| Wetterhorn - our 1st class 3
A trip up Wetterhorn – my first class 3!
Started at 5:15 a.m. on 8/13 with Tornadoman and NetJetsHiker. Our going was slow thanks to me; Poker Alice pizza from the night before was not sitting well, and I even had concerns about being able to make the trip. Alas, I plodded on.
Once out of the trees, we were all treated to a view of the Matterhorn.
And it didn't take long after that for Wetterhorn to pop up around the bend. I did find myself a big trigger happy with the camera from this point on.
Soon enough we were zig-zagging through a rock field – picas and marmots galore! (That said, here's a token pica pic).
Me among the rocks, with Matterhorn over my shoulder.
Even though we're moving fairly slow (thanks to my pedestrian pace), the yellow dirt and Wetterhorn are coming up fast. I continually admire the craggy peak, but at the same time am just a tad nervous for the exposure to come.
To get up to the yellow dirt, we had to climb a steep dirt slope. It seems to be my habit to fall down on the loose stuff, but alas, I made it up (and down) without falling. Hooray me!
Our first real close look towards the class 3 fun:
I'm glad I captured a couple other hikers in this shot; gives good perspective.
And the fun really begins! Lots of rock scrambling through this section. I did have slight concerns over the loose stuff, but I never felt insecure. However, there were ample handholds. (Yes, I know, where are my gloves? In my pack – this being my first class 3, I wanted to make sure I could truly feel my grip on the rock. Oh yeah, and I was too lazy to pull them out.)
I must say, we did get a little confused over route finding, and ended up taking a rather circuitous route to get to the prow, but get there we did. And at this point I'm getting a bit more nervous about the legendary final pitch. Will it scare me to death?
No! When I climb up on the slab, I am overwhelmingly relieved. I laugh in the face of rock staircases! Truly, the final pitch looked nothing but fun. I felt not an ounce of exposure, and this comes from someone who has a slight-to-moderate case of fear of heights.
We zipped right on up the pitch, and it was over just like that. Too fast, as far as we were concerned. After enjoying some time on the summit, and watching a little weather rolling in to neighboring peaks we headed back down. All of us opted to face out. And I proclaim myself to be the new master of the 5-point decent.
We followed the "proper" route on the way down, thanks to the help of our new climbing companion.
This was a fantastic hike (my new favorite!), and I found myself eager to do it again before we were even down off the yellow dirt. Thanks to my climbing companions, I was able to feel confident enough to tackle the class 3.
Thanks for viewing my TR!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):