Snowdon Peak – 13,077 ft
At 13,077 ft above sea level you are sure to feel the magnitude of every step of the way; however, at 13,077 ft and only a little over 2,000 ft of climbing from the parking lot to the summit, this is a great first summit for folks.
We climb Snowdon Peak year round, mid-summer to mid-winter, spring and fall. There are a multitude of routes depending on what you are looking for. Single day trips are a full day, leaving early in the morning from our Durango office and returning mid-afternoon. All routes begin from Molas Pass and Andrews Lake.
- Naked Lady climb and/or ski: A couloir is the French word for halfway. The Naked Lady couloir gets its name name from the shape the couloir appears to take when filled with snow. It appears to be the silhouette of lady posing sideways. The couloir ascend steep snow up to 50+ degrees and some 4th class rock for approximately 1,000 ft. We will either go back down the couloir or the NE Ridge. From the summit you’ll be able to see south to Twilight Peak, the La Plata mountains and all the way into New Mexico. To the west you’ll be looking at Molas Pass and Engineer Mountain. To the east you will be looking some 5,000 ft down into the Animas Gorge and into the heart of the Weminuche Wilderness.
- West Buttress: The West Buttress ascends 800 ft of solid 3rd and 4th class rock. From the summit we either go back down the West Buttress or down the NE Ridge.
- NE Ridge: The North East Ridge of Snowdon is the least technical route and best suited for the novice alpinist. This is often our descent route.
In the summer, the wild flowers in the meadows below the peak ridge are phenomenal. Autumn is fantastic in this area as the aspens blaze and the tundra plants turn burned reds and oranges. Winter and snow opens up the Naked Lady couloir which is not climbable with out snow.
- AMGA Trained/Certified Alpine Guide and/or Rock Guide
- Group climbing equipment (ropes, harnesses, all other technical climbing equipment, climbing shoes, first aid kits)
- Group camping equipment (tents, stoves, etc)
Price Does NOT Include
- Guide gratuity
- Train tickets if applicable / transportation to trailhead
- Personal clothing or gear
- Personal snacks
- Travel to Durango, Colorado from your location.
- Hotels before and after trip
- Recommended Travel/trip cancellation insurance.
- Climbing Boots: Good alpine climbing boots such as the La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX and La Sportiva TX 4 are both ideal for this program.
- Socks: Two pairs of mid weight wool socks
- Synthetic boxers or briefs: Cotton does not dry or insulate when wet. Underwear should be synthetic. Two pairs will suffice
- Softshell Climbing Pants: The Patagonia Alpine Guide Pants work well. You will be wearing these everyday while on the mountain. Regardless of the brand they should be non-insulated Schoeller-type fabric.
- Wicking t-shirt: Synthetic wicking t-shirt.
- Long Sleeve base layer: Mid Weight synthetic, wool, or silk top. Patagonia Men’s Cap 3 works well.
- Sweater Layer: This is layer should fit over both of the two previous layers. The Patagonia R1 hoody is wonderful.
- Softshell Jacket: Like the softshell bottoms, this is your go-to jacket that will be worn the most. The Outdoor Research Alibi jacket is what we’re wearing this season.
- Hardshell Jacket: This should be extremely lightweight and packable. Something like the Patagonia M10.
- Insulated Parka w/hood: Our route and camp keeps us at high elevation for the duration of the trip. A mid weight down or synthetic parka with hood will suffice.
- Wool or fleece hat: Make sure it covers your ears.
- Light weight liner gloves: Light-weight synthetic gloves. Please not fingerless. When it’s hot on the glacier, these are a great weight.
- Sun Glasses: These should be good dark sunglasses. The Smith Guide’s Choice are great.
- Pocket Knife: A Leatherman or Swiss Army knife work great.
- Headlamp: Bring one set of extra batteries. The Petzl Tikka XP2 and Black Diamond Storm with both light up your night.
- Insulated Mug: Some sort of insulated mug for coffee, coco, etc. Check out either the Alladin insulated mugs. or the Klean Canteens with the cafe cap.
- Plastic bowl and spork: Tupperware with a lid. A spork is the more versatile than a spoon and fork.
- Personal Toiletries & Medications: Prescription medications, ibuprofen, small package of moleskin for blisters, etc. Ear plugs are great for in the tent
- Water bottles or hydration system: 2 liters capacity. Wide mouth and no Camelback/hydration bags.
- Sleeping pad: Full length inflatable or closed foam.
- Sleeping Bag: Down or synthetic rated to between zero and 15 degrees. Make sure it has a compression sack.
- Backpack: A 45-60 liter pack is the recommended size for this climb. It is imperative that your backpack is large enough and tough enough to handle the load. A separate summit pack is not needed. We recommend the Cilo Gear 45 Worksack. This is a true alpine climbing pack. It is extremely lightweight and versatile for it’s size. An added bonus, Cilo also stitches all their packs in Portland, OR!
- Harness: A comfortable mountaineering harness that will fit over all your layers. The Camp Flash Alpine is our current alpine harness of choice. It is both light weight and will fit under your pack belt. In addition, the diaper style harness will allow you to put it on and take it off with large boots or crampons on.
- Locking Carabiners: 2 locking carabiners. The Camp HMS Nitro is an extremely light weight and versatile locking carabiner. (extra credit if you know what HMS stands for….) The Camp Photon Screw Gate screw gate is an other extremely light weight locker.
- Non-locking carabiners: 2 non-locking carabiners. We recently fell in love with and recommend the Camp Photon Wire Gate. This is an extremely light weight and large opening carabiner.
- Climbing Helmet: Must be CE certified and designed for climbing. Check out the Camp Speed or Camp Storm are both for a very comfortable and light weight option. You will be wearing this helmet a lot, so you want it to be both comfortable and fit well under your jacket hood.
- Trekking poles: Three section ski poles such as the Leki Tour Stick Vario packs down extremely small. This is paramount for when we are climbing the ice pitches on the upper mountain.
- Nylon runner: This needs to be a 48 inch nylon runner.
- Belay Device: Tube style belay device. We like the Camp PIU 2
- Climbers should be in good physical condition. The entire trip is spent above 10,000 ft.
- There are dozens of climbs with different difficulties in the Colorado. Please get in touch with us to talk about what summit is right for you. If need be, we would like to climb with you prior to climbing a Colorado mountain to help ensure that you are up to the challenge
- If you do not possess these skills or need review, we recommend doing a skills course with us in Colorado or Utah prior to your alpine trip to Silverton, CO.
- Single and multi-day trips available
Registration & Cancelation
- Unfortunately, due to extremely high demand we have a very strict registration and cancelation policy. We can not transfer you to an other program. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE! We recommend the TravelEx Insurance Travel Select plan with the Adventurer Plus Pak upgrade.
- To reserve your spot on a domestic climbing or skiing program please submit a 50% deposit if applying more than 60 days out. If your trip/ course starts in less than 60 days please submit full payment.
- Program fees are non-transferable.
If notice of cancellation is given in writing at least 60 days prior to the trip start date, you will be refunded your fulldeposit except for a $50 processing fee.
- If notice of cancellation is given in writing within 59 – 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to the deposit amount will be charged. If notice of cancellation is given in writing less than 30 days prior to the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to 100% of the program fee will be charged.
Private dates available upon request
Yeah round – summer and winter
1-2 days depending on time of year/ objective
1-Day Climb 1:1 – $500 2:1 – $300pp 2-Day Climb 1:1 – $900 2:1 – $550pp
Client to Guide Ratio
up to 3:1 climber to guide ratio
beginner to intermediate depending on conditions