Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Date Posted:  08/13/2013
Modified:  08/15/2013
Date Climbed:   07/12/2013
Author:  zinj
 Uncompahgre - 2013 Summer Trek Rpt 3 of 7  

The route described here is the standard route. It's a beautifully constructed and lovingly maintained trail which stays soft and gentle up to 13,800 at the base of the cliff bands -- no route finding or tundra-trampling is warranted.

July 12, 2013 - Summit Day 3

Unc. The peculiar name of this mountain supposedly draws from First Nations words, but the fact it's spelled so strangely suggests the French got hold of the name at some point and mangled it according to their own idiom. Whatever it's called, I've long thought of Unc as one of the iconic Colorado peaks because if its unusual shape and high summit. Last summer I finally gazed upon it from Wetterhorn, and Redcloud, and Sunshine, and... well, Unc is visible from all over this region of Colorado and is always easy to identify.

I'm writing this TR as an ascent only version in order to provide the most useful guide to others. What this means is that you'll see ascent and descent photos mixed together (you can tell by the sun position) but placed in the order they would fall if all the visual material were captured on the ascent.

Trail built to withstand erosion


I sat here for a while just to BE.


Mighty Unc

Higher elevation erosion dams

Lil' bit o' snow

Closing in

Gendarmes on the Southwest side of route

Gendarmes on the Southwest side of route, Wetterhorn

1 min of spliced video snippets of the approach to the cliffs

Cliff section

Many paths may work here - for the easiest approach you may want to resist the temptation to ascend too early and get farther North first

Crux choices

in the crux

Abbreviated video navigating the cliffs

In retrospect, I (and the cairned trail) ascended the cliffs too soon. Looking back down over the cliffs, a gentler route would be to move North beyond the prominent pillar and the subsequent spire to the North. I ended up there anyway, but had to traverse on slope rather than gentler terrain below the pillar and spires. I guess that would be the third/fourth gully rather than the first/second one.
Looking South over the cliffs

Short steep sections

This kid did it!

The section to the summit after the cliffs is much gentler than the crux (which, by definition, I suppose it would have to be). I'll spare you video of this bit of the ascent and instead drop in some summit panos/sightseeing vids:

Usain-ing on top of Unc Summit, Precipice in the distance

From left - Wetterhorn with Matterhorn in front of it (look for shadow), Coxcomb, Redcliff, "Fortress", Precipice and Dunsinane

Best idea I've copied yet...(Unc Summit with Precipice and Dunsinane in background)

Good weather, good trail, good company, good beer, good times. Yeah, Young Master William's shirt is inside-out. Thin air, I guess...

Preceding Report: Seldom-used Northern Route to Tab-Shav-PT 13712 (Browns Lake) - 2013 Summer Trek Rpt 2 of 7
Subsequent Report: San Luis from West Willow Creek (Creede) - 2013 Summer Trek: Rpt 4 of 7

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

 Comments or Questions

You get a Like...
08/13/2013 17:08
For the inclusion of Dales in your summit photos.


Ferris B:
08/13/2013 17:23
Dale's Pale Ale is so choice...if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.


08/13/2013 23:01
You've misidentified Coxcomb/Redcliff in several of your photos.
The 'Usain' and Dales photos has Precipice Peak (not Coxcomb) in the bkgd.


08/13/2013 23:24
So I did. (fixed now). Do you know if the ~13,020-ish high point between Redcliff and Precipice has a name?


08/14/2013 01:12
The high point between Redcliff and Precipice is UN 13,241', unofficially called 'Fortress'.

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