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  1. #1
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    Jan 2005
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    TR: Mt Sneffels (No, seriously this time)

    October 15, 2006
    Mt. Sneffels 14,150'

    With all the recent TR’s coming out of Montezuma basin Mountainbikerskierchick and I were jonesing hard to get some turns in. The storms of the last 2 weeks have been favoring the south and central mountains of CO, and the snowline has often been very high. With a high trailhead of almost 12,000ft, Yankee boy basin and Mt. Sneffels seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

    2:45 came early, as it always does, and we were on the road by 3am. We stopped at Denny’s in Montrose, and I was pretty much OD’ing on coffee and lack of sleep. The road to Yankee boy basin is really interesting, and there is a lot of mining history there. It’s hard to believe that miners built roads like these: (Photos taken in the pm)







    By the time we skinned up, it was about 7:30, and a few inches of fresh snow had fallen overnight. Clouds began to roll in once again, and some fairly heavy snow was falling for a while.



    Minutes later, it began to clear




    We continued to make our way up the standard summer climbing route to the Lavender col, at 13,500’. The snow here wasn’t all that deep, being S facing and somewhat windscoured. Past the col, the route begins to ascend a couloir, shown here:




    At this point, it was pretty bluebird, and we were able to scope out the mighty San Juans, which definitely get my vote for favorite CO range.

    Wilson group, bringing back fond memories of skiing last spring:


    Teakettle:

    Gilpin:

    Dallas (peak on far right, reputedly the hardest of CO's high summits to climb):

    We reached the top of the Lavender col couloir at 14,020’, and got our first look at the N side of Sneffels, and it was deep. We needed to get to the summit to reach our intended route down the N side, but the rest of the ascent was looking really gnarly. I last climbed this route in 1993, and I really couldn’t remember it being that hard. A few inches of new snow on all the rocks, combined with my inability to remember the route, combined with my decision to save weight and not bring crampons, combined with fog rolling back in sealed our fate. The n side would have to wait for another day. The eastern facing couloir had received some sun in the 2 hours that the sun had been out, so the snow wasn’t great, but then again, we were skiing a big line on Oct. 15th, so life was good. Plus, it was my first day out with my new Canon a620, so I have finally entered the world of digi photography, not that I have the camera figured out by any means. Anyway, skiing shots:















    Sadly, my phototaking skills have not yet caught up to MBSC's skiing skills, so not many shots of her yesterday.

    Since we seem to be discussing snow conditions a lot this fall (which is a good thing), here’s what I found: When I dug quick little hand pits, I liked what I saw on Sneffels. Even in shallower areas near rocks, the snow was either damp and sticky, or frozen solidly together. This was true even on shaded aspects where the snowpack was 4 feet or more in places. When the sun came out in the morning, we saw a lot of point releases, but that only affected the new snow. On Gilpin, one of these point releases triggered a slab, but it only affected the new snow (less than a foot) and did not step down into the base pack. Still, as Iski pointed out in his latest TR, it is really variable right now, so just keep poking around out there, and see what you can see.
    Last edited by goldenboy; 10-16-2006 at 09:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    retired
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    12,488
    totally epic! nice!

  3. #3
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    Jan 2005
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    Beacon Hill, WA
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    565
    Way to kill it in the San Juans. With all the early snow in Southern CO (and none in the PNW), the El Nino winter is looking to be in full effect.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    North Vancouver/Whistler
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    9,810
    nice gb. Set the dial on the a620 to TV. It's always sunny and bluebird in CO anyhow (doesn't that get boring?) so just set shutter speed to 1/1000 or so. Push it up to 1/1250 or 1/1600 when it gets really annoyingly bluebird and you'll be good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    SLC
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    looks like they got a decent amount of snow down there. nice work

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    WHEREAS,
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    12,967
    very sweet TR.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roo View Post
    I don't think I've ever seen mental illness so faithfully rendered in html.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Where the Butte is Crested
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    It was a fun day out there! Thanks goldenboy!

