Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Date Posted:  06/30/2008
Date Climbed:   06/28/2008
Author:  Carl
 Uncompahgre & Wetterhorn Peaks  

For my birthday on Saturday my wife splurged and treated me with approximately 35 gallons of gasoline. I quickly redeemed them all for our first summer time trip to the San Juans.

Uncompahgre Peak, June 28, 2008

We arrived at the Nellie Creek 4wd road about 7pm Friday evening. To our surprise, four rough miles later we arrived at the TH. The bulldozer was parked off to the side about 2.3 miles up, having cleared the landslide sometime in the last few days. We switched gear from our overnight packs to our day packs, and retired to the back of the truck.

After enjoying some donuts and Gatorade, we were on our way at 7am.

Not long after the hike began we were rewarded we an amazing view of Uncompahgre.

Intermittent snow scattered the trail in a few spots until a small creek crossing where we found a continuous patch and opted for the short cut.

Quite a few postholes and one wet foot later, we regained the trail before the switchbacks.

Enjoying the view of Wetterhorn Peak.

The class 2 to the summit was completely dry.

Posing for our summit pic with Wetterhorn dominating the snow capped San Juans. Perfect weather allowed us to spend nearly an hour on the top.

We descended with a nice guy from Massachusetts (one of only 10 people we saw the entire day) and gave him and his friend a lift back down the 4wd road.

Wetterhorn Peak, June 29, 2008

Shortly thereafter we were on our way to the Wetterhorn TH.

Taking advantage of the fact that we were car camping.

When Renard arrived near the trailhead shortly after we did we quickly realized there was a common interest besides 14ers. After making acquaintance and chatting about Land Cruisers, we decided to ascend Wetterhorn together in the morning.

Dayna eyeing the route, which avoids almost all of the snow pictured.

Almost all. Though with our early start we cruised along on top.

The snow free route to the summit.

Renard checking out the final 400 vertical with Dayna close behind.

We donned the helmets as the trail starts to get steeper.

Pausing to enjoy the view.

We didn't spend much time atop what is thus far my favorite 14er as Renard had Uncompahgre on the agenda and Dayna was waiting at the saddle. We met the only other climbers we would see the entire day on the summit (also members) who can be seen here patiently waiting on the climb down so as to not descend while Renard and I are below.

Off the summit and back to gentle terrain we relaxed for a while on the lawn, taking in the beauty of Uncompahgre's other side.

Break time over, we grabbed our axes and found some snow. After a perfect glissade we parted ways with Renard who summited Uncompahgre a few hours later.

Thanks for an amazing weekend!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

good stuff
02/05/2011 00:22
spending a long time on the summit is the way to go, glad everything worked out for you guys, that Nellie Creek looks vicious right now.


07/01/2008 13:13
Great shots. I‘m looking forward to getting out this weekend.


car camping...
07/01/2008 14:12
rocks... I love having my portable dvd player along... somehow watching Van Wilder at 11k is so wrong... yet so right!

Nice pics and looks like a fun weekend!


07/01/2008 14:35
Congrats! Conditions look nice. Excellent pics. So, the Nellie Creek road is freshly plowed? Can a Subaru Forester handle it all the way?


Road conditions....
05/02/2011 14:23
I think it would be very difficult for a Subaru Forester to travel much of that road without damage. I have no experience driving one myself, although I have seen them at the end of some rough trails. The only other vehicles I saw this weekend though were a 4Runner, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan truck, Mercedes G500 (modified), and Hummer H3 (modified). There are some ruts and dips in the road that would be a problem without high clearance and good approach/departure angle. I scraped up my spare and dragged my hitch. The road isn't bad the entire way (in part thanks to the bulldozer) so it doesn't take excessively long to drive, but there are difficult sections scattered throughout. I didn't see any evidence that the dozer improved the first 2.3 miles.


07/01/2008 17:05
It was nice to meet you on the summit (I was the not wearing a helmet )

I‘m looking forward to see how your trip goes this coming weekend.


Good stuff........nice report
07/01/2008 22:11
Thanks for the most recent info, I now won‘t hesitate to climb this coming Thursday.


What a nice birthday present!
07/03/2008 02:32
Great report Carl! It‘s wierd being off skis, isn‘t it?! Thanks for the beta - Wetterhorn is a strong possibility this weekend. Hopefully we all can get together for some backpacks/climbs this summer!



Tahoe and 4-year-old child
07/04/2008 22:34
Wesley, Great report and pictures; thanks! A group of us plan on climbing Uncompahgre in about a week. I have three questions. (1) We have a 4WD Tahoe Z71. Would you anticipate any problem in driving that to the trailhead? (2) We are thinking of taking my 4-year-old grandson on this hike. He is sturdy boy. In your opinion, do you think a 4-year-old could make this hike? Finally, keeping the 4-year-old in mind, (3) are there any parts to this climb that you would consider dangerous for a 4-year-old? Thanks, John


Tahoe and 4 yr old
05/02/2011 14:23
I‘ll shoot you a PM later today John.


Thanks for the comments
05/02/2011 14:23

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