Peak(s):  Ouray, Mt  -  13,971 feet
Date Posted:  08/15/2017
Modified:  10/01/2019
Date Climbed:   08/13/2017
Author:  RJ_Greenhorn24
Additional Members:   BlindWanderer
 Great Day on Ouray!  

Last October we made our first attempt at Mt. Ouray and were turned back due to some less than favorable weather conditions. After a year of looking at this mountain every time we go over Monarch or snowmobiling on Marshall, we finally made our second stab at it. The result: Success!!

One of the more easily accessed 13ers, Mt. Ouray proved to be much more fun than the class 1 walk ups on many of the mountains in the Sawatch Range. From boulder hopping to large talus ledges this was a very fun climb! We stuck to the trail as much as possible on the tundra, but when it came to the talus fields we all chose our own route, making it a bit more of an enjoyable challenge.

We started our climb around 3am in an effort to view the Perseid meteor shower, puffball clouds thwarted our attempt for the most part but we did catch a few before light began to cover the horizon. Bushwacking up to treeline in the dark was certainly the biggest challenge of the day, our headlamps offered little help but we made it to the SW ridge regardless. The trek up the SW ridge was uneventful until we reached the West ridge, which proved much more eventful in the dark. We kept to any trail we could find until we began hitting the "bumps" on the ridge, then the talus hopping began. This was the norm most of the way up until we reached the white rock outcropping where we found trail remnants on the left side as stated in the route description. From the white rocks it looked like the summit was so close, but as with most Sawatch mountains it was a falsey.

With faint light now covering the ground and the sun ready to peak it's head up in the East at any moment we put some more pep in our step. We managed to make the false summit just as the sun broke out and showered light upon the surrounding peaks; the enormous shadow that Ouray cast to the West made missing a summit sunrise seem worth it. Minutes later we were atop the summit basking in the sunlight and enjoying the celebratory summit brew and donuts! The weather was perfect so we stayed on the summit for a few hours and even squeezed in a nap. When we saw clouds forming over the Collegiates we gathered our packs and made our way back down the West ridge.

Multiple chipmunks made the descent very entertaining and having the light that we lacked on the ascent gave us a chance to snag some good pictures of the area. One of the people in our party had never hiked anything before and was in awe of the views, continuously looking back up at the peak and commenting how it was insane that we were just up there. Once we hit the talus "bumps" on the ridge he was blown away at the slight exposure in spots since it was dark when we had ascended; I think he may be hooked as he has already agreed to join us for Uncompahgre this weekend

The rest of the descent was typical: knee pain, distant thunder over the Northern Sawatch peaks and more wonderful bushwacking down to the cabin. It felt great to finally conquer a peak that we felt we had been "beat by" last October, and being a 13er made it even better as we only saw 4 other people all day (the chipmunks were great company).

Until we return in November for snowmobile season, we shall admire it from afar knowing we finally claimed it! Happy Hiking!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

Coming soon
08/15/2017 22:54
Congrats, I'm going to try for this one soon...the Sawatch views are relaxing huh...

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