Wednesday, July 07, 2010

AAS Summits Mt. Sneffels!

DATELINE: 20 May 2010 - After having our sites on Mt. Sneffels in Ouray CO. for a few years, we finally put the trip together! We had 2 teams, Dan Paul & Kirk from New Mexico and Brian & Jeff from Colorado. We all met at a bar in Ouray (surprise) and headed up the 6 mile road that we heard was open to Camp Bird. We knew the mountain spirits were with us when, at the table next to ours, a local guide overheard our plans and gave us the thumbs-up on conditions in the basin area ;-)

Indeed the road was open and we drove up to base camp on Thursday evening. The weather was fantastic and we didn't see any evidence of natural avalanches or other dangerous conditions... Here's a little clip:

Next morning we hit it for the trek up to advanced base camp in Yankee Boy Basin proper at the foot Mt. Sneffels. We made short work of the skin up and commenced to making our home for the next 2 days. We had 5 adventurers so we decided to dig 2 snow caves, the Weasel Cave for the Non-Snorers (Dan, Paul & Brian) and the Bear Cave for the snorers (Kirk & Jeff). After about 2 hours of digging like crazed groundhogs we had our new home!

The next day we fired up the stoves before dawn, made water and breakfast and started our ascent! Conditions were perfect, everything was frozen solid and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

Here's a clip of the beginning of the ascent up Lavender Col:

After about 2 hours of excellent steep snowfield climbing we stopped for a snack at the top of the Col then shot this clip from the "Notch" just before the final walk over to the summit proper:

It was a fantastic ascent and we put a team on the summit before noon ;-)

The ski down was a bit icy but we all skied/boarded back down and left our tracks on Ole' Sneffels! Paul even took a little side trip to the other side of the basin and got it some fresh lines below Mt. Morgan.

The mountain gods were kind to the AAS and all in all, it was a kick-ass trip and we finished up the 2009-2010 ski season with a BANG! Next ?

1 comment:

lizrdboy said...

Brilliant trip men. I'm totally jealous that I missed it. Calm day, solid snow, snow caves, big mt... dang. I'm bummed I missed it. Nice footage too.