Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Date Posted:  07/19/2019
Date Climbed:   09/03/2017
Author:  SkiColorado93
Additional Members:   adventurousflinky
 Sneffels Side Step - Lavender Col Alternative  

I know you're probably asking "why on Earth is this report being posted almost two years late?!" ... I know, I know. I got busy. But here we are, and I wanted to still post this trip report as I offer an alternative route down Sneffels that bypasses the Lavender Col (LC) entirely.

As fun as climbing/down climbing the LC without snow sounds, this route was very simple and saved a lot of time and effort. Plus the views of Yankee Boy Basin persisted for the whole climb!

Since the TR is mainly about the down climb, I will only briefly post a few photos from our ascent of the Southwest Ridge which I HIGHLY SUGGEST. It was tons of fun scrambling, beautiful scenery, not really difficult, and less traveled... a classic! Here is a link to a video of the final summit push scrambling on the ridge.

Sunrise over Teakettle and Potosi:


A notch early on the ridge looking down into YBB:


The beginning of the SW Ridge route... typical views/terrain on the ridge:


The iconic Kissing Camels (ft. my busted camera lens which I've since replaced):


The top, lookin like geeks, with views of Telluride Ski Resort (left), the Wilson Group (center), and Dallas Peak (right):



The standard route ascends and descends the LC... with all of the people, loose rock, and lack of snow, Hannah and I weren't exactly excited for the down climb. We knew there had to be a better way, and there was.

From the summit, begin descending along the standard route but instead of going left through the notch and into the col, veer right and downward hiking on easy Class 2 terrain. Keep an eye out for two rock bulges near the bottom of the LC with gullies on either side.

The far left gully looked to be a difficult down climb, but the center gully went; TAKE THIS GULLY. The gully on the far right was just steep and loose:


A closer look at the center/correct gully:


Standing at the top of this gully, with hikers below at the base of the col (circled):


Around halfway down the gully (which is short), veer left and traverse across the (Difficult?) Class 2 rock face that angles back into the col. Here is a view of the rock you have to traverse when exiting the gully into the col:


And lower down, at the base of the col:


A whole group ended up following my line... I guess the col was unpopular. The standard route is off to the right in the couloir:


At the base of the LC, we rejoined the standard route to descend the slopfest that is the South Slopes. Our route to Blue Lake Pass which we had taken earlier that morning is shown in white:


Back down in the basin, we reveled in the amazing scenery of YBB. I love September:


A great ascent, an easier descent, and a beautiful day in the San Juans. If you try this route, comment and let me know your thoughts!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
That way
07/19/2019 08:59
Was the way I ended up taking when I was up about a month ago. Got the hint from a dude giving me a ride further up the road. It was quite pleasant as a snow alternative as well, avoiding a cornice that caps the exit of the col.

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