Mt. Sneffels  
Condition Updates  
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-21, By: Will_E
Info: Big thanks to Toyota SupraNihilist for the intel regarding avy issues on Sneffels standard route, that beta encouraged me to do the SW Ridge to avoid getting buried. Sneffels area got a few inches of snow yesterday, but the trench was still relatively intact. I didn't put snowshoes on until the bathroom area near the end of treeline. The snow was very stiff getting to the top of Blue Lakes Pass, I was able to get up it with snowshoes (though just barely), I used crampons to descend. I left snowshoes just a bit beyond the pass, didn't use traction anywhere other than to get down Blue Lakes Pass. There was a lot of snow from start of the ridge to summit, I was expecting it to be a bit lighter, particularly on the ridge, made for very slow going in both directions. 
9 6
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-17, By: supranihilest
Info: We turned around at 13,330 feet due to unstable snow conditions. The first three miles on road and the approach to the south slopes themselves were great, nothing of any significance to report, but as soon as we started up the steep south slopes the instability began. Much of the snow was a thin wind slab over top of facets which ran to the ground. The wind slab was prone to breaking in large chunks (up to several feet per side) and sending shooting cracks out in circles and random directions. The broken chunks slid easily on the facets below. The higher we went the thicker the slab became and the more readily it cracked off in increasingly large pieces. This was especially true where the snow was very smooth in appearance, even from a distance, and very hard to the touch. Sometimes the slab was very brittle and would shatter with a small amount of downward pressure; sometimes it was hollow sounding. Once we ran out of "safety blanket" rocks to stick close to we discussed briefly and called our climb over as I wasn't confident that the long, upper stretch of smooth, open snow wouldn't be the point where it finally gave up. We did not get a view of the couloir to the V-notch but I would imagine it to be choked with snow. On descent the sun, heat, and lack of wind softened the snow into wet glop. With more snow expected this week plan on conditions changing rapidly and possibly for the worse. 
5 5
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2021-01-16, By: Wentzl
Info: Road to winter gate in great shape. Beyond that, road is heavily sanded, skiers be ready to pack the skis all the way up to Virginius mine. Snowshowed up from Virginius/Yankee Boy intersection on mostly hard pack and wind blown snow. Got up to around 13,000 on South Slopes. Route appears in great shape. Very little snow for this time of year. Didn't finish just because I was moving slow and ran out of steam, but a nice snow shoe track up that high for anyone heading out this weekend. 
8 3
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-11-04, By: Wentzl
Info: Snow was non issue on SW Ridge. Descent on the standard route, there was some snow in the V-Notch. Descended via the bypass so can't say how the snow impacts the move through the notch. Descent this way was 100% snow free. 
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-11-02, By: maxavanzi
Info: Almost all snow has melted. Technical sections are dry. We brought ice axe and spikes and didn't use them. No other hikers around. No snow on road until 1/4mi from upper TH. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-19, By: HeavyHitter406
Info: The route is entirely snow-free. The weather was pleasant and wind-free the day we summitted, but the wind conditions have been pretty variable in the area. For ascending the first rocky slope, it is definitely recommended to stay to the left of the slope's center (which is quite washed out). Pick your own line for what is most comfortable -- we chose to stay on sections with the largest boulders in order to have the surest footing. Once in the upper gully, it's also a pick-your-line situation. However, I would recommend sticking along the left wall when descending the upper gully -- the presence of handholds on the wall makes the descent much quicker. On the large slope, you have the option of descending the way you came or moving to the left (looking down) side of the slope. We saw some people walking directly down the washed-out gravel section, which I'd only recommend if you have poles and a helmet. You can also follow the wall along the left side of the slope, which is out of the way but provides handholds. 
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-01, By: Marshall
Info: Up the Ridge and down the Slope. The road is rough as advertised. Everything is in fine condition without any snow. I took option 2 to get to Blue Lakes Pass, and it was straightforward. Staying closer to the ridgeline throughout the entire route provides a bit more solid footing. Do be careful of loose rocks, though. Walking directly on the final ridge to the summit is pretty special, and the summit views are fantastic. The “loose, ugly Class 2 slope' mentioned on the South Slopes route is just that. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-25, By: dssmith15
Info: Road: made it up to the middle 4WD trailhead in Tom Engelhardt s F350. Road after that was pretty sketchy but a tacoma and a jeep made it the whole way. Trail: really fun hike. Stayed to the left of the first gully which had better footing. Then moved to the right of the second gully to ascend with the wall right next to us. V notch was pretty awesome. Some exposure and a blind step coming back down. IMPORTANT: If you are using all trails the red marked trail they have actually doesn't follow the true route on the second gully. It pushes you up a narrow passage before the V notch. Couple of hikers prior to us went up that way, made it up fine but not sure how that route is. Follow the .coms route and hike pretty much to the top of the second gully to have access to the v notch. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-24, By: climbskiyogi
Info: Gorgeous day! The route is still completely free of snow as noted by previous reports. Got an Outback to the lower 4wd lot. There were maybe one or two spots where I had to really pay attention to my line. Honestly, best part of the climb were the people. I don't think I'd ever met so many friendly hikers on a 14er. The beautiful fall colors made the drive here and hike even that much better. Go do this one - you won't regret it! 
