Mount Sneffels - Queen of the San Juans
|Mount Sneffels is the Queen of the San Juan Mountains|
At the Dallas Divide, a restrained landscape of lower hay fields gives way to riotous slopes of quaking aspen and colorful wildflowers. Rising above tree line is a sweep of rugged terrain composed of banded layers of rock, steep crags and serrated ridges. Positioned majestically amongst these enormous peaks is the "Queen of the San Juans".
Mount Sneffels is one of the most beautiful peaks in Colorado. The diamond-shaped, east face of Longs Peak is spectacular and the Maroon Bells are picture-perfect, but my favorite mountain is Sneffels. The odd name comes from the Hayden Survey of 1874. They thought the peak resembled the Icelandic, Snaefell volcano featured in Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.
My two brothers and I reached the top of the world when we summited Mount Sneffels a few years ago. We bypassed the standard route that ascends a steep, scree-filled gully. Instead, we chose to scramble up the perilous southwest ridge. To achieve our lofty goal, we had to navigate a labyrinth of rock spires and crawl across a terrifying, knife-edge ridge.
I've approached Mount Sneffels from every direction, during different seasons and in all kinds of weather. Reaching the pinnacle was an awesome experience but the climb was never about bagging just another 14er. It was about building a relationship with the mountain and creating a bond with my brothers.
|Elk in the lower hay fields|
|We had to navigate a labyrinth of rock spires|
|A sweep of rugged terrain|
|Mount Sneffels is a beautiful peak|
|The top of the world|
|Sneffels is one of the most photographed peaks|
|Snaefell is the Nordic word for snowfield|
|Fall colors below Mount Sneffels|
|Spring in the Sneffels Range|
|I've approached Sneffels from every direction|
|Reaching the pinnacle was awesome|
|Mounts Sneffels from the Dallas Divide|