    It was so tough to be so close to the summit, but yet so far.... but it was a good call for us to turn around at that point. Our route would have required us to climb over some class four scrambles, with a few inches of new snow on them, which would have been pretty much a death sentence. At any rate, it was a great day out, and so good to be making turns. Can't complain about anything in October

    The snow in the San Juans is looking good, especially on north-facing aspects. So, maggots, lets see some folks get it done down there!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  8. #8
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    Apr 2004
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    That first shot of you getting ready to drop in is kick-ass. I'm SO jealous.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2006
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    Missoula, MT
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    AHH!
    nice. wish i was out west with you guys. no snow here
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
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    1,309
    Nice shots....
    I like the San Juans...... reminds me of Switzerland

  11. #11
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    Jan 2005
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    cb, co
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    nice gb. Set the dial on the a620 to TV. It's always sunny and bluebird in CO anyhow (doesn't that get boring?) so just set shutter speed to 1/1000 or so. Push it up to 1/1250 or 1/1600 when it gets really annoyingly bluebird and you'll be good.
    Yeah, one of these days I need to find the time to read the manual and figure it out a bit. MBSC has the a610, so she set up some stuff for me, but I still have some work to do. Mostly shooting auto for now.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    berkeley
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    very nice pics. can't wait to get back out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    i can't believe how well covered it looks already. let's keep this up for the next few months, eh?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Niwot, CO
    Posts
    114
    My first post! Great pics man. Looks good down south already. Can't wait to get done with my in-home detention so I can rip. Hopefully N. CO gets some decent snow over the next couple weeks.
    Umbrellas are for fags.

  14. #14
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    Nov 2005
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    Where the Butte is Crested
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    Yeah, one of these days I need to find the time to read the manual and figure it out a bit. MBSC has the a610, so she set up some stuff for me, but I still have some work to do. Mostly shooting auto for now.
    LeeLau- I set up the custom settings on his camera to TV with a much slower shutter speed. We'll try the higher settings you suggest and see what happens. Thanks
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Crested Butte
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    Fuck yeah!!! Sneffels fo' rilla!
    Chocolate? This is doodoo, BABY!

  16. #16
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    Oct 2003
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    Van City and Whistler
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    Damn good stuff.

  17. #17
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    Nov 2005
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    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
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    most fine work. I lived down there for a few seasons back inna' day, I don't remember playing in such fine conditions this early in 94-95-96. Kudos!

  18. #18
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    Oct 2005
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    Point of No Return
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    That's awesome! Way to get after it guys!

  19. #19
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    Feb 2004
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    Denver
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    706
    nice work... way to stay safe
    We hold daggers in the side of the Moon...

  20. #20
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    Jan 2006
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    la la land
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    5,608
    Nice work folks!
    `..><((((>`..`..`...><((((>

    "Having been Baptized by uller his frosty air now burns my soul with confirmation. I am once again pure." - frozenwater

    "once i let go of my material desires many opportunities for playing with the planet emerge. emerge - to come into being through evolution. ok back to work - i gotta pack." - Slaag Master

    "As for Flock of Seagulls, everytime that song comes up on my ipod, I turn it up- way up." - goldenboy

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Lander, Wyoming
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    482
    Nice report and pictures. You guys are killin' early this season. Very jealous. Thanks for posting.

  22. #22
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    Jan 2006
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    Alpental
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    That is some good stuff!




    [aside]
    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    With all the early snow in Southern CO (and none in the PNW), the El Nino winter is looking to be in full effect.
    Hey now! It is only Oct 16th! Just a little early to be crying El Nino in the PNW, it's rare we get much before Thankgiving in most years, and we got some above 4000 today. [/aside]


    I like this one:



    Way to get after it!!!

    Keep the CO TRs coming.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Slummit County, CO
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    892
    Nice TR. I can't believe all the snow they've gotten down there. Sounds like a very good call on skipping the N side.

  24. #24
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    Mar 2005
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    Golden, CO!
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    2,113
    way to kill it guys! that basin is awesome...

  25. #25
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    Nov 2002
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    Eagle River Alaska
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    sweetness
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

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