AMGA Certified Alpine & Rock Guide
The conditions in the San Juan Mountains and SW CO are ripe right now! From skiing big lines to climbing fun and warm rock, there is something for everybody.
This past week I had the chance to ski the Snake Couloir, a classic line on Mt. Sneffels at 14,150′. There is still PLENTY of snow up high for weeks of great skiing.
While we brought ski crampons they were never needed. Conditions allowed us to skin the entire way to the col and part way up the to the summit.
Skis were put on the packs for the final push to the summit. At high elevations and north aspects, the snow provided a great boot pack and easy step kicking.
The downside of something like the Snake is that after the ski, you have to skin another couple thousand feet back up to Lavender Col to ski out.
Down low, summer is in full swing! It’s prime rock season back in Durango with temperatures in the 70’s. The quad style anchor is my go-to anchor setup for Durango guiding. It is made up of the following:
- 240cm Dyneema runner
- two Photon Wire carabiners
- two HMS Nitro Lock carabiners
- two HMS Compact Lock carabiners
- and an OVO belay device
From in-town two pitch guiding to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, this is a great system and always on my harness.
It is also Black Canyon season! We’ve run three guided trips in the past three weeks! The temperatures there have been perfect. So far this year, KMG has guided on Maiden Voyage (5.9, 6 pitches) King Me (5.10, 3 pitches) and the Russian Arete (5.9, 1800 ft).
Overall it’s been a great spring. If you have the time, come check out Southwestern Colorado and the San Juan Mountains. Conditions are great!