Ascent of Mount Sniktau on 2010-09-04

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser
Date:Saturday, September 4, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Sniktau
    Elevation:13234 ft / 4033 m

Ascent Trip Report

My son and I arrived in Colorado for a 2 day peakbagging excursion. He impressed me a few month earlier by leaving an envelope with 300 dollars in it knowing how expensive it is to do out of state peakbagging trips. It paid about half of his way. He is only 14!

I had never quite taken him above 13,000 feet so I had to plan this quick trip carefully. The idea was to arrive Friday night after work, rent car, and drive to Loveland pass to acclimate that night (since we live at elevation 53). We wanted him to bag his first 13er and 14er. So we arrived at the road to Loveland Pass and stopped on an exit parking lot short of the pass and spent the night "car camping" at 11,200 feet. We were exhausted and I forced him to overhydrate so to help him acclimate and we both took some diamox. As the sun was about to rise, we drove to the pass at 11,990, packed, and set out at about 5:30 AM.

The idea was to enjoy Grays Peak and Torreys Peak from the west slopes and allow me to finish the peaks on that side of the range that I had started climbing earlier that year in winter (February). I was missing the 2 small peaks on the north part of the ridge that goes from Mount Sniktau to Torrys Peak to the south. We climbed up and over the point 12,915 then summitted the south Mount Sniktau as the sun was rising. The temperature was 45 degrees out but with the stiff wind was quite chilly and we (along with all other early Colorado natives) were dressed in warm clothes, wind breakers and beanies.

The South Peak (see sequence 2 or "b" has a more interesting peak and a nice wind shelter which we needed. The more nothern peak is a slight bit higher and has grand views to the north but no shelter from the wind. There is some extra gain in between the saddles on the way from the south sub peak to Mount Snkitau. Not much but I usually keep track of those up and downs along ridge climbs because if you don't you underestimate how hard they are on net gain alone.

We retraced our steps quickly getting in as much altitude and Daniel getting his first two peaks above 13k before returning to the car and driving a few miles to the north side of Grays Peak and launching up the Stevens Gulch Trail to set up a base camp and bag one more 13er for acclimation before attempting the two 14ers. See trip report of Kelso Mountain.

We left the car at 5:30 AM and had bagged the other sub peaks along the way and covered the 3.6 miles and around 1,800 total feet of gain in about 2.3 hours.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:214 ft / 65 m
    Elevation Loss:214 ft / 65 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Grade/Class:1 and 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:214 ft / 65 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Route:Ridge trail to Sniktau
    Trailhead:saddle between Peaks  13020 ft / 3968 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:214 ft / 65 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Trailhead:same  13020 ft / 3968 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Gray/Torrey (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1East Loveland Pass Peak2010-09-04 a
2Mount Sniktau-South Peak2010-09-04 b
3Mount Sniktau2010-09-04 c
4Mount Sniktau-South Peak2010-09-04 d
5East Loveland Pass Peak2010-09-04 e
6Kelso Mountain2010-09-04 f
7Grays Peak2010-09-05 g
8Torreys Peak2010-09-05 h

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