Type: Trad, Alpine, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,053 total · 39/month
Shared By: Furthermore on Aug 14, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

31 Opinions

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This route is a nice, easy, class 3, alpine scramble compared to the more difficult routes on the north side of Sneffels. If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, it can shorten the climb dramatically. Hike up the 4-wheel drive road in Yankee Boy Basin and follow the Blue Lakes trail to Blue Lakes pass on the south-south west side of Sneffels. Now hike northeast on the west side of the ridge. While hiking on the west side of the ridge, you will pass some small notches. Hike until you have reached a very dominate notch. Now, switch to the east side of the ridge through the notch and enter a gully rising back up to the ridge. Climb the gully to regain the ridge, and then climb the ridge directly to the summit. When you get out of the gully, the rock is solid, fun climbing.




How is this relevent to rock/ice climbing? Just curious. Not trying to be rude, but if this becomes hiking boulder in addition to climbing boulder, the databases could become a pain to sift through... Sep 10, 2004
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I agree with Matt, this route is much more fun than the standard route. This route isn't climbed often, probably because it looks harder than class 3. Sep 11, 2004
Thanks for explaining. I too have done this scramble, and I agree that it is wonderful and absolutely classic. I guess scrambles are that grey area between hikes and climbs. In any case, I also see that "class 3" is an option in the ratings drop down menu, whereas class 1 & 2 are not, so that must be the cutoff. Thanks for commenting. Sep 11, 2004
Jason Nelson
Jason Nelson   SLC, UT
You can also take a snow chute as a direct start to the ridge in the spring for some easy alpine ice or snow slogging if it's too warm. This would be an alternative to hiking up Blue Lakes pass from Yankee Boy Basin. I did this once when I was too lazy to hike around the mountain and do the Snake Couloir.
Round trip car to car for this route is about 4-5 hrs if you park below the lake, above the bathroom. Pretty fast for a 14er! Also plan on about 45mins to drive from Ouray.
I would also not recommend climbing the initial rock ridge off of Blue Lakes Pass. Stacked blocks galore! Jul 19, 2007
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
I climbed this route this summer, and honestly, I wasn't too impressed. I tried to stay high on the ridge several times; however, the rock quality of the exposed towers scared me away. Certainly watch for rotten rock on this route. Aug 31, 2007
This route is really fun. Good class 3 scrambling. The final couple hundred feet are easy and solid with some exposure. When we did the climb, ice in the crux gully made it more like class 4. Highly enjoyable route to a great summit. The only drawback is the long 4WD road. I refuse to drive all the way to the top parking lot. I like to climb mountains, not drive up them. Jan 12, 2011
Mike, welcome to the San Juans. Lots of rock like that. Keeps it exciting. Jul 8, 2013
The SW Ridge is miles better than the regular route which is a total pile. Nothing over third class, and the rock is surprisingly solid.

If you 4 wheel into Yankee Boy, there is a good trail to Blue Lakes Pass. I did it in 1 hr 3 minutes from the parking lot to the summit on July 4th, and I’ll be 75 in a couple of weeks. The righteous way is to start at the Blue Lakes Trailhead at 9,400 ft. Jul 6, 2018