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 Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
 Post Date:  10/01/2012
 Date Climbed:   09/29/2012
 Posted By:  DaveSwink

 Uncompahgre Peak in the fall   

With the snow-free 14er climbing season coming to a close, I recruited my son, Jason to climb Uncompahgre before access to the trailhead became difficult. We made the long drive from Boulder to Lake City to spend the night in a comfortable but inexpensive cabin at ElkhornRV.

The next morning, careful driving got my Subaru Forrester to the Nellie Trailhead. I thought the rough 4WD road was comparable to the road to Huron, but longer with a couple of creek crossings thrown in.

I took a quick trailhead photo, and then we set off.

Image
Jason and Dave at the trailhead


Jason needs no encouragement after you say "let's go".

Image
Jason speeds up the trail


A very short hike took us above treeline and Uncompahgre rose into view.

Image
First siting of our goal


The trail wound through some cool sculpted boulders.

Image
Cool boulders


As we climbed higher above treeline, we got a wider perspective of our goal including the snow-lined switchbacks up the South ridge.

Image
Full view of Uncompahgre


The San Juans began spreading out to the horizon after we gained the South ridge.

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South ridge view


We wound around to the West face to find the steeper talus had a light snow coating. I made a mental note to wear microspikes on the way down to improve traction.

Image
West face talus


Image
View from the West face


Finally, we got to enjoy a light snack on the summit and survey the beautiful day.

Image
Summit view


Image
More summit views


Wetterhorn and Matterhorn looked dramatic outlined with a bit of snow.

Image
Wetterhorn and Matterhorn


On our easy hike down, we got a delightful treat when we encountered a beautiful coyote hunting rabbits in the alpine meadows.

Image
Coyote


Image
Coyote


Back to Lake City for some big burgers at the Packer Saloon, and then the long drive back to Boulder!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (8)
theguydog14


Love the fox pic.     2012-10-01 08:53:02
It looks like real thick like a dog almost. Very nice


DaveSwink


fox     2013-01-24 10:58:01
Yes, it moved well, looked healthy and strong, and it was very alert. I guess it is ready for the long Colorado winter.

We got to see it attempt a ”pounce” on a rabbit. After staring for about a minute, it ran/leaped about 30 feet so fast that it was just a blur. It missed that time, but it was impressive to watch!


MtnHub


fox     2012-10-01 15:21:25
Yeah, that's a great shot of the fox! I too have never seen one so thick in fur. Nice report! Thanks for posting!


planet54


fox?     2012-10-01 16:12:11
Uncompahgre is a beautiful climb,one of my favorites. Looks like a coyote to me.


DaveSwink


fox     2013-01-24 10:58:01
The coyotes that I have seen are skinny, scruffy, and hangdog. This animal was magnificent. I added another pic that shows his foxy tail.


DaveSwink


fox----naw, coyote     2013-01-24 10:58:01
OK, a quick google search for coyote images confirmed that it is indeed a coyote. I am correcting the TR. Thanks, planet54!


cftbq


Forester     2012-10-02 14:12:01
Thanks for confirming, empirically, that a Forester can navigate this road. Before I climbed this peak, numerous well-intentioned people told me it couldn't be done! Cook photos & congrats.


DaveSwink


TH road     2013-01-24 10:58:01
Yah, I would say that road pretty nearly defines the limits of a stock 2008 Forrester. It took patience and occasionally getting out to move rocks.



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