|Peak:||Wetterhorn Peak (14er)|
|Date of Information:||05/26/2013|
We were able to summit without any special gear (no snowshoes, crampons/microspikes, axe, etc.), although some sort of traction would have definitely been helpful in a few sections. Trail is mostly dry until just above treeline. There were several sections of deep snow to cross leading up to the southeast ridge. There was some postholing, but nothing too miserable or exhausting. Most of the snow was pretty supportive, with a little extra post holing on the way down.
There was good snow cover on the slope leading up to the southeast ridge and on the ridge itself, but it appears to be melting quickly. Much of the cairned route is still covered in deep sections of snow, making route finding and navigating dry rock more difficult. The easiest and safest way up probably involves more class 3 and possible class 4 climbing (not too sure). On our ascent, I made the mistake of climbing around to the east side of the ridge instead of staying to the left. While we were able to follow some older, smaller cairns, this way flat out stinks. Do not do this. We were scared to death. We managed to follow the standard route for the most part on the descent. This was much more manageable, but there were still several sketchy areas where crampons/spikes and an ice axe would be desired by many.
All in all, a great climb in great weather in manageable snow conditions.
Photo 1 - A broad view of Wetterhorn and the some of the approach
Photo 2 - Just below the southeast ridge, looking at the remaining climb
Photo 3 - Sketchy climbing on the east side of the ridge. Just stay on the left side!!!
Photo 4 - Looking down a steep section of the west side of the ridge on the way down
Photos (click for slideshow):