Peak(s):  PT 13,206  -  13,206 feet
PT 13,377  -  13,377 feet
Date Posted:  10/10/2018
Date Climbed:   10/06/2018
Author:  piper14er
 It is that easy   


It was that easy. Follow the Wetterhorn Trail to the Wetterhorn Cutoff where the trail to Wetterhorn Peak goes to the right up the steps. There is a sign. Follow the trail of various qualities, from distinct to faded that looks like a game trail. I cut through the basins from the trail in a few spots but all good. A nice hike from the bottom of the road at the 2WD parking. I could have saved about 1.4 miles and 400+500 feet by starting at the trailhead at the end of the 4WD road, but I didn't. A few steep sections along the way but mostly moderate, grassy trekking. The traverse between the two peaks was straightforward, a trail most of the way. You can skirt the only rocky bump to the left. I had a little bit of sidehill that can be avoided. The views are great. The part of Wetterhorn Basin just below Wetterhorn Peak looks like the valley of rocks but they are separated by grassy areas that you can easily walk over, around and through most of the way. A small bit of rock hopping.

This gives you access to the 13ers north of Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre, because if you are like me and have the Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass 13ers completed. I stopped by the Fall Gathering for just a short time, talked to a few people and Audrey too, then headed down the road to rest up for this hike. A bit of a late start all things considered but the weather was fine the entire hike. A little sun, then a little cloudy skies, a few wayward snow flakes and once for a few minutes some rain. The wind was generally negligible except on the summits. I considered going over to Heisshorn but from what I gathered from a few reports is that it is a narrow ridge that is loose and exposed so I thought better of it (or worse), with the wind it might be exciting, so I decided to save that for a nice summer day.

Nothing too exciting I suppose other than being out at altitude. I was away for 4-5 weeks from the higher peaks so nice to be up there and see that part of the world. Other commitments and a vacation in Iceland has taken away from the San Juan time but all good. I have to share a few Iceland pictures here as it was nice to have hiked a few peaks over there. So we can add a little bit to the report by adding a few Iceland pictures.

Heimaklettur - the ladder hike to the highest peak on the Westman Islands - 900 feet above sea level
more ladder

etch your name in the rock and one more ladder

I had read about this hike prior to actually doing it. The report sounded like the ladders extended one after the other for 300 feet of vertical, nearly straight up. It was not so. A great view of the town, the island and the two volcano cones on the island.

you can hike up that way too

I love puffins and got to hold a puffin and a baby puffin they call pufflings. They have pretty sharp claws as you can see on the museum women's arm. Pufflings like to peck you but not enough to draw blood.

I also went up Eldfell, the one volcano mound. They say you can roast marshmallows on the top from the heat that comes up through the rock and slag. Alas no smores there.

Hafnarfjall. Great views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. Not a glamour photo but I liked it. An 800+ meter peak or 2769 feet and since you start at sea level it is a descent hike.

The most iconic peak in Iceland is Kirkjufell. It is the most photographed peak and is featured in the Game of Thrones. Climbed this two days after a hiker from Poland I believe fell 600 feet to his death after being separated from his climbing partner. Although there are some ropes at the top, left by some locals I am told, it seemed to generally be Class 4 in a few sections, generally traverse back and forth between the cliffs.

Kirkjufellfoss (foss for waterfalls) and Kirkjufell (fell for hill)

Iceland is a land of waterfalls, rainbows, Icelandic horses, volcanoes (130) and glaciers.

Skogafoss (as seen on the History channel show Vikings)
Seljalandfoss - you can walk behind this falls but wear your rain gear
Glymur - a nice hike to the top of the falls with a river crossing

standing near a rainbow
The Black Beach
Icelandic Horse

Volcano - a short hike up to see the crater

back to the 13ers

the trail
go to Wetterhorn Basin


on the trail up past the cliffs
below Wetterhorn looking at Coxcomb (far), 13206 (middle left)

Valley of Rocks - looking at the slopes up to the two peaks

went up the ramp left of the nubby rock - actually a little steeper than it looks here
this steep

Wetterhorn (right), 13377 (center), Uncompahgre (left)
Coxcomb and Redcliff from 13206

Wetterhorn from the north
ridge to 13377

skirting the vagaries
Wetterhorn to Matterhorn

summit 13377, Coxcomb and Redcliff
Heisshorn from 13377 - too windy to try the 3+ route - read that it is loose and exposed

return back to the Wetterhorn and 13300 saddle
looking at interesting rock formations under 13300

all and all a good day, 11.4 miles and 4800 feet

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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