Wow! One of the coolest mountains I have been on. Great weather allowed us to head over and touch the top of Matterhorn Peak while in the area.
3:00 up. We wandered onto the east side of the ridge on the ascent which added a little extra spice to the climb as we found the east side to be much looser than the top of the ridge. My two cents of advice: once you ascend to the ridge, stay close to the ridge on the west side. The initial view of peeking through the keyhole gave me a little pause; all I could see was the ramp and distant green fields. We'd gotten almost a quarter inch of snow at the trailhead during the night, so we carried our axes. Oddly enough, there was no evidence any new snow on the peak.
My second time on Wetterhorn. Followed the new CFI approach trail and was disappointed to find that it isn’t nearly as direct as the old one.
7/8/05- nice valley hike led us to the ridge. route finding up to the summit block was fun; i kept showing my partners the correct route then went searching for some challenging ways to climb up. summit block was solid and easy. nice views up top. climb this mountain!
6/3/07- climbed the east face w/nellis while jen and scott climbed the snow covered southeast ridge. got a great glissade off the lower ridge on the descent!
5/15/10- returned to the climb the east face w/steve. snow quality was much better this time around. our beautiful, bluebird day disappeared right below the summit block leaving us in a whiteout to finish things off. always a great adventure!
Wetterhorn is a special peak indeed. I did it after Uncompahgre as the weather held long enough to be on top at 1pm. Started at 11K below Nellie Creek 4wd trailhead and had my friend Pat pick me up below the Matterhorn 2wd trailhead. Incredible loop hike as long as the weather holds. Fun scrambling on the top and the exposure is well protected with solid holds.
FUN! This mountain is great, seemed like I made it to the top in no time at all from the matterhorn TH. No problems at all, didn't even see anyone till we were coming down and heading over to uncompahgre. Beautiful weather and beautiful views. I think I would like to do wetterhorn, matterhorn and uncompahgre all in one day sometime soon!
This has been my favorite 14er yet! I left the trailhead at 4am and my headlamp spied the eyes of several animals off the trail. Freaky, but they kept my pace brisk. The hike was an awesome mix of trail, boulderhopping, ridge scrambling, and an easy climb to the summit. I enjoyed sunrise all by myself on the summit at 7:30am. After leaving the summit, I continued on and summited Uncompahgre later that day. I was spent, but the 17.5 miles in one day was well worth it.
After setting up camp about a mile west of the Matterhorn Creek Road and TH on Aug. 21st, I had hoped to climb this the on the 22nd. When I woke at 6:00 a.m. the monsoon clouds had me roll over in my sleeping bag and I decided to take it easy and drive over Engineer Pass into Ouray for lunch instead. I returned over Cinnamon Pass and back through Lake City during the storm. The rain and lightning finally ended and broke up before sundown.
The next morning, I woke and hit the trailhead by 7:00 a.m. and quickly proceeded up the trail. Being a Saturday, I expected more climbers, but only saw five others on Wetterhorn that day. The climber's trail that crosses the creek above timberline and heads west along the left side of the basin was marked with a cairn and the junction seemed logical to me, although I think many people stay on the main trail much higher before turning toward Wetterhorn. Although this trail does fade into a number of scree slopes and gullies below the SE ridge, it is helpful to climb on it if you can locate it.
It grew chilly on the ridge, so I added a layer on top, but was still in shorts on the legs. The route climbs up a semi-loose slope of brightly colored rock and the gets into the better defined ridge above. The route was more apparent than I thought it would be and finding the small keyhole above the Shark's Fin was marked with a cairn. The steep scramble on solid ledges above to the summit is a spectacular finish on a great mountain. Just be careful of sending rock missles onto anyone below. I topped out at 10:30 and fortunately had the summit to myself for twenty minutes when another climber, from Boulder, arrived. I spent 45 minutes on top and the two of us descended together, making excellent time and back to the TH by 1:15 p.m. The storm clouds let loose a half hour later. The cold beer in the cooler was a nice finish.
Double bagging of Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre. #24 and #25. Gorgeous day, no problems with the climb except there was no one else on top to take a picture of me.
Climbed late in day after conquering Uncompahgre in the morning. A beautiful mountain, and challenging climb.
