The North Face of Mount Sneffels
Taken from the San Miguel Valley near Ridgeway, Colorado The first recorded ascent of Sneffels was in 1874. The climbers noticed that Grizzly Bears had been on top before them. So far, THS has been twice deterred from ascending by the snow. Named after a mountain in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, it is also associated in my mind with the sniffles. The area has yielded some very profitable silver and gold mines. The Pinedale Glaciation which began 40,000 to 30,000 years ago created glaciers which were 1,500 feet thick in this part of the San Juans. Only the tops of the highest peaks emerged from this great sea of ice. Between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago, most of the glaciers were disappearing or confined to the cirques of the higher summits. The Sneffels range is an exposed segment of a continental-scale wrench fault zone that extends from Oklahoma, northwest across Utah, and perhaps further. The highest peaks are San Juan Volcanics of Tertiary age, with windows above 12,000 feet exposing a high fault block of Precambrian quartzite.
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