High Marking on Mt. Sneffles, 14,150ft. August 2nd, 2009

August 19, 2009 at 2:07 pm 2 comments

Highest Cheeseburger7 days and counting…..until I am supposed to be climbing the Grand Teton. Considering Groovy Dad lives at or near sea level, and I have not done a real hike, trek or climb, in nearly 5 years, I have my doubts on my upcoming performance. Thus, the last 3 weeks have been spent on tuning the UPS truck like chassis into Maserati (or at least a Toyota 4runner) like performance vehicle. The tune up to this point has been riding a road bike and carrying a 60lb pack around the hills of Hew Hampshire. Today, the tune up requires the trail test at elevation….. Now there is a simple route up Mt Sneffles that is a total of 2.5miles and 1700ft of elevation round trip from a “parking lot” for Toyota FJ’s. Although my approach vehicle was an FJ, I chose a different route via the Blue Lakes trail head that would test both endurance and climbing ability. After locating the keys to the FJ, in my in laws bedroom (yep woke them up!), I headed out. 20 Minutes later I was starting down the trailhead. Within a mile, a dozen turkeys met me on the trail. I followed them for nearly 10 minutes as they walked ahead of me down the trail. Very amusing I might add. Within 90 minutes I was at the lower Blue Lake. I then continued to head upward to the upper Blue lakes and the switch backs from Hell. I had noted on google earth images that there were 17 switch backs up to the Blue Lakes pass (Elevation 12,960ft).Switch backs From the pass, I could see a good number of other hikers and climbers scrambling and climbing up the scree and boulder fields leading up to the summit of Mt. Sneffles. After getting to the high saddle at the top of the scree and boulder field, I joined up with 3 other hikers to kick in steps of the snow field in the couloir. We had been warned by climbers with Mt axes, that the upper snow field in the couloirs was solid ice. Here is where I remembered my crampons were back in the garage…ooops. By the time we reached the top of the coluoir, we found the warmer temps had soften the ice and we could easily continue kicking in steps to make the notch near the top of the snow field to climb through to reach the summit ridge. From here it is an easy bouldering/walk up to the summit. After 5 hours, 8 miles, ~5000ft of elevation, and one lovely cheeseburger (purchased at the Ouray Hot springs the day before) later, I knew the UPS truck like chassis appeared to be tuned. Now, to get down and back to the trail head….as snow pellets were hitting me on the way down from the summit, I added two additional layers and thought “This is more clothing than I thought I would have needed” and I wonder if I have enough clothing for the Grand Teton”. The descent down was without incident and within 4 hours, I was back at the trail head feeling great for putting 16 miles under foot and obtaining the Highest Cheeseburger summit to date!!High marked

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Entry filed under: Colorado Summits.

A Visit to Utah…and Bald Mountain Warm up on Mt Morgan and Percival, New Hampshire @ 2220ft. 7/22/09

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sirloinofbeef  |  August 20, 2009 at 9:31 am

    A new high point! Congrats.

    Reply
  • 2. samh  |  August 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Enjoy The Grand!

    Reply

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To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.

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