Despite marginal weather, I made the summit with a friend from Boulder, CO. I did not think this mountain was as hard as it is built up to be. Yes, you want to avoid falling, but there are so many steps and handholds that make it easy. Also, thanks to work by the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative in 2004, the Trail to Wetterhorn Peak is now clearly marked and easy to follow. There are even signs marking where the Wetterhorn trail junctions away from the main trail. Other former climber paths have been marked "Closed for Revegetation". Having one clearly marked trail will help preserve the tundra environment and also make it quicker and easier to gain the SE ridge of Wetterhorn.
All in all, a very nice hike!
One of the most beautiful Fourteeners out there. Tanya and I especially liked the last summit pitch - pure fun! We also came across a guy smoking pot on the summit...I was wondering why he was talking to the marmot up there and once I smelled the smoke, it all made sense...I guess he made it down okay, though.
High on the list of most people's favorite Colorado mountains, including me. I've only done the peak once, in the late '70's, and it may have been my first San Juan 14-er. Did the mountain with Aaron, and the unusual thing about this trip came about because at that time some access roads were still open that are now gone. We'd just purchased CJ's, and were big on trying out new roads--well, we took a winding back ridge road, eventually bringing us out on to a ridge overlooking the Wetterhorn south/southeast basin. (And what a stupendous view that particular perspective is!) From there we did the mountain, which was considerably shorter than the standard routes of today. The thing of interest, and we didn't realize this until some time later, is that the area had just been declared a wilderness area, we had taken a wrong turn onto an access road in such a manner so as to miss a closed gate (the "normal" entry point) maybe a hundred yards further on--in other words, we may actually have been driving in the wilderness, and were probably the last ones ever to use that particular road. We'd never have done such a thing knowingly, and even back then the fine would have been substantial--ignorance is bliss, and we lucked out. And the mountain was terrific!
Did Matterhorn two years ago (2002) with Aaron and Ellen. Nice views of Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre.
A beautiful climb. Rope was nice for the final pitch. Not highly technical at all, but a fall would be serious.
This one wound up being a battle for me! I made it to the top after climbing up the frost covered crux. Exciting climb, all by myself--had the whole upper mountain to myself.
I am signing this summit log in a internet cafe in Ouray :)
Amazing climb. We actually went pretty far over towards Matterhorn Peak and then headed up grassy slopes and snow back over to the south ridge. This route is sort of in the Roach book but I think we went farther east than he suggests. There is a trail in between the two creeks that I think we were meant to find instead.
Last section got my attention but not nearly as bad as I expected. The ledges were very solid.
Nice climb end of September - colors were fanatastic.
Well, unlike "Ratballs", we were wearing clothes, so call us boring! We did the standard routes on Wetterhorn and Matterhorn. Matterhorn was easy and enjoyable. Wetterhorn proved a dandy little scramble on excellent rock! We hiked in the previous night from West Fork Cimarron trailhead and camped east of the 12500' pass east of Matterhorn Peak. Planned to take a 3-day trip to do Uncompahgre, but it seemed better to look at than to climb, so we just did Matterhorn and Wetterhorn and hiked out. Long day, but good fun.
Highest Naked Man in America:
I headed down Crestone-wards in the evening, but the weather there looked so appalling that I just kept on going, bearing generally towards the southwest. Midnight found me deep in the San Juans, pulling up to the Matterhorn Creek trailhead, where I truck-camped for the night. I backpacked in at 8AM, set up my tent just below the Matterhorn slopes, and then hiked around the shoulder across the open plains of tundra to Uncompahgre, which I climbed up a frustrating scree-filled couloir on the west side.
It felt so damned good to be back up high that I practically skied back down Uncompahgre and ran over to Wetterhorn--beating by twenty minutes, I might add, the summit-to-summit time of Matt Mahoney, the ultra-runner (I know, because he recorded his time in the summit register). It was 4PM, and the latest I'd ever summited. On Wetterhorn, the weather was so clear that I took all my clothes off and wandered naked around the summit for a half-hour or so.
I'm fairly certain that for 30 minutes, then, I was the highest naked man in Colorado, if not the country. Of course, by the time I got back to my tent (fully and appropriately attired), it was still only about 5:30PM, so I backpacked the whole damned thing down again and drove the 380 miles home--I never did camp.