Peak(s):  Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Date Posted:  06/27/2007
Date Climbed:   06/25/2007
Author:  wasclywabbit

 Journey to Siesta Rock  

After taking in Culebra Peak with the crowd on Saturday I had originally planned on heading up to Como Lake the next day for an attempt on Blanca and Ellingwood. That plan got derailed when I awoke Sunday with an ankle so stiff that I could hardly walk. In any event the prospect of hanging out in Alamosa another day waiting for it to loosen up was not appealing so I jumped in the Jeep and headed west not really sure where I would end up.

Lake City has always been a favorite spot of mine having camped, hiked and bicycled in the area over the years so when I got to South Fork I gunned the motor and headed towards Slumgullion Pass and adventures as yet to be determined. In the back of my mind I was thinking about attempting the Wetterhorn since I had been weathered off on my only previous attempt several years ago. I don't usually do any class 3 peaks solo but I figured that there is always someone on the mountain this time of year so I wouldn't really be alone. I headed up the Henson Creek road and found a great campsite just below the trailhead and settled in for the night.


I awoke Monday morning to a perfect Colorado sky with not a cloud in sight. There were no cars at the trailhead and no one had signed the trailhead register in a couple of days so my theory of never being truly alone on a Colorado 14'er in June was unwinding rapidly. I headed up the trail my ankle feeling quite a bit better than the day previous and was soon greeted by the imposing spire of the Wetterhorn peeking up above the ridgeline in front of me. The acrid smell of pine sap filled my nose as the morning sky turned into the deep azure sea that Colorado's high country is so famous for.

Upon reaching treeline the Matterhorn loomed in front of me.


And soon after the Wetterhorn came into view as well.


It soon became obvious that there was no one on the route in front of me although there was a party of climbers on the Matterhorn who had set up a high camp in the basin. I soon had to make a decision whether to push forward despite my trepidation about doing a class 3 by myself in a very remote area. The weather was certainly not an issue but I was concerned that there might be snow or ice on the final pitch and while I had an ice axe with me I did not have crampons. Ultimately I pushed forward to about 12.6K feet where I decided to turn around. I figured that if I pushed on to the ridge or higher that I'd be even more bummed out if or when I decided to turn around so that seemed like a great place to make the move. I must say that the view from there was spectacular.

The Wetterhorn from 12.6K feet.


And the Matterhorn.


Since it was still early I decided to go on another quest, one that over the years has been a favorite of mine while in the high mountain tundra on a beautiful day. About 400 feet lower there had been a loosely spaced field of rocks surrounded by lush spring grass and I hoped that I would find what I was looking for there. Once I had descended to that area I carefully searched through the rocks for just the right one, one that had a smooth surface and a face that was tilted back to the angle of a LazyBoy recliner. There it was, the perfect rock, Siesta Rock.


I tossed my pack to the side and settled in with my cap pulled down over my eyes for a perfect mountain siesta, bathed in the brilliant Colorado sun. For about an hour I listened to the pikas chirping in the distance while I drifted in and out of consciousness. Every once in a while I would open my eyes and be greeted by this view.


And if I turned my head to the right this view.


I was disappointed not to have reached the summit of the Wetterhorn but I suppose that in some ways I'm like an old dog. Some days running up and down hills is perfect fun, but on other days finding a warm sunbeam to curl up and take a nap in is even better.

Thanks for reading.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
Nice wasclywabbit! You had such a good day on Culebra you shouldn't fret about having to turn around on this one. Will make for another adventure sometime. The pics are great. Good to hike with you!


great shots wascly
06/28/2007 01:44
weird seeing that east face w/ no snow, nice TR


Thanks Guys
06/28/2007 02:09
FlyGirl: It was great hiking with you as well. I really had a great time....even at the back of the pack. lol

LordHelmut: Thanks a bunch. It does seem to have melted out pretty fast up there.


Wetterhorn TH Camping
07/03/2007 20:19
Very enjoyable TR. I was glad to read about the camping spot at the TH. Just out of curiosity, what is the estimated drive time from Lake City to the Wetterhorn TH? Thanks!


Distance from Lake City
11/30/2010 17:28
It only takes about 15 minutes to get to where I camped from Lake City. If you want to drive (4WD) to the actual trailhead from there it's about another 5 minutes or so.

Thanks for your commments.


Truck w/Dualies?
07/10/2007 01:10
Question I forgot to ask... My Father-I-L has offered to let me use his truck - a wide 4WD truck; extended cab with dualies (sp?). Any switchbacks that I would not be able to negotiate with the poor turning radius?

Thanks, Roo


11/30/2010 17:28
It might be a little tight going up the final 4WD road but that really isn't that long so if you had to hike that section, no biggie. No switchbacks per se, just typical NFS 4WD road.


we looked for it!
07/25/2007 04:28
My husband and I climbed Wetterhorn yesterday, and having read your trip report, both of us looked around the boulder field for your siesta rock and had a good time trying to figure out which it was!

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.