some snowfields to cross in the basin. Easily done without any gear. On the class 3 SW Ridge route, there are some snowfields to carefully walk around. On the standard route, you have to cross the snow at the very top of a couloir near the summit which must be done carefully. There are other minor snowfields that are easily crossed/avoided above 13k.
|2014-07-03||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: mostly snow free except for the gullies. We had to make around 5 short snow crossings, most of which were not too bad. The exception to this was by the "small notch" on the ridge. You have to drop about 50‘ and the gully is filled with softer snow. We cross it by hanging on to the rock and taking as few steps in the snow as possible. Felt more like class 4 than class 3 due to trying to avoid the snow. We had to head down fast due to a storm at the summit. The standard route still has a lot of snow in the gullies until the saddle, most of which gets pretty soft. Made for some tricky down climbing. Standard route below the saddle is mostly snow free, but is a loose dirty mess. Not a fun decent. Overall either route is doable, but neither is "easy". know what you‘re doing and watch the weather, the ridge is not a good place to be if it gets bad.
|2014-07-01||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Hiked up from lower TH, some snow to cross in the basin, the first gully has some snow, easily avoidable. There is plenty of snow in the 2nd gully, snow was very firm and icy in the early morning, we used micros and axes for ascent and descent. Some snow after the notch as well but clear near the summit. Snow is melting fast.
|2014-06-23||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Peak had plenty of snow still but it made for epic glissading. The couloir is pretty boot packed and it was a blast with micro spikes. Upper trailhead is not accessible but the hike up from the lower TH wasn‘t bad. Each week that passes should make it even better. Just be safe on the snow. There is the potential for things to go wrong if you slip.
|2014-06-15||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: We did the Lavender Col from Yankee Boy Basin and found excellent snow conditions both ways. We started at 5:00 am and the snow was firm (like styrofoam!) both on the approach to the Lavender Col and the "scree slope" that leads to the summit. There‘s a cornice on the V notch which is easily avoided by scrambling on the rocks to the right. Just a couple of easy moves. No postholing at all on the way down, and a fun glissade. Attached is a pic of the slope leading to the lavender Col.
|2014-06-14||Route: NE Couloir from Blaine Basin
Info: I did a solo climb of the NE Couloir of Mt Sneffels as described in the Roach guidebook. I wanted to do the Snake, but was concerned about the Class 4 scrambling to reach the summit, and also about having difficulty finding my way back to Blaine Basin via the East Slopes route as I haven‘t been on the mountain before. That said, the lower Snake looks to be in good condition. Anyway, like a lot of other couloir reports right now, this couloir is fat, I‘d say the upper portion is around 40 degrees. A minor bit of scrambling west at the col at the top of NE Couloir puts you in a broader snow slope from which Lavender Col / Scree Col is visible. Moderate snow slope traversing can bring you to this col where you can take the standard route up. The NE Couloir is shaded from the east and the snow was extremely firm quite late into the morning compared with Blaine Basin. In the afternoon I was able to glissade from 13,400 to almost 12,000 continuously, stopping only to redirect to avoid a few rocks and to give my butt a break.