Peak(s):  Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Date Posted:  07/22/2010
Modified:  08/24/2011
Date Climbed:   07/14/2010
Author:  4HClimber
Additional Members:   Johnson

 Wetterhorn--More fun than the monkey bars!  

Wetterhorn – more fun than the monkey bars!

SE Ridge From Upper Matterhorn Creek Trailhead

5:00 a.m. Depart upper trailhead
10:20 a.m. Summit
1:30 p.m. Return upper trailhead

I met up with Barry Johnson (BJohnson17) in Lake city the evening before I was to tackle my first Class 3 mountain. We grabbed a burger and headed to the lower trailhead to crash in the vehicles.

We were up at 4:00 a.m. and by 4:30 we were driving up the road to the upper trailhead. By 5:00 a.m. we were on the trail to Wetterhorn. Things were going great and we just did not follow the directions of Roach or and we continued up Matterhorn Creek instead of turning right and on the correct trail to Wetterhorn. We ended up a mile or so up Matterhorn Creek and on the west side of Wetterhorn. The good thing about the unplanned detour was that we were able to see the west side of Wetterhorn. The bad thing was that the detour added about an hour and a half to the trip as we backtracked around to the East side where we belonged.

This was my favorite 14er yet and I'll just let the pictures and captions speak for the rest of this trip report.

If your first glimpse of Wetterhorn is like this, you missed the right turn. Wetterhorn should be on the right of the hill.

This is the look at Wetterhorn when we were clearly off trail to the west. We pulled out the map and compass to discover our location.

Here is the correct look at the objective once we got back on the East side.

Getting closer to the yellow dirt saddle.

The real climbing starts to come into view.

Working our way up.

Barry in the upper notch just before we get onto the ramp to the final 100 feet. We ditched our packs here.

Here I am at the bottom of the ramp looking up to the final 100 foot scramble. There is some exposure below me but it was not as scary as it looks.

I've got to say that on the way up I was worried if I would chicken out of my first class 3 climb --the final 100 feet past the ramp. I'd looked at all the trip reports and that section looked kinda wicked. Onward I pressed as I tried to put the thought of entering mamby pampy land on the final 100 feet of Wetterhorn out of my mind.

Here I am just about to top out. Make sure you look back at where you have come from.

The summit shot with not enough wind to fly the flag.

I'll just have to hold the flag. Uncompahgre in the background.

Redcloud and Sunshine. My objective for tomorrow. They will be 32 and 33.

The pointy one in the middle of the picture is Sneffels. My objective the day after tomorrow. Number 34.

Barry down climbing part of the top 100 feet.

Image #15 (not yet uploaded)

Barry headed back to the ramp.

Target for the exit--The Ramp.

Here's one of the ledges you have to negotiate about half way up the final 100 feet.

The exit ramp, What we are looking for.

The ramp just below me. It is wider than it looks here. It was no problem.

Looking up the ramp standing on the bottom of it.

That's where we came from.

Great climb. There were ample hand holds and foot holds on the last 100 feet. They were solid hand holds and you can always lean in some. Even though there was significant exposure it really was not bad. As the title of this report says--it was more fun than the monkey bars!

This is a great first Class 3 mountain! Thanks Barry for joining me on this great climb.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

07/23/2010 04:37
Yeah I took that detour last year also. Missed the cutoff and went left. But I thought it was a nice loop in the end. Our party had to deal with lightning on the descent which sucked greatly but that's why it called Wetterhorn. Awesome mountain.


Better late than never ...
07/23/2010 18:25
I'm sure you don't want to hear that you could have followed the scree gully you see in photo #2, hung a right on grassy slopes and intersected the standard route on the broad ridge of Wetterhorn (thus eliminating the need to backtrack). 8) (We did that a few years back and it worked nicely). Great photos. Happy trails!


07/23/2010 18:41
Yep. We considered doing just that but opted not to. When I got back to the vehicle and looked in Roach's book I saw that there was indeed a trail from the west side up to the saddle.


07/23/2010 19:21
on your first class 3 peak I really enjoyed the Wetterhorn (did it a week ago)...other than feeling slightly sick coming from WI.

P.s - stop copying me you have the same helmet as me


Nice honest report.
06/02/2011 14:57
At least we got the compass out before we meandered too far eh? Photo #2 and the gully does look like a nice way to go but getting back to the main trail was nice too. Good job Jeff. Too bad I'm retired now.

Shasta Locales

Great photos
07/25/2010 01:47
We plan to do this peak in September and I've been reading so many folks comment on how this was their favorite 14er. Thanks for the great photos and for getting us psyched to do this one!

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