For some upcoming travel I needed to get a new National Parks pass, so this evening I made a quick trip to Rocky Mountain National Park to get the pass (quick tip – if you get it at RMNP, you can use it to enter the park via unattended gate – can save 10-15 minutes on busy mornings). Since I was there, went for a quick hike to Dream Lake, but spent most of my time taking photos and enjoying sunset over the Longs Peak. This one was probably one of the last I took… nice pink hit the clouds just for couple minutes before it all turned into grey…
I started hiking 14ers last year (24 ⛰ so far) and Mount Sneffels is one I attempted last year and not summited. At the time I didn’t know about 14ers website or the 14ers app, I just did basic info on some in the area I was going to be, mainly based on pictures I saw from other folks on Instagram. Then I hiked them.
So I was going to do overnight stay in Ouray on my way to Telluride and thought that coming up via Yankee Basin to hit Sneffels would be great the next day. I did not know that there’s such thing as V to climb through. So in early October of 2020 around 3am, never been to Yankee Basin, I left Ouray in Honda Pilot AWD to the trail head… I’m still amazed how far I made up the road… in complete darkness it doesn’t look that bad, haha.
I hiked up the standard route, criss-crossing all that nasty dirt and lose rock all the way up the final chute. Sun about to rise. I am looking around and do not see where I need to go up next. Drop to North West. Straight up wall to the left of it. Then this little opening a few feet up, and another drop back to the chute I just came up from. I looked at all potential next route choices and figured that the opening is the way you have to go. Mentally I was not expecting it and not ready to do it. I stared at V for good 15-20 minutes till another climber showed up. We talked about it. He was from east coast and it was his long time goal to make this summit. He mentioned that it was in route description, this V notch thingy. I was like, umm, yeah. Then another guy came up. We talked about it, we joked about it. Both of them made into it. I was still looking at it. I was at peace that I’m not going to summit it today, just a few feet away from the summit. Kind of weird calmness. Not my day. The first guy came back from the summit. I looked at V for a few more minutes, took this photo and started my descent back to the car.
I hope one day I’ll make it to the summit. I’ll sure share some photos. Stay safe out there.