Thursday, August 28, 2008

Uncompahgre Peak

Jay and Garrett hiked a 14er, Uncompahgre Peak, for Garrett's 14th birthday. The hike actually took place the day after Garrett's birthday, but we had to have a day to get there and camp. They got up at 5:30 a.m. since it's a good idea to get to a high summit before noon in case afternoon storms move in. Uncompahgre's elevation is 14,309 feet, the sixth highest mountain in Colorado and the highest mountain in the San Juan range. It's kind of weird to do a trip report blog for a hike I didn't do and photos I didn't take! Jay did a good job taking pictures for me. Check out the sunrise.
Garrett taking a break.
It looks like Wetterhorn Peak sticking up there, but it might be Matterhorn. I'm not sure since I wasn't there. If I mislabel any mountains, feel free to correct me or add additional info in my comments.
Good view of the peak.
Looking up the trail. It looks nice here, just steep.
Jay managed to get a picture of a pika running by. They are so fast!
From the left are Wetterhorn and Matterhorn Peaks. The center are Coxcomb and Redcliff Peaks.
Another good view of Wetterhorn and Matterhorn Peaks. Those peaks are named after the Wetterhorn and Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, and I really see the resemblance.
Jay thinks he could see Lizard Head Peak kind of to the right here. I think I see what he's talking about and possibly Wilson Peak.
Jay thought this picture would freak me out. I know they were being careful. There were some stretches of steep areas that were loose rocks that made Jay worry about Garrett. If you fell you would tumble a few hundred feet, at least. Uncompahgre is only a class 2 hike, no technical skills required, but is obviously going to be a steep hike.
This is the summit survey marker. Jay and Garrett were on the summit by 10:30 a.m. The hike to the top was about 4 miles and had an elevation gain of exactly 3,000 feet.
I told Garrett that the view from the top would be like looking at a sea of mountains. He said that is what he was thinking about while Jay took this picture. What a way to remember your 14th birthday forever.
Uncompahgre Peak is a popular 14er, so if you hike it in August you will definitely see other people. There were 6 other people on the summit at the same time, and two of them were women that sang Happy Birthday to Garrett. Should I mention that these two women were probably in their 60's? That's awesome!
This spot is a popular one for taking photos and usually has someone sitting with their legs dangling off the part of the peak on the left or standing on the edge. I'm thankful that Jay didn't let Garrett do that. In the center is a good view of Precipice Peak.
Cool view of Wetterhorn.
On the way down, the camera was acting up and Jay didn't take very many more pictures. Besides, they needed to concentrate on getting down. They got back to the camp site at around 1:30 p.m.
Looking back at where they had been.
I already added this video to the Nellie Creek Trail entry, but I thought I'd put it with the hike entry also. Toward the end you can hear the pikas squeaking and chirping at each other. There are a bunch of them living in the rocks at the lower part of the trail where the girls and I hiked, about 1/2 mile up from the trailhead.


CigarSmokingMan said...

I think that was a very cool Father / Son outing. Congratulations to them both !

Barb said...

Wow! Beautiful pics!! Jay did good!! Looks like a great hike for them. An awesome way to celebrate
Garrett's 14th birthday! I want to go!!!