Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Gilpin Pk  -  13,694 feet
Date Posted:  05/13/2009
Date Climbed:   05/10/2009
Author:  realhillboarding
 Yankee Boy Basin Conditions   

I‘ll post full trip reports later when i have more time, but i thought a few pictures would be helpful to anyone looking to go to this area soon. We were in Yankee Boy Basin skiing and snowboarding various routes from 5/7/09-5/11/09. Solar aspects we well baked and excellent spring snow, with the exception of the couloir above the Lavender Col on Sneffels, which was extremely choppy due to somebody skiing it while it was still wet, sticky, unconsolidated snow. North facing slopes still had not fully baked out, and we were turned back on two different routes due to questionable snow. North facing should be much better by this weekend.

the snow in the valleys was extremely dirty and essentially un-skiable unless it was relatively high-angle slopes

the chutes on the north face of Stony Mtn looked fantastic

the snow didn‘t freeze on saturday night, so we had to turn back on our attempt of this couloir separating Governors Basin and Sidney Basin

topping out on Sneffels

The south face of Sneffels

Gilpen Peak was calling us all week

Gilpen didn‘t want us to climb it and started hurling rocks at us when we were about halfway up the couloir at 8:30, so we had to turn back and ski down from the midpoint.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

 Comments or Questions

05/14/2009 03:00
I recognize that dog! We arrived at the bathroom in Yankee Boy on Saturday as you guys were leaving for Sneffels. Gave either you or your buddy a beer later on. We were gawking at that cross couloir on the way out. Got any more beta? How far up did you go?


thanks for the beer!
05/14/2009 22:53
that was me that was lucky enough to get a beer, thanks! The snow didn‘t freeze that night, so we ended up hiking up the low angle stuff hoping that as we got higher we would find frozen snow. As soon as we hit the first somewhat steep section (still about 200-300‘ below the entrance of the couloir), we heard a small ”whoomp” as the top few inches of snow settled and immediately high-tailed it back to the car. So no luck on the cross couloir, i guess that one will just have to go on my lifetime to-do list

Easy Rider

Thanks again
05/17/2009 20:21
That was a decision maker for me, headed down there tonight.

05/28/2009 12:56
Did you all need crampons at all during this climb? Was there much avalanche danger in your opinion?


re: snow
05/30/2009 04:57
There was another party that climbed it the same day as us without using crampons or ice axes, so i guess it can be done, but i wouldn‘t have felt safe without them as the pitch approaches 45 degrees.

Regarding avy danger: There was relatively new snow when we were there. The new snow on the lavender col route hadn‘t slid out and hadn‘t baked down yet, so it got sloppy and had moderate danger later in the day, but the birthday chutes had slid previously and were quite solid and safe. Avy danger may have changed significantly since then, so i can‘t give an accurate opinion on that...if it freezes solid overnight, it probably is fairly low danger.


road conditions
11/30/2010 17:28
I updated the Trailhead Status page and meant to include the information in this as well, but i spaced it... the road is clear to about 11,200‘, here's what i wrote on the other page...

2wd cars can make it 6.8 miles up the road to the Yankee Boy Basin sign, beyond that high clearance and 4wd (preferably low gear) are necessary. The road is snowed in at the outhouse 7.7 miles up the road. When we arrived on 5/6/09, the road was in far better shape than when we left on 5/11/09 because the road was rapidly eroding due to snowmelt. We were driving a stock Tacoma and occasionally scraped lightly when crossing the waterbars.

Easy Rider

Thanks for the post
02/05/2011 00:22
How far up the road can you get now.

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.