Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,155 feet
Date Posted:  04/05/2010
Modified:  10/11/2013
Date Climbed:   04/04/2010
Author:  mountainmicah83
 Sneffels- Why the CAIC shouldn`t be your sole sorce.   

Sneffels- Why the CAIC isn't always right
End Result: Lots of fun and experience gained but no attempt on summit from Lower TH
Elevation Gain: 3,000 Ft.
Total Mileage: 10
Climbers: Micah (me), Matt, Ben
This will be rather long, but I hope to point out what types of safety calls we were constantly having to make and how our due diligence most definitely prevented us from any fatalities. While this may be boring for the experienced snow winter/spring mountaineer, it may be very valuable for the less experienced while providing great beta for those looking for a shot at this mountain.
I normally don't post TR's with failed attempts, but in this case I feel that I can provide some good beta and would say that I don't feel as bad when there are conditions out of my control preventing the bagging of a summit which is always just a bonus to me on top of the Zen that these trips usually provide.
My normal routine this winter has been to seek out peaks 1-2 weeks in advance and do all of the necessary research and acquire partners as necessary. To be honest, the hardest part always seems to be talking someone into going. If it was summer, I would be more likely to solo, but not in winter. Two weeks ago, not realizing that this was Easter weekend, I decided to plan a trip for Sneffels this weekend, hoping for my first Ski descent this spring. I choose the Lavender Couloir route for skiing with a avy danger backup of the class 3 ridge route both from Yankee Boy Basin. I got Matt on board from the start and then Ben, my brother-in-law, who hardly gets to come on trips calls me up and asked my mountain climbing schedule. I invited him along to Sneffels knowing that my tent only holds three. Without more partners and another worthy tent, I was forced to kick the dog out. A couple of days later, we realize that we have planned a trip over Easter. I thought this would never fly with the wives, but sure enough they let us go (this will probably never happen again).
On Tuesday, I called the Ouray Sherriff who told me that there was 26" new snow from the previous few days and that CR361 (Camp Bird road) was usually plowed to at least camp Bird. I then called Telluride Ski patrol, knowing they were nearby to see what kind of Avalanche activity they were experiencing. They said just minimal slide activity and recommended that I call Helitrax who guides Heli and Cat skiing in the area. Helitrax told me that the snow was surprisingly stable up in the Imogene area but that they hadn't seen Yankee Boy Basin. They had been throwing bombs out and couldn't even cause any slides but said to caution to the coming storm.
Rest of report located at my blog here

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Comments or Questions

04/05/2010 22:15

Kevin Baker
Good decision
04/06/2010 01:40
Nice trip which made for a great learning experience. Building on those so called ”failures” will lead to safer mountaineering down the road. I believe the peak you asked about in your pics is ranked 12er Stony Mtn. I‘m guessing you took that shot a bit west of the Sneffels town site?

Very cool dude!
04/06/2010 02:41
Nice attempt and I second Kevin‘s remarks!

04/06/2010 04:57
Kevin is right: it‘s Stony Mtn. (I know I‘ll be going back there one day, and it‘s on the agenda!) Cool TR; it looks like you guys had good (and sane!) fun.

04/06/2010 11:36
Thanks for the comments all. I believe now that when we turned around and I looked at the map, I remember saying that it is Stony Mountain and that it was around 12,600‘. That‘s kind of when I knew we were in the wrong place.

04/06/2010 13:57
Thanks for the story. Sounds like a fun adventure, I couldn‘t possibly describe it as a ”failure.” Good job, good decisions, except maybe that left turn...

Scooby Doo
04/06/2010 18:55
Love the Scooby Doo boxers ! You just might have started a new 14ers fashion trend. Now EVERYONE will be wearing them !

Icefall -- Awesome!!
04/07/2010 01:36
That was just a really nice trip report -- one of the best!! Great pics guys. I can‘t wait to do this mountain and would love to chance upon the same conditions!!!

Half Marathon....
04/07/2010 01:43
1:50? Hey, that sounds like about 7 mph... We might be pretty well matched on Peak bagging times. Oh, wait - every Mountainmicah83 adventure is really an adventure! A little saucy for my style!!!
Just seems you and Matt ain‘t happy unless you‘re on a 5.9+ ridge at 1 am - with lots of snow and ice! Hmm....
Well, nice job, gents. Glad I didn‘t go. (hehe...)

And Micah, congrats on that 5.11a lead the other day! Had a great time with you guys out there, let‘s do it again. you think maybe you could drop it back a notch or two and we could go get something a little more ”tame” ???

Seriously, good call on this one, and nice effort. Right down to the shorts. : )

04/07/2010 12:57
I wasn‘t even going to do a TR for this and Dancesatmoonrise talked me into it. Thanks for reading everyone.

As for Scooby Doo- I hope you all start wearing them on the trail. Now, only if they made some in non-cotton. Hmmm.

Eye candy ...
04/07/2010 16:43
In more way than one! Thanks for posting. Happy trails!

04/08/2010 15:56
I want to go with you guys! Winter camping + mountain men getting a tan... sweet.

Good times
04/17/2010 02:23
We do get into it, don‘t we?
Not the best attire for beetle sized ice showers, albeit a fashion statement nun the less.

The last picture
04/29/2010 02:31 classic. Hell yeah good report

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