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.
1 person: $450
2 people: $288 per person
3 people: $225 per person
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.
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.
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.
All the technical climbing equipment required for this outing is included.
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 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.
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.
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 Peak Guide House
311 Main Street | Ouray CO 81427
Peak Mountain Guides, LLC
160 Liddell St. #C3 | Ridgway CO 81432
PO Box 2051 | Ridgway CO 81432