Peak(s):  Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Post Date:  08/30/2010
Modified:  09/01/2010
Date Climbed:   08/16/2010
Posted By:  Gopherboy

 Wetterhorn from Matterhorn Creek - Day 3   

7.5 miles
3,300' Elevation gain
4-1/2 hours total

This is the peak that we spent the most time researching and getting mentally prepared for. I may have to officially change my favorite 14er from Longs to Wetterhorn - it was an absolutely fantastic experience! We left the trailhead at 6:00 am due to concerns about weather later in the day. This was the first time during our trip the weather was predicted to have an influence on our ability to summit. I found the last 0.6 mile to the upper trailhead rougher than Nellie Creek road to Uncompahgre, but at least it was over quickly. I will let the pictures and captions tell the story. But basically everything that people say about this peak is correct:

1) It is easier than it appears
2) There are plenty of handholds and footholds on stable rock in the steep sections
3) Exhilarating, thrilling, exciting, scary and many other adjectives are applicable
4) Totally worth it - do not pass up an opportunity to climb Wetterhorn

Don't miss this turn. Follow the ridge stock trail at this point.

Like everyone says, it is easier than it appears

Weather conditions weren't ideal - several sprinkles of rain, but nothing threatening

The marmot king surveying his minions below in marmot city

Closer look up by the yellow dirt

Up on the yellow dirt my head started spinning in a way I wasn't comfortable with - maybe due to sinus problems associated with a cold I was battling. The decision was made that Trent would continue on and catch up with 2 hikers that were a short ways ahead and join them for the summit. I would stay back and guard the packs from marauding marmots. After sitting for five minutes I felt much better and since Trent and the other hikers were well within range I decided to continue on. I had no further problems and I am so glad I got off my duff and made the summit. As an added bonus, the marmots respected our personal property and stayed clear!

We ditched the packs here and put on helmets

Trent on the ramp

Some exposure, but the ledge is flat and easy to navigate

View from the summit - due to the cloud cover we didn't spend a lot of time on top

Starting the descent with Ship's Prow clearly visible

Nebraska hiker on the descent

Another Nebraska hiker coming down the steep section - thanks for sharing the summit with us ladies!

One distant rumble of thunder was heard as we approached treeline. Many hikers were still on the way up - hopefully the bad stuff stayed away.

Sticker in window made me laugh - the last section of road to the trailhead is rough

Now back to Lake City for a lazy afternoon in the rain. Dinner that night at the Smoque Shack - fantastic BBQ. Next up - the grand finale, Redcloud/Sunshine combo.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions
Exiled Michigander

All Hail the Marmot King!     08/30/2010 15:40
This looks like an amazing climb. The photos do a good job of confirming your text that the rock is stable--looks pretty doable. Best of luck with your grand finale on Redcloud and Sunshine. I'll keep my fingers crossed for good weather and that the Marmot King's minions don't roll rocks down upon you.

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