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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-02-25||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Summitted but was only able to ski from around 13,800 ft. Not even close to enough snow for a summit descent. Started at the winter closure and then skinned up Nellie Creek to the summer trailhead. Spring snow below treeline but turns into winter snow above treeline. Solid skin track up to the summer trailhead but fades out from there.
|2015-11-07||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: TH: Snow on the road to TH, was able to make it up a mile or so prior to the trailhead in a Pro4x. TH to Treeline: Snow wasn‘t too deep, 5-6 inches of mostly powder, snow shoed through. Treeline to Switchbacks: Snow varied from hardpack to powder due to the wind. Mostly a foot deep and over 3-4ft in some drifts. Was able to snow shoe through with a few post holes up to the top of the switchbacks. Switchbacks to summit: Wet deep snow through the rock scramble, just stuck to the rocks mostly. On the last climb right below the summit, watch for super hard snow because of the wind. (used some microspikes to get down this to prevent from sliding off).
|2015-10-11||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Perfect conditions. Not even a hint of snow on south and west aspects; trail is dry. From the summit, there is definitely snow on north and east aspects of other San Juan peaks.
|2015-09-27||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Not much to report, really...dry trail, no hints of snow/ice, beautiful fall colors along the Nellie Creek road, and in the alpine tundra as well. The "crux" of this route currently has several cairned options (i.e. short, rock-filled gullies that all gain the upper ridge), all about "2+" as the description suggests, the farthest one having the slightly longer (and possibly steeper) scramble section. Side note: I realize this doesn‘t apply to 99% of the people on here, but, in case the other 1% is reading: please don‘t cut the switchbacks that gain the 13.8‘ shoulder! Not only does this contribute to slope erosion and undo the hard work put in by the CFI volunteers in maintaining the trail, but it directly exposes hikers below to completely unnecessary rockfall hazard. We had the misfortune of witnessing this behavior (and its consequences) in which, amazingly, the other members of the group proceeded to do the same thing, with the exact same result (rocks dislodged towards the lower switchback). Nice work guys, really worth that extra 50 feet of walking you just saved there...
|2015-09-19||Route: SE slopes from Matterhorn
Info: weather from 9/18-9/20 great. Clouds hit Uncom saturday afternoon but were benign. High winds. Friday was totally bluebird!
|2015-09-02||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Started from the upper 4WD Nellie Creek Trailhead and climbed Uncompahgre. Driving in, the Aspens were just starting to turn. Still mostly green. More fall colors showing here than near Telluride/Wilson Peak two days before. Creek crossings were very low compared to the spring run off in May. Free of snow and ice, still dry.
|2015-08-23||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: This is my 31st fourteener this summer. My goal is to climb them all this summer. You can read more about this hike and others by visiting sunshineof1985.com! Enjoy! Time started: 5:55am at main trailhead End time: 10:30am at main trailhead Time to Summit: 2 hours Time to Descent: 2 hours (with taking time out to take photos at waterfall) *GEAR (to bring): Bear spray, GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, lightweight gloves, day pack with water sack (64 oz), snacks. *Road Condition: The road until Nellie‘s is fine. Once you turn onto that road, it‘s the worst road I‘ve ever been on. You need a lifted, 4WD to make it all the way up. *Trail Condition: No snow, no mud. The trek through the forest is short once you reach the actual trailhead. You‘ll then enter a large meadow/basin area. There are neat water features along the way. It‘ll be easy switchbacks until you get to the last pitch where you‘ll get to climb (a very small section, like stairs). Then it‘s a quick walk to the summit-which is huge by the way.
|2015-08-05||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Conditions were top notch today. Not a cloud in the sky. Trail is in summer standard quality. I found the scramble before the final pitch less than clear. There was a significant quantity of invasive species (Texans) about. But I guess that‘s par for the course around Lake City this time of year...
|2015-07-23||Route: From Matterhorn TH
Info: Had a spectacularly enjoyable day climbing Uncompahgre from the Matterhorn Creek TH. Perfect summer conditions. I had hoped to climb Uncompahgre in the early morning and then Wetterhorn in the later morning, but I was too exhausted after Uncompahgre to attempt Wetterhorn the same day. I saved it for the next day and was very glad that I did, because Wetterhorn is such a joy to climb that I‘m glad I wasn‘t too exhausted to enjoy it. The hike to Unc from the Matterhorn TH makes for a long round trip of 15 miles. Most dispiriting of the route is that it leads you over a small crest to the right of Matterhorn Peak and then down about 1,000 feet which you then have to ascend a mile or so later before curling around to Unc‘s more accessible side. You have to lose this elevation again and regain it on the route back. Still, it‘s a stunningly beautiful trip that passes in front of both Wetterhorn and Matterhorn. I left the TH at 4:25 am and finished at 12:45. I returned the next day and thoroughly enjoyed climbing Wetterhorn. I highly recommend giving Wetterhorn its own day so you can enjoy it fully.
