Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mount Sniktau

I wasn't sure I was going to go out for a third day in a row, but figured what the hell. This is the peak I was going to climb the day before, but the road conditions turned me away. This was the furthest drive from home, about 1hr 30minutes. Mount Sniktau is an easy 13er by climbing standards, but for me it was just right. Standing at 13,277ft Sniktau reminded me of my favorite mountain near Boise; Cervidae peak, but on steroids.

I arrived at Loveland Pass around 10am, there was one car there and two people were just heading up the trail. Loveland Pass is pretty cool, the elevation is 11,990ft. Nothing like almost starting at the high point in Idaho. But, you earn it either way.

I was surprised that I caught up to the two climbers ahead of me. Only about half hour after I started the wind started howling pretty good and they were putting on shell parka's. The lady was from Fort Collins and her companion was from Kentucky. This would be incredibly hard for a flat lander to come and tackle, but I'm sure it happens often. I was just excited that I wasn't the one getting passed for once. They wanted to tackle Grizzly, I said good luck and was on my way. Within 15minutes I had topped out on the ridge line at 12,915ft. Well it's cake now...right? Not so fast my friend as Lee Corso would put it. The wind died on the first part of the ridge, but I could diffinently feel the elevation with my breathing. There was a good sized false summit before hitting the true summit, so I caught my breath and took off.

Kentucky seemed to be struggling, so I never saw them leave point 12,915. I was trucking along pretty good on the ridge, just enjoying the spectacular views I had in front of me. The false summit is within 100ft of becoming its own mountain, too bad it felt like its own mountain. Once on the other side of the false summit there was a good drop then the gain to Sniktau's summit. Here is where it got cold, oh the wind was frigid. I just kept my slow place so I was always moving and for once actually enjoyed the uphill. The last few hundred feet had me breathing pretty good, but soon enough I summited. It was about 2 miles to the summit from the car and took me 1hr 20minutes. Not bad for a 270 pounder...still breathing, and that's always good.

This was something I wrote on the summit: My younger brother Nate is the photographer in the family. Yesterday when I was on Squaw he texted me something that is so true. "A picture will never capture what your eyes do." Isn't that the truth! I sit here on the summit of Mt Sniktau marveling at Torrey's Peak in front of me, possibly in the top 25 views I've ever seen. And this is a view I am sure only my eyes will appreciate. I wish everyone could see this rather than a picture, there is no justice.

I was actually able to stay up there for quite a while since I found a nice wind block. I took a bunch of pictures but half of them didn't turn out or had sun spots in them. As I said I'm no photographer, but these eyes got great pleasure in everything they saw today. Maybe next weekend a 14er or another 13er, doesn't really matter as long as I'm out in the mountains again.

Date: 3/21/2012

Starting Elevation: 11,990ft

Summit Elevation: 13,277ft

Distance: 4.07miles

Time: 2.5hrs


  1. Good trip report. Torrey's peak looks pretty impressive. I am sure the view was better :)

  2. The views are amazing, got my closest today. I may climb that one within the next month fo shizzle.