On Friday Claudia and I went backpacking to a lesser-known basin in the Sneffels Range.
Summer is in full swing in the mountains! Except for a few lingering patches, most of the snow is gone and the tundra has come alive with its vibrant green grasses and early summer wildflowers like these Spreading Globeflowers (I think that’s what they are called).
We woke up at 3:30am to hike up to a high saddle from where I shot the sunrise light on Potosi Peak, one of the giants of the range. (For reference on how little snow we have this year, check out the photos from skiing/snowboarding down Potosi’s north couloir in June a couple years ago).
Our goal for Saturday was to hike up Whitehouse Mountain, a seldom-climbed mountain on the northern end of the Sneffels Range.
Despite feeling like a zombie from the stupid-early start, here’s Claudia powering up the northwestern couloir which allows passage to the upper slopes of Whitehouse. We were stoked to find no snow in here, since we had left our crampons and ice axes at home.
After a pleasant stroll along the nearly mile-long summit plateau, we reached the somewhat anti-climatic 13,492 ft. summit of Whitehouse Mountain. We were the first to sign the summit register this year!
There’s the town of Ouray 5,700 feet down below!
Nice view of Mt. Sneffels on the way back.
Back in greener pastures.
We napped a few hours in the tent, cooked some cup-o-noodles for lunch, packed up, hiked out, and were back in Ouray by afternoon, looking back up at the summit we had just been standing on that morning!