Saturday, September 11 was to be our final day in the San Juan's. Our group included Greg (Kansas City), Tim (Little Rock), Stranger (Houston), Mike (Colorado Springs), Bob (Monument), JRock (Denver) and myself, Rockchalker (Sugar Land). We had arrived in Lake City on Tuesday, September 7 and would be departing on Sunday, September 12. We had climbed Redcloud, Handies and Whetterhorn the previous 3 days, saving Uncompahgre for the final day.
Since this was 9/11, Tim and I carried American flags in our backpacks to the summit in remembrance of all of those who had perished 9 years ago as well as in honor of all of those who have served in our military over the years.
Bob skillfully navigated the 4 mile 4-wheel drive road to the Nellie Creek Trailhead in his retrofitted 1986 Suburban. A drivable road but 4-wheel drive and high clearance are a must. We departed from Nellie Creek around 7:00 AM, arrived on the summit around 10:00 AM. We spent at least an hour on top as the weather and views were spectacular, no one wanted to leave. We were back at Nellie Creek around 12:30 PM.
Summit video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywRyAt9SbFs
As mentioned; we based in Lake City for all 5 days and found the people, the lodging and the restaurants to be nothing less than first class. A beautiful little mountain town, perfect for what we were looking for.
On Sunday we drove to Montrose for our flights back home. We had a great breakfast in Montrose at Café 110 – highly recommended!
On tap for 2011 will be a hike in, camp and summit of Holy Cross as well as a hike in, camp and summits of Belford, Oxford and Missouri.
Nellie Creek, ready to climb!
Uncompahgre looms behind us
Panoramic view near the summit
Tim, Rockchalker, Bob and Greg
Tim works his way up the first gulley
Rockchalker on the summit
Tim on the summit, #7
Mike and Rockchalker
Bob, Tim, Rockchalker, Mike, Greg and JRock
JRock, on her way down
JRock navigates around the rock wall
JRock on the rock
The large herd of sheep