Colorado is a dream destination for outdoor adventure seekers. Some of the most iconic features of this beautiful state are its mountains called fourteeners—mountains with summits reaching a minimum of 14,000 feet.
These towering peaks offer exhilarating hiking and climbing opportunities, attracting thousands of visitors annually. One of the most popular fourteeners is Mt. Sneffels in the San Juan Mountains. Find out what you should know before climbing Colorado’s Mt. Sneffels for a safe and successful excursion.
Train To Improve Endurance
Climbing a fourteener is no easy feat. The high altitude, steep ascents, and unpredictable weather conditions demand physical fitness and mental endurance. Your exercise routine should include cardiovascular activities, strength training, and hiking to build endurance and prepare your muscles for the rigors of the trail.
Prevent Altitude Sickness
A gradual climb can help you avoid altitude sickness if you’re coming from sea level. Climb up to 10,000 feet and sleep for the night. Then, increase your altitude by 1,000 feet per day. It’s also advisable to rest a day for every 3,000 feet of altitude you gain.
Research the Route and Pack Carefully
Each fourteener has multiple routes to the summit, varying in difficulty and technicality. Be sure to research your peak, including trail conditions, route descriptions, and recent trip reports. Check the weather forecast before your hike and be prepared for sudden changes in conditions.
Remember to dress in layers because the temperature drops three or more degrees per 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Pack essential safety gear, such as a map, compass, headlamp, helmet, extra clothing, and a first aid kit.
Caution: Class 3 Hiking
You must have at least a moderate amount of hiking experience to hike Mt. Sneffels. Reaching the summit requires a class 3 hike involving scrambling and some exposure with large drop-offs.
Be Off of the Summit by Noon
One crucial thing to know before climbing Mt. Sneffels is that you should stay off the mountain summit in the afternoon. In the summertime, thunderstorms roll over the mountains suddenly and unexpectedly, and you don’t want to be at the summit and risk a lightning strike.
Start hiking early in the morning and time your climb so you leave the summit by noon. This schedule makes your climb safer and gives you time to enjoy entertainment in surrounding mountain towns. After climbing Mt. Sneffels, consider visiting some of the other best sights to see in Telluride.
Mt. Sneffels is one of Colorado’s famed fourteeners and gives adventurers the thrill of a lifetime. Work out to improve your endurance, ascend the mountain gradually, research the route, pack carefully, and time your climb so you’re off the summit by noon. Taking these precautions will make your unforgettable journey even more fulfilling.