|2015-07-12||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Trail is in good condition. Muddy at places due to snowmelt. On the east slope there are two snow fields, They are carved with footprints, soft but cause no issue, at least before 10am.
|2015-07-01||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Hiked today, route is close to summer conditions with scattered mud and patches of soft snow, the hard freeze is over here, no need for snow gear but gaiters are nice. The flowers are all starting to fill in and the high alpine meadows are beautiful. The creek crossings are still running moderately high (channel about 18" on the lower crossing, about 8-12" on the upper crossing) on the drive up to the 4WD TH, but are doable with high clearance. It‘s actually been pretty dry in the area and there is more risk of high-centering your vehicle in the ruts on a few of the turns if you have a longer wheelbase 4WD vehicle (we have a 4Runner and parked just after the 2nd creek crossing because of some tight rutted and loose switchbacks).
|2015-06-28||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: We walked up from the start of the Nellie Creek road. Two major washouts. Other than that, the worst of the road is early on. We saw a sampling of 4wd vehicles at the upper trailhead. Lots of snowfields on the way up, starting just above 12,000‘. Postholed a lot on the ascent (we were first up today), but by the time we were coming down, it had been packed pretty well by other ascenders. I used spikes; my hiking partner used spikes and axe. No snow on the hard/fun part starting at 13,800‘, and no noticeable snow above that. Last running water is at about 12,600‘.
|2015-06-20||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: We did the peak from the 2wd TH. The snow is melting very quickly and I doubt that snowshoes will be necessary by next weekend. There is one snow drift near 13,600‘ that was like quicksand. Arthur was unable to dig himself out of the muck, and I permanently lost a shoe trying to save him.
|2015-06-17||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Made the summit. Bring your snowshoes and expect to post-hole even with them on in some spots. Snow is wet and heavy right now. Right around 13,300‘ we had a few sections that proved challenging, do to the wet snow, but doable. Right close to 13,800‘ you have one or two small drifts to navigate but then its all clear.
|2015-06-08||Route: West Slopes- Matterhorn Cr.
Info: Did the Wetterhorn-Uncompahgre combo yesterday afternoon, yes afternoon. Snow is wet and heavy but doable right now. Slides are happening in most directions-snow is melting fast. Handies in the morning, Redcloud and Sunshine last night under the stars (6/7/15).
|2015-05-17||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Drove up to 10,500 / 7.3 from the milage start. Cleared the road of boulders and slide debris up to 10,500. Above 10,000 feet you will find manageable snow drifts and very muddy sharp turns. Frequent snow drifts hiking above 10,500. Solid 3 foot pack above 11,000. No visibility to see avy conditions above of 12,500.
|2015-05-17||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: Didn‘t summit Umcompaghre Peak, was turned around by high winds and low temps at 12.5k. Was able to drive to within 2 miles of the 4WD trailhead before being stopped by deep snow. The area is packed with snow above 11k. I have attached a picture of the second creek crossing, to illustrate the snow depth.
|2015-04-19||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: More new snow than I thought there‘d be, despite the forecast for the recent storm favoring the northern mountains more. Recommend flotation and microspikes. Summit plateau was mostly dry. Skiable from 13,800‘ on the south ridge to maybe a mile below the 4WD TH and on longer north facing sections of the road
|2014-10-11||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: No snow until about 13,500. Snow was knee deep and just a few places were iced over. We used microspikes and walking poles. Didn‘t need ice axe or crampons.
|2014-09-11||Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek
Info: 4 wheel in to Nelie Trailhead. Road was muddy from heavy rains two days earlier. In good shape. Recommendation of high clearance vehicles is a good one. Both streams were low, no worries. Trail in excellent condition on the hike. Few few areas on the South Face going up, frozen from the night temperatures. Melted by the time of descent. Starting to see fall colors. Beautiful weather. 5 hours round trip from the trailhead. 14 hour day from my home in Ridgway, through MONTROSE and Lake City. Randy