Mt Sneffels 14,150′ Lavender Couloir Solo 5/11/2012

Plans change when going for summits. My original plan for this day was to ski Castle Peak. The weather had other ideas for the mountains north of Gunnison. Luckily I checked the weather before leaving Denver. I changed the plan and lost my partners for the day. Something about 12 hours of driving scared them off. It looked like there would be a weather window in the morning for the area around Telluride. I had been wanting to get back to Sneffels for a long time. Back in either 96 or 97 I skied the Snake Couloir. However considering that the line starts after the rappel I wanted a summit ski. So up I went.

I drove to the “end of the road” where the snow wouldn’t let me go any farther. This was roughly between Stony Mountain and Potosi. I got a good alpine start of 7am and made decent time. After changing to crampons below Lavender Col I made my way up ice to the col itself. This was my mistake. I should have climbed the last Birthday Chute. Oh well next time, and there will be a next time, there are so many beautiful lines back in this zone. Anyway I made it to the top of the couloir and had a decision to make. The cliff leading to the summit was my decision. I made my way up half of it and decided to back off. I was alone and didn’t think the summit ski was even in. I thought I might have to downclimb the cliff and didn’t like that option. Not to mention the rock was horrid. There was weather as close as Dallas Peak. It just didn’t seem like a good idea. But I got in 3200′ of skiing almost all the way back to the truck. Not a bad 3 1/2 hours in my opinion.

I high tailed it back to Denver in time to hangout with my kids a day early. On the way back there was an insane snow storm from Silverthorne to Evergreen. Gotta love Colorado. Enjoy the pics.

On the road again
This is a great place to wake up.
Hotel 4Runner
I think I need to install a coffee maker in the 4Runner
Potosi left, Stony right.
Sneffels is looking pretty thin right now but what the hell I'm here.
Gilpin Peak's North Couloir looks sick.
Emma and Gilpin. Classic San Juan peaks.
Dallas Peak for a friend
Looking up Lavender Couloir
Great light all morning
Looking down Lavender Couloir
Looking back at some great corn snow.
Thank you old miners for building the road to such a great place
100' of visibility a points on the drive home.


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