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Peak #7:   Wednesday February 10, 2016

A nice look at the east face while ascending to the ridge.

A nice look at the east face while ascending to the ridge.

Elevation: 14,015’

Ski Route: Southeast Ridge up and East Face descent

Round Trip Mileage and Skiable Vertical: 21 Miles and 7,800′ (Including both Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn for the day.

Ski Partners: Solo Summit

  • Start Time: 11:00 AM (directly after Uncompaghre Peak)
  • Reached Summit: 2:00 PM
  • End Time: 6:00 PM

After pausing for Lunch in the basin below Wetterhorn’s east face, I knew I needed to forge ahead.

Nearing the summit pitch with the Ship's Prow (left).

Nearing the summit pitch with the Ship’s Prow (left).

The southeast ridge of Wetterhorn is tedious, and in soft snow can also be a real hassle as you have to boot up the steep sections and sometimes deal with trap-door snow and rocks that must be climbed in low 3rd class fashion.

Entering the notch to the summit pitch.

Entering the notch to the summit pitch.

The there is the summit pitch for a 150 feet above the Ship’s Prow.  This part of Wetterhorn is the few pieces of this entire adventure that isn’t skiable.

Fun summit pitch that to my knowledge has never been skied due to its lack of snow and steepness and narrow nature.

Fun summit pitch that to my knowledge has never been skied due to its lack of snow and steepness and narrow nature.

No worries, I ascended the fun rock steps and found myself with a summit in Winter in Colorado that is small, spectacular and all to myself.

All alone on a winter summit!

All alone on a winter summit!

Looking east felt great to know I had done both peaks and skied Uncompaghre's west face earlier in the day.

Looking east felt great to know I had done both peaks and skied Uncompaghre’s west face earlier in the day.

Then it was finally time to descend so I down climbed the short section and clicked into my skis for the East Face.

I made quick work of the face and was into the basin quickly headed back towards the Engineer Alpine Loop and down the snow covered road to my vehicle at Nellie Creek.

Sun setting fast as I headed back to the trailhead!

Such a gorgeous day up high!

What a great day in the mountains, the San Juans always deliver!   Here is a video I made of my journey on these peaks two years earlier which nearly matched my effort on this day in 2016.

 

Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre in the distance….a great adventure!

Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre in the distance….a great adventure!

Cheers!

Dr. Jon