Mt Sneffels

Mt. Sneffels is a classic of the San Juan Mountains with its curious name and a great selection of routes. The peak is the centerpiece of the skyline above Ouray and Ridgway and can be climbed any time of year in a variety of conditions.

From the standard Lavender Col to more challenging routes on the north face, there is a great variety of  routes to choose from making this peak the focal point of southwest Colorado alpine climbing. Whether climbing Sneffels in the spring with perfect firm snow conditions or in the fall during dry conditions it is one of Colorado’s best 14er climbs.

COST
1 person: $450
2 people: $288 per person
3 people: $225 per person

  • mt sneffels 14er in colorado
  • high on the north buttress of mt sneffels
  • southwest ridge route on mt sneffels
  • lavender col route on mt sneffels

Overview


Skill Development

This is an awesome peak in it’s own right! It’s also a great place to prepare for trips into the Alaska Range or Cascades where the routes have greater commitment. Spring snow climbing combined with rock climbing instruction is a great way to make an entrance to the complex and challenging world of alpine climbing. Check out our INTRO TO ALPINE CLIMBING course if you are interested in a multi-day skill development course.

Details


Group Size

This is a private program, no one else will be paired with your party. The maximum group size depends on the objective, but in most cases you can expect a guide with every 2 climbers.

Time and Place

This trip meets at a location to be determined with your guide. As an alpine objective, it may be necessary to start early in the morning to align the time on the route with the best conditions or a specific weather window.

Equipment List

All the technical climbing equipment required for this outing is included.

View “general” equipment list as PDF

View “technical bivy” equipment list as PDF

View video “Packing for Alpine Climbing”

Selected Routes


Lavender Col Route – Class 3

The Lavender Col Route is the “standard” route to the summit. Beginning in Yankee Boy Basin where a climber’s trail cuts off to Mt. Sneffels from the trail to Blue Lakes, the route follows a climber’s trail up a broad scree slope to a notch at 13,500 feet called Lavender Col. From Lavender Col, the route steepens as it ascends Lavender Couloir, a 40 degree gully that leads almost to the summit. This section is usually snow covered in April, May, and early June and will require crampons and ice axe to securely navigate. During the mid and late-summer it is snow free and simple hiking shoes will suffice. From the top of the couloir, a short step of rock scrambling (3rd-4th class) leads to the upper slopes of the peak. This route typically takes 6-8 hours car-to-car and involves approximately 4.5 miles of hiking and 2800 feet of elevation gain/loss.

the standard route lavender col on mt sneffels crux moves

Southwest Ridge – Class 3-4

The Southwest Ridge Route is also accessed via Yankee Boy Basin at Blue Lakes Pass. In early season conditions a prominent couloir connects the climber’s trail to the upper ridge. A short section of 4th class/low 5th class climbing at the top of the couloir marks the entrance to the upper ridge. From this point on, the climbing steepens and the ridge narrows. We continue ascending the ridge on Class 3 terrain until the summit is reached. We descend the Lavender Col Route back to Yankee Boy Basin. This route typically takes 6-8 hours car-to-car and involves approximately 5 miles of hiking and 2800 feet of elevation gain/loss.

southwest ridge route on mt sneffels 14er in colorado

Snake Couloir – Steep Snow 5.4 III

Located on the North side of Mt. Sneffels, the Snake Couloir has steep snow and ice climbing up to 55 degrees and a 100’ pitch of mid-5th class rock climbing. It is the most classic alpine climb in the range and a great accomplishment for any climber. It is also an excellent training ground for learning alpine mountaineering skills such as crampon use, ice axe use, and technical ropework. This climb typically takes two days car-to-car (with an overnight camp in between) and involves approximately 11 miles of hiking and 4500 feet of elevation gain/loss.

topping out snow climbing snake couloir on mt sneffels

North Buttress – Mod Snow 5.6 III

The North Buttress of Mt. Sneffels is a specific feature on the north face of the mountain. Rising sharply on the climber’s left of the Snake Couloir, the route climbs a broad rib to the col just below the summit.

the start of north buttress alpine rock climb mt sneffels

Contact Us

Peak Mountain Guides, LLC
160 Liddell St. #C3 | Ridgway CO 81432
PO Box 2051 | Ridgway CO 81432

Authorized Permittee

Peak Mountain Guides is an authorized permittee of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison National Forest; San Juan National Forest; Bureau of Land Management Monticello, Moab, Gunnison, and Glennallen Field Offices; Eldorado Canyon State Park; Ouray Ice Park, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; and National Parks including Mt. Rainier, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Colorado National Monument. Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.