While the scrambling on the Southwest Ridge is category three on solid rock, a helmet is still suggested. The standard category 2+ route down Lavender Couloir and the South Slopes is additional unpleasant than it's difficult, however if inclemency hits close to the summit it is a long great distance back either way.
As always, use caution and convey many food, water, and sun/rain protection. Quick hikers will expect a 3.5-4 hr. hike; most can take nearer to 6-8 hrs. A quarter mile south of Ouray on United States 550, flip west onto CR361 (2WD, dirt) toward yank Boy Basin. Drive fastidiously, as there are some tiny shelf sections on the road.
At 4.7 miles, keep right on CR26. In 1.4 miles, keep right once more at the junction for Imogene Pass. Suffer the deserted Sneffels town site. In 0.5 miles keep right and pass a yank Boy Basin data sign. Keep right at the 853 1B road. Driving additional needs 4wd. Subarus and similar cars will make it regarding 0.9 miles to a lower beginning with facility. There are various pull-offs during this area. After this, a real cross-country vehicle (Jeep, Xterra, FJ, etc.) is needed. The upper trailhead is around 12,400 foot and is simply underneath a mile from here (see map).
From the lower beginning, hike up the 4wd road. Whereas there are a number of switchbacks here and there, the grade is low and rocks on the path are simply avoided. Come back to a flat space at twelve, 300 ft., angling to the proper to achieve the higher trailhead. Hike by Texans and their Jeeps, and continue northwest from the parking lot on Blue Lakes trail.
After 1 / 4 mile of walking on little talus path, come back to a junction. Turn left to remain on Blue Lakes path and climb up the southwest ridge (turning right Mt. Sneffels path brings you up the valley that you may descend). Follow the clear path from here to reach Blue Lakes Pass at 13,000 ft.
Turn right on the pass up the Southwest Ride (see this route on Mountain Project) in regarding 100 meters come back to a collection of rock pinnacles. Hike on some talus to the left of those rock formations. From here, angle to the left up a brief valley. Climb regarding 150' on loose talus. Simply before the highest of the valley, suspend a right and enter another valley, scrambling on some more massive talus. Come back to the highest of this valley at 13,400 ft.
At now, you are still to the left of ridge proper. Suffer a notch at thirteen, 500 foot and drop little quantity on a slender and exposed path onto the proper aspect of the ridge. Hug the ridge and angle up a gully to the left, coming back to a different notch to your right. Finally, reach ridge correct at 13,700 ft. Up to the present purpose, route finding may be difficult. Simply put, hike up talus gullies and ne'er get over 50-100 foot from ridge correct. If the going gets actually troublesome, you are off route.
From ridge proper at 13,700 ft., the summit is visible. Scramble on some loose rocks for 100-200 foot some before reaching grippe, conglomerate rock. This is often the simplest part of the climb, and therefore the remainder of scrambling to the summit may be a pleasure. Reach the highest at fourteen, 150 ft., and enjoy. The manner down is less awesome.
From the summit, head SE down some excellent rock. Your goal is to descend a valley and reach a saddle at 13,500 ft. Walk off of the summit block and into a narrow valley, reaching a V-notch within the rock around fourteen,000 ft. Pop through this and angle to the proper down a rocky gully. The gully gets more and wider as you descend, and route finding from here is simple - it's essentially a funnel. This space is well-shaded and sometimes holds snow into July. Come to the saddle at 13,500 ft. be careful on the manner down: rocks are loose and snow is slippery.
From the saddle, hike down a comically steep gully of loose gravel and dirt. You’ll likely be curious why there are not switchbacks here...it's a true ankle buster. After about 600 ft. of descent, come back to rock bottom of the gully. Follow the Mt. Sneffels path under 0.5 miles back to the junction wherever you turned left earlier to achieve Blue Lakes Pass. From here, it's simply over a mile back to the lower trailhead, all on familiar ground.
If time permits, a pursuit of Ouray is worthwhile.
Maximum Temprature: 0 C
Clouds: overcast clouds
sunrise: 2019-11-22 13:56:02
sunset: 2019-11-22 23:45:25