Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Date Posted:  08/08/2007
Date Climbed:   08/07/2007
Author:  Gabe K

 Uncompahgre via Nellie Creek (A Sweet Redemption)  

On Friday, some friends and I attempted to hike up Uncompahgre from Nellie Creek. I was so excited, because I have been trying to get a chance to do Uncompahgre for two years now. My biggest reason for not getting to it sooner is that I own a PT Cruiser and another is the fact that I live in Michigan. We drove up to Lake City Thursday evening in rain, thunder, and lightning. And set up our tents in all three as well. In the morning it was still raining, so we decided not to try the hike up Uncompahgre. The mountain gods were not kind that day.

But, I got a second chance yesterday, August 7th. when four women who I work with from the Black Canyon asked if I wanted to hike Uncompahgre with them. I instinctively without hesitation said "hell yeah!!!" So, we drove into Lake City and ate at Poker Alice‘s, the full house calzone was awesome! Then deja vu set in. We began driving the Nellie Creek road and rain, lightning, and thunder came out in force. We set up our tents in the rain and went to sleep. I thought the mountain gods had something agaisnt me getting up Uncompahgre for some reason unknown to me.

I awoke at 4:30am and got Allie up and she proceeded to "motivate" the others to wake. Allie was highly motivated to get going, but the others weren‘t. After some discussion if the truck we were driving could make it up to the trailhead, we drove up to it with little problems. We began our hike together at 6:30am, and I tried to keep a pace so I wouldn‘t be too far ahead of the others. But, the clouds were everywhere and rolling over the mountains. Seeing this, I was determined to get up the peak, I didn‘t want to be denied again and my volunteer position was up for the summer, so I was heading home soon and wouldn‘t get another chance. So, I gunned for the summit passing several groups along the way. I was the first one to the summit, which was 8:45am. It was great to be up there for a while by myself to take it all in. The views were amazing through the clouds. A group of 12 came up shortly after me, and I volunteered my services to be their group photographer. Around 9:15am two members of my group summited, and at 9:45am the other two made it. I am glad that I got there when I did, because clouds covered the peak revealing little scenary. We headed down after hanging out for a while and we came across a trail crew working on the trail. Major props need to go out to these people for their hard and dedicated work for keeping the trails maintained. One of the women trail crew members (from PA) was really cute, but alas, I was heading home the next day for Michigan, so I didn‘t even bother asking. She was such a cutie though

I had an awesome hike! The hike was incredibly easy compared to other hikes I‘ve done, but the scenary was SPECTACULAR!!! It rivaled Handies and the American Basin hike I did last summer. The San Juans defintely get my vote as the most scenic area of the Rocky Mountains, and the fourteeners within the San Juans are by far the most amazingly scenic summits I have witnessed.

I also have to give major props to Molly, the truck that got us to the trailhead, without her, I never would have had such an awesome experience hiking Uncompahgre.

Image Image: Approaching Uncompahgre
Image Image: Little Waterfall
Image Image: Wetterhorn & Matterhorn (I think)
Image Image: Views along the way
Image Image: Standing on the Summit
Image Image: Hiking back to the truck
Image Image: USGS Marker
Image Image: Molly (the truck that got us there)

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Steve Knapp

Very nice
02/05/2011 00:22
Nice report Gabe. I love this mountain, can't believe I've only climbed it once as many times as I've been in the San Juans. So photogenic in all types of weather.

Where are you from in Michigan? I grew up in Coldwater (a smalll town Southern Lower) and went to school at Western Michigan Univ. I loved Colorado and the mountains so much I just had to move here after graduating. Nice that you've been able to spend two summers here. And then there is the awesome skiing here vs. Michigan

Gabe K

11/30/2010 17:28
I live in Muskegon, which is on the shore of Lake Michigan. I teach in whitehall, which is a short drive north. If you like BIG lakes, or as I like to say, freshwater oceans, it's the place to be. I would definitely live in Colorado, but I have a good job and home in Michigan. I am very tempted, however, to try and move out here.

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