| Uncompahgre - Labor Day Weekend
When I was growing up in the Texas Panhandle, my family took a yearly summer vacation to Lake City, Colorado. One of the mountains around Lake City always fascinated me by its unique shape. At the top is not a pointy peak, but a small plateau. On the road from Creede to Lake City, coming down from Slumgullion Pass, Uncompahgre comes into view:
Some friends invited my wife Beverly and me to spend the Labor Day weekend in Pagosa Springs. I jumped at it as an opportunity to climb Uncompahgre. When I asked if any fellow 14ers.com members wanted to join me, fortunately I got some takers.
On Friday evening Beverly and I landed in Pagosa Springs and spent the night there. After lunch on Saturday we headed to Lake City. On Saturday afternoon we met up with Slow Moving Fun Seeker (Jay) and picked up our rental jeep. At 5 a.m. Sunday, I picked Jay up.
From Lake City it's a short, five-mile drive down Henson Creek road to the Nellie Creek jeep trail. After that, it's a rough and rocky 4WD to the trail head. We arrived at the trail head around 6 a.m., met up with some other 14ers.com members, and hit the trail around 6:30.
After passing the tree line a few minutes from the trail head, the full peak comes into view:
Our initial group included Alan Ellis, his wife Jackie, their dog Scout, Briowe (Brian), dixonallred (Joe), and SMFS:
We all were amazed by this view of Uncompahgre bathed in the early morning sunlight. (Note dixonallred in the lower right hand corner):
The trail from tree line to the crest is clearly defined and a gradual ascent:
Here's a view from the ridge:
As you approach the summit, the trail briefly ends, and some light scrambling is required for about 150 feet:
On the summit I found that Billygoat (Steve) had joined our group:
The views of the San Juans from the summit were glorious:
Uncompahgre is nothing short of magnificent. Many thanks to my wife Beverly for her moral and logistical support. And many thanks to the 14ers.com members who shared this adventure with me.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):