Matt Mahoney's 2001 Colorado Vacation
Mt. Sneffels, 14,150 Ft.
July 9, 2001. I climbed Mt. Sneffels by the class 3 ridge from Blue Lake Pass. Finally after 13 days (minus 3 days at 4000-7000 ft) I could feel the altitude acclimation taking effect. It seemed to take less effort to climb with more speed.
Mt. Sneffels from the south. The class 3 route starts from Blue Lake Pass (left side of picture, climbs behind the spires along the lower half of the SW ridge, then along the top and front of the upper ridge to the summit. I descended the standard route (class 2+) along the SE ridge (right side of picture), then SW down the scree slope. The entire loop from the trail intersection at the bottom is one mile.
The trail to Blue Lake Pass, heading northwest.
Blue Lake Pass. Turn right to start the class 3 climb.
The climb from the pass starts up some steep rocks, but not too loose.
Continuing up, it becomes very steep, but there are faint signs of a trail, and the footing is firm.
After climbing half way up, cross a steep ravine to the right side of the ridge. The most difficult sections are here, with some pitches of 10 feet or so at 60 degrees.
Blue Lake Pass from the ridge.
The summit at last.
The Blue Lakes as seen from the summit.
Descending the standard route. Your goal is southeast along the trail (left, following the climber in blue) and down the couloir (right) to the saddle (light color), then turn right and go SW down the steep scree slopes.