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-21, By: hellmanm
Info: Summer conditions all the way up. Standard route descent also has summer conditions. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-18, By: Chris_Larson
Info: Completely snow free. After I had come back down the steep slope, someone knocked loose a massive rockslide. Hundreds of rocks. Lasted 30-45 seconds. I hope nobody was hurt! Watch your footing and don't hike directly below others. 
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-15, By: ladnerkm
Info: The trail and ridge is completely dry and free of snow now. No spikes needed. Shorts and t-shirt weather today 
1 2
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-12, By: shsdawg58
Info: Spikes will help. A few normal class 3 moves might be class 4 due to snow/ice mix. Do not fear and go get this summit. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-08, By: tlgold1990
Info: When ascending the boulder field, better to stay to the left and not on the steep, loose "sand" looking part in the middle. If you are heading for the V notch you will keep climbing until you get to the ridge and then take a left (many people who wanted to go to the V notch made the mistake of taking the first gully). Once in the correct gully, it is easier to keep to the right and use the rock wall for added balance and support. Overall I though the notch was easy to ascend. Be careful descending the notch with your foot placement. I had someone spot me and tell me when my foot was good and in the correct place. Free from snow. Nice sunny day with no rain. 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-23, By: Igethigh
Info: First 14er in the books! Man what a climb that was. It was a beautiful summer morning with no wind and actually got a little hot, but that didn't last. Smoke wasn't terrible- just a hazy aura. The rocks on climbers left going up to the saddle were pretty solid. V-notch was much easier than expected as well. Wish I could've spent more time at the peak but it began snowing and I didn't want to get caught up there in anything! Very cool experience for my first 14er peak though. I parked way down by the 2WD. My truck was being a little funny on the way up and I didn't want to risk it being by myself. The round trip ended up being 10 miles pretty much on the dot. Got back to the truck in 4hours and 5 mins. Epic day! I guess most my pics file sizes are too large so sorry for the lack of photos! I'll be better next time. 
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-08-24, By: SummitStormer
Info: SW Ridge should be the standard route up Sneffels. We heard some rockfalls on the slopes and were thankful we went up and down via the SW Ridge. NOTE: we adjusted the route before the SW Ridge: We departed the 4WD road about halfway between the lower and upper trailhead, just as the 4WD road turns back to the right. We followed Sneffels creek, circumnavigated a small glacial lake on a well established trail that continued up the slope before intersecting the SW Ridge route just below the Blue Lakes Saddle. The highlighted route is included. I highly suggest this route versus hiking up a 4WD road, much more pleasant! 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-20, By: Hershel
Info: Started from the highest drivable 2wd point. The views are amazing almost from the start. Once past the upper TH, you almost immediately start the ascent up the first gully. It's not great, nor is it terrible. But if you're not comfortable with loose rock, then you might hate it. There are sections where the rock is pretty stable, mostly to the climbers left while ascending. You really need to take care in a few sections depending on your comfort level. Once on the ridge, we found the second gully much more enjoyable. The rock was stable in the middle at the start and then we found sticking to the wall on the climbers right was very very nice and stable. You can stick to this almost the entire ascent up the gully. When getting to the top, the last 100 vertical feet consists of the V-Notch and a few moves to get to the summit. Incredible! 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-11, By: sky_high
Info: Hiked from lower trailhead. Road is in good condition, cobbled but easily manageable. Some water, but nothing that will get your toes wet. Last usable water on the trail is not far from the lower trailhead, so pack up what you need to start. The scree above the upper trailhead is pretty slippery with some big (1-2') boulders coming loose today so mind your line and others. Once in the gully near the top things become more stable. I strongly recommend poles for stability all the way to the notch. The new layout of the notch has lots of exposure to the left. I recommend using the narrow right climb (~15' tall). It is tight but has lots of handholds, you can brace on the rock behind you, the rock is solid, and the consequences of a slip and fall would be relatively minor. 
Route: SW Ridge via Blue Lakes
Posted On: 2020-08-06, By: loomermj13
Info: Difficult but fun and absolutely gorgeous route. Some rockfall in the gullies, so be careful. 
Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-18, By: wb-avl
Info: SW ridge and south slopes in great condition. Dry with zero snow. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.