|Sunset on Colorado 14er Mt. Sneffels
It's amazing how big the difference is between sleeping in a tent and sleeping in a camper. I spent 4 nights at Ridgway State Park with Mom, Dad, and James in Dad's camper after spending most of the summer sleeping (or more like not sleeping) in a tent. Even during our climb I could tell that I had more energy and felt better because of the full night's rest on the memory foam mattress. We only climbed on one of the days we were there, and It was fun to have a change of pace and just hang out with the family.
The park itself is extremely well kept with lots of fun stuff to do - Biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing, etc. with awesome views all around. I will have to return here sometime!
|One of Mom's favorite activities
Dad, James and I hiked the peak on our second day there and woke up around sunrise to drive down to the trailhead. Ridgway is so close to Ouray so we had no need to get a pre-dawn start. We took the 4 wheeler to the upper trailhead. This cut our elevation gain down to about 1,700 ft. for the climb. Another nice change of pace from the other longer more physically demanding peaks of the summer.
|Waterfall in Yankee Boy Basin
|ATV at the upper trailhead in Yankee Boy Basin
We started up the trail and came to the steep loose "kitty litter" slope that leads to the saddle. Slow going from here. About half way up this section, Dad's back was bothering him. He's had multiple surgeries on his neck and back over the years, and he made the wise call to stop at this point and head back.
|Rock spires and the setting moon
|James working his way up
Once we reached the saddle, the fun began! I'd hiked Sneffels before with Cami, but forgot how dramatic the scenery is! The route is a bit punishing, but the views make it worth it.
|Teakettle Mountain has to be one of the coolest looking peaks I've seen!
|Colorado 14ers Uncompahgre Peak to the east with Wetterhorn peak directly in front of it
|The Wilson Group 14ers to the Southwest
|Blue Lakes Pass with Gilpin Peak and "Black Tops" from about the same time a couple years ago - Prints available
Once we reached the top of the Col the infamous "V" notch crux awaited us. James was a little concerned about climbing through this quick section because of his recent shoulder surgery. Other than a bit of exposure on the left side before entering the notch, the climbing isn't too hard. I'd say the move is more awkward than difficult. James had no problems with it. Once past this section, the remaining scramble to the top is short and sweet.
|Summit Panoram from the summit of Mt. Sneffels
Here's a quick video of the climb:
|Wildflowers and Potosi Peak in Yankee Boy Basin
|Gilpin Peak and indian paintbrush wildflowers from Yankee Boy Basin
It was a fun hike and a beautiful day which only confirmed that Sneffels is one of my favorite 14er climbs. The Ridgway/Ouray area is a special place that I would highly recommend visiting.
|Parting shot of the Cimmarrons