Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
"Kismet"  -  13,694 feet
Cirque Mtn 13,686
"Coffeepot"  -  13,568 feet
Teakettle 13,819
Potosi 13,786
Date Posted:  08/10/2020
Date Climbed:   08/10/2020
Author:  Jon Messah
 Yankee Boy Boy  

Decided to go ahead and try to link all of the peaks along Yankee Boy’s northern ridge. Read a few reports specifically on Kismet and the ridge between Cirque and Teakettle because those sections seemed like the meat of the day. Woke up around 3:45am and left the lower 2wd trailhead at 4:15am. Gotta love having a full road as your trail, no getting lost in the dark.

Made good time on Sneffels ridge, topping out at 6:10am. The bullet rock on Sneffs gave a false sense of how loose my day would be. Made it down to the Sneffs-Kismet saddle at 6:30am and ate two bars and some water while watching the “early-risers” make their way up Sneffs standard face to Lavender Col.

Now commencing the trickiest route-finding of the day. I gained the initial hill which is evident at the saddle and then dropped over the other side. I knew from other reports that it is impossible to stay ridge proper to Kismet, so I dropped down to 13,300 and contoured below the cliffs until finding a gully which looked to provide safe passage to the upper mountain. I feel like this is a good place to mention that Kismet totally sucks, it’s a pile of garbage rock... the worst rock I’ve personally seen anywhere. Every couple steps would send a waterfall of rocks pouring down into Yankee Boy. At first I was yelling “rock” but as I realized my entire ascent of a Kismet would be rock-trundling I just gave up.

Nobody is brain dead enough to be under Kismet anyways, it’s a total pile. Don’t be like me, don’t climb Kismet. Luckily the 4th class head wall was rather solid and I topped Kismet just before 8am.

Next up is Cirque. I descended the same gully I came up and then began contouring to the obvious saddle between Kismet and Cirque. Tagging cirque is a cakewalk after Kismet’s Chossfest and shouldn’t pose an issue to anyone who has come this far.

Connecting Cirque and Teakettle is the real issue with this day, the best option seems to be either retracing Cirque’s standard route and then walking the road to Teakettles standard route. I chose the choss-ier version thought. I descended via the large saddle just west of Cirque, while definitely steep I was able to ski it reasonable well. Don’t tumble here because there is an 8 foot cliff band which must be downclimbed at the bottom.

I contoured below Teakettle and clawed my way up the grass runway which leads to Coffeepot. This ascent was certainly tough on the legs and I made it to the base of Coffeepot at before 11am. The short pitch on Coffeepot can be found on its East side. Three or four large cracks, each around 20 feet tall, lead to the summit. I dropped my pack, hat and glasses and chimney’d my way up. Only spend about 30 seconds on the summit because I needed to keep moving to grab Teakettle and Potosi.

The traverse to Teakettle is much better covered, in essence though you’ll drop a bit south from Coffeepot and locate a fairly well cairned climbers trail which leads to the easily-seen Brown gully. These faint cairns will take you all the way to Teakettle if you follow them carefully. Anyways, scampered up Teakettle’s summit and FaceTimed the family to show them I make bad choices. By this time is was just before noon and I was quite aware that I may end up bailing on Potosi depending on weather.

Side note: I found the down climbs mellow on both Coffeepot and Teakettle. Any competent rock climber with stoke and confidence can forgo the rope on these peaks in my opinion. To each their own though.

Got lucky today with the weather, stayed mainly bluebird all day with just an occasional black-bottomed cloud. I decided that I would hoof it to the base of Potosi and make my choice from there since the way back to the 2wd trailhead is a scree-ski/bushwhack straight down towards the Yankee Boy road. Made it to the base at 1:40pm and with the weather window was on top of Potosi at 2pm. A bit late I know, but was omnipresent of incoming weather and my bailout options (which were plentiful). No thunder/lightning/rain all day.

Bushwhack to the car was a bit grim, super steep and super loose but made it work. Next time I think I’ll start with Potosi and make my way to Sneffels, that way you can scree-ski down the basin below Teakettle.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Solid Effort
08/10/2020 20:28
It was great to run into you on Cirque today. I kept looking back in the gully but didn't see you. Now it makes sense that you traversed the choss. Happy you got all the summits. Enjoy Chicago Basin.


That’s a big day
08/11/2020 07:17
Nice job. I preferred to rap rather than downclimb just because of how crusty that rock is. Coffeepot especially is a big mound of choss/kitty litter

Jon Messah
08/11/2020 09:00
Stoked you found this, only person Iâve spoken to in days which is nice. Definitely will enjoy Chi!

Seemed to me that the rock quality in the chimney In Coffeepot wasnât too bad, everything else about the day was a choss-fest but every summit pitch seemed to be cleaned by traffic over the years.


08/12/2020 14:06
Nicely done. Looking at Kismet from the saddle with Cirque didn't look promising but it sounds like there's are reasonable way to climb what you descended.

Excellent report
08/13/2020 23:51
Great accomplishment and cool report.
On 08 17 it will be 33 years since the only time I was on Kismet.

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