Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Post Date:  07/09/2009
Date Climbed:   07/02/2009
Posted By:  globreal

 A Super Sunrise Morning on Uncompahgre   

Uncompahgre Peak: 14,309' Route: South Ridge from Nellie Creek (Standard)
Climb date: Thursday, July 02, 2009
Start Time: 4:53am
End Time: 7:53am
Total Time: Less than 5 hours
Trip Length: 7.6 miles
Elevation Gain: Just under 3,000 feet

This is the final day of our camping and climbing in the San Juans. The Michigan Flatlanders were back in camp sleeping in, as this was their day to pack up and head back to Michigan. This day we were aiming for the 6th highest peak in Colorado, and the highest peak in the San Juans-Uncompahgre.

So, it was just Eric, Tyler, and Britt (me behind the camera) for this last climb. And of course Jack (not in photo) my yellow lab.

About 5:30am, the sun was beginning to make it's arrival just under some moderate cloud cover.

The alpenglow on Uncompahgre was quite nice this morning.

Okay…the alpenglow looks good, but I don't! Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the sleeping bag?

Now the first rays of sunshine peaking over the ridge off in the distance. It's views like this that make getting up in the dark worthwhile!

Okay…here's another shot a few minutes later with some wildflowers in the foreground.

Once we topped out on the ridgeline, we could see through this window of rock, yesterday's peak-Wetterhorn.

Tyler went over, sat down, and was just taking in the view. What a place to sit, think, and reflect.

Eric on the trail heading up to the big Uncompahgre mesa.

Jack enjoying his day…following Tyler and Eric on up to the final talus section of the climb.

In a rather quick pace, we made the summit at 7:25am which turned out to be 3.8 miles in 2 ˝ hours. And that little drop-off there to our right….turns out to be 700 feet straight down! Yikes!

As I walked over to take in some views from the other side of the summit, I turned around and saw this…it kinda made me think it was God shining down saying, "Enjoy what I have made for you."

Yes, this is Eric standing next to the edge of a 700' drop! Gulp!

There was another climber from Fort Collins who showed up and took our picture for us. Thank you!

While this wasn't near as difficult a climb as yesterday's on Wetterhorn, it still feels just as good to reach the summit and check off another one off the list. And, I think this was Jack's 10th 14er. "Good job, young man! Your Daddy is proud of you."

Here's a better look off that north facing cliff. And what you can't see is that it still goes down a long ways more out of frame.

We left the summit relatively quick, as Tyler had some place to be. So we were hiking down by 7:53am.

Good-bye Mr. Uncompahgre. You were good to us. I hope to return to visit you again someday.

We made it back to the TH and our vehicle in less than two hours at 9:40am. So, it was a quick trip…7.6 miles in 4 hours and 47 minutes. And this ended our peak bagging adventure in the San Juans of climbing 5 peaks in 5 days. What a great week!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Another great TR!     07/13/2009 02:15
Especially like pic #6 - nice angle.
Appreciate your reports on this adventure - definitely useful beta.
Congrats on several successful SJ summits!


Thanks!     07/10/2009 14:28
Thanks sunny1866 for your comments. #6....just gettin‘ the camera down low to the ground is all.

Have a great trip to the San Juans later this month when you go. It‘s a beautiful area and hike, camp, and climb in. Be safe....and shoot me a PM when your trip reports are up!


Sweet!     07/11/2009 09:55
Great TR as usual, Britt, and VERY cool pictures! Love ‘em! You‘ve had quite a season so far! I love forward to reading more of your TR‘s and hope to get to climb with you sometime!


COmedic04...     07/13/2009 15:22
I appreciate it. It‘s been fun to get out there and it‘s been a good summer. Me and lostsheep5 and a few others just climbed in the Lake Como area this weekend. Got Little Bear, Ellingwood & Blanca all in one trip. Don‘t have to redo the Lake Como death march! Let me know if you want to climb together.

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