Peak(s):  Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Post Date:  07/22/2007
Date Climbed:   07/19/2007
Posted By:  TheKanes

 Wetterhorn Peak - Matterhorn Creek   

Wetterhorn Peak- Southeast Ridge from Matterhorn Creek
Elevation Gain: 3,300 feet
Start Time: 5 a.m. End Time: 10 a.m. (hike time- 4.5 hours with a ˝ hour summit)
Round Trip: 7 Miles
Hiked by: Rick and Jen Kane

After our summit on Uncompahgre we decided to pack up our camp at Nellie Creek and head on over to Matterhorn Creek's TH so we could get an early start the next day. Rain kept us locked in our tent most of the day with games of cribbage and Yatsee… oh we did step out once to view a herd of elk spotted on a high ridge near TH. We were able to get some shut eye and rest up for our first class 3 climb.
I think with all the anticipation of this climb it helped pump us up in the a.m. We seemed to be the first on the trail, following along the creek with head lamps on into the wide meadow.
Once we reached the low rock field we stopped for a quick snack and trudged through the laborious but not tricky trail though boulders. Several friendly marmots were sun bathing and seemed to ignore our existence. One little guy came right up showing his yellow teeth.
Climbing Wett's southeast ridge we hit a small patch of snow but nothing of alarm.
As we reached some scree we took note that a group of 5 were approaching (which actually brought relief). We managed to give away our trip report to a hiker the day prior; it was sandwiched in with our Uncompahgre report. We slowly climbed our way up the rocky face following cairns.
About 1/3 of the way up the steep incline the other hikers caught up to us. They are a group of guides from all over the country that work in Creed at a summer camp. Very graciously they let us join in with them and we all inched our way up, up, up toward the "prow." Not exactly sure which route we took but we made it up and around what is like a small cat-walk, to the notch just below the final pitch. The old saying- safety in numbers seemed to work for us. Upon summit (about 3 hours) we were thrilled to reach flat ground unharmed.
There was another couple that summited shortly after in two hours flat- wow! We took about 20-30 minutes to enjoy the very spectacular views. Uncompahgre looked a tad friendlier from this angle.

Surprisingly the hike down went fast and with mental attention and slow moves we climbed down the first part like a ladder and the rest in a crab walk.
Here is a shot of Jen walking back around the "cat-walk."
Of course we walked on two feet once we had solid footing. Great views of this shark's tooth once down.
Also Matterhorn was looking sharp too.
This was a gripping hike but not beyond our comfort level. We still rank Sneffels in the winter as our most challenging hike. At any rate, we're no longer virgins to the class 3 hikes.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions
Kevin Baker

great report     11/30/2010 17:20
Great report. I liked the video. Wetterhorn is a nice one to try your first class 3 on. I wish the rock was that nice in the rest of the San Juans! I loved it so much that I'm going to do it again in a couple weeks with Matterhorn. Looks like you guys had a productive trip.

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