Peak(s):  Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Matterhorn Pk  -  13,590 feet
Date Posted:  07/19/2008
Date Climbed:   07/15/2008
Author:  thesgang
 Wetterhorn-Uncompahgre from Matterhorn Creek TH  

Since we didn't feel like camping after a weekend of too much drinking and the only affordable motel we could find in Lake City did not allow dogs, we stayed in Gunnison. Woke up a little after 3am, but moved slowly so by the time we finished the very dark and foggy drive it was 5:40am. We started at this spot a little below the trailhead (picture was actually taken at finish) because I was unsure of my Saturn on the road - could have made it though. Image We thought 5:40 was a little late for our plans to do all 3 peaks, but the weather held OK in the end and we were back below tree line before 2pm.

View of Matterhorn (right) and Wetterhorn with the ridge between as the sun rises Image.

Take the Ridgestock highway to Uncompahgre. The clear path goes up a bit from here, and then levels out and stays between 12,000 and 12,500ft for a while. It would make for a fantastic run, but unfortunately I strained my hamstring a few days prior and was unable to so much as jog even with a good wrap on it. So we took our time and hiked along. Image

Looking back at MH and WH from the trail to UC. MT looks easy from here - it's not. Image

Made the summit of UC at 8:30. This looks at MH and WH from the top - sorry about my poor photography skills - it's hard to make out the MH distinct form WH. Image

Looking back at the summit of UC from the way down. Image

Looking at the peaks to come (MH on the right). Image

Back at UC from the same point as previous pic. Image

Reached the MH peak at 10:30 - not much of a trail and it was steep hiking. This looks at the ridge over to WH - no way I'd take that on, better to go down and back up to WH. I noticed afterward that you could cut some of the distance off by coming down the southwest side of MH. Image

UC from the top of MH. Image

Looking down towards the initial trailhead from MH. Image

Headed up to WH. Image

Looking back at MH. Image

Going left up there (went that way on the ascent) is better than right (descent). Image

Stopped to chat with 2 groups of very nice people just above that last picture and then just below the summit for about 20 minutes. Thank you very much for suggesting the proper notch to hop through and letting us know that dogs could make it. Reached the summit at 12:20. This is the view down the ridge to MH (UC in background). Image

Joe and Porter making their way up the final pitch. Image

Joe and Porter down-climbing. That flat spot (near the dark dot) is where you go through the notch. The climbing is definitely class 3, but the rock is pretty decent. I've never rock climbed and I never felt unsafe. Image

View of the route down the ridge. Image

Overall, the hike was about 1.6 miles longer than stated in the Roach book (I had 2 different GPS systems and the shorter one read 19.5 by the end). I think that all of the great trails weren't there when he wrote the book and you could cut off a lot of distance.

Porter (Joe's dog) made all 3 peaks just fine, but had to be coaxed coming down WH. The people we met did WH with a retriever and a lab, but your dog should be nimble and fit if you plan to take him/her and might still need a push/pull. Keep a good eye/hold on them!

It's a beautiful hike and the drive through the canyon out is cool too. Image

Sorry again about my poor photography. Joe has better pics but he left for New Zealand the next day. Have fun Joe!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Work
02/05/2011 00:22
Nice Report B. I would also like to add that unless you are In extremely good shape, as Billy is, it would be unwise to start quite as late as we did. I managed a paltry 3 minutes combined on top of the peaks due to weather constraints.


07/21/2008 21:28
hey billy! the photos look great, don‘t know what you‘re talking about! glad you guys got porter up there, even if joe had to push him up a couple spots. - emily


Great Trail Report
11/30/2010 17:28
Glad to see you guys made it. I ran into you as you were coming down Uncompahgre Peak and I was headed up. That's one tough dog you have.


Thanks jrader
07/28/2008 19:48
Thanks. Porter was pretty cashed out for the next 2 days, but he was his usual self by Friday. Hope you had a terrific hike also. Maybe see you up on some more in the future.

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