I hit the road at 5pm on Friday from Colorado Springs and drove to Lake City to get in a big hike up some peaks. I gambled with just taking my light summer gear and pedaled my mountain bike with lights up to the top of the 4wd road to the wilderness boundary and camped.
I got up early and started on foot up the Nellie Creek trail to open the morning with Uncompahgre
Nellie Creek trail to Uncompahgre
From the top I could see the rest of my day in front of me. I was starting to second guess my lack of sharp and pointy metal objects with all that snow but I was still optimistic I could work around it.
On top of Uncompahgre looking at Wetterhorn
I descended down the west face of Uncompahgre to get back to business and met a pair of hikers heading up the same route. Here is looking back at Uncompahgre.
Looking back at west face of Uncompahgre
From there the climb up Matterhorn was really good. Most of the climb was on lush grass and the top was solid rock and some easy class 3 climbing.
On summit of Matterhorn
On the top I started thinking about trying to traverse the ridge to Wetterhorn but Roach's beta was pretty blunt. I think he used one small phrase "the ridge is arduous" to sum up the entire route. Perhaps another day. If I was going to complete my goal I figured the best shot was to head west from the summit down some scree and pick my way through snow fields towards the south ridge of Wetterhorn. Little did I know my biggest challenge was to get past all the Marmots guarding the trail!
Marmots guarding Wetterhorn
Once on the shoulder, the wind became very fierce but not quite enough to knock me over so I continued up to the class 3 climbing which fortunately was somewhat sheltered from the wind.
looking down the route on Wetterhorn
The climbing was going good and completely snow free. Before I knew it I was at the top and lounged around for an hour soaking up the views before heading back down.
View from top of Wetterhorn
By this time I was feeling great and the scenery was unbelievable!
Looking back at Wetterhorn
Heading back to Nellie creek
The walk back was pretty long and I almost headed down the wrong valley until I realized I needed to climb back up most of Uncompahgre to get into the Nellie Creek trail. It was a great day that ended up being 21 miles with 11,000 feet of elevation gained. I doubt I'd ever climb all three from that trail head but it was a great day none the less!