Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Date Posted:  02/18/2019
Modified:  02/19/2019
Date Climbed:   08/24/2018
Author:  PaulVee
 Summer Fun - 2018   

Had a blast on Colorado 14ers last Summer! Below are some of my selected favorite photos with links to the full trip reports on my blog. In addition to just having some fun checking out stories and photos, hopefully I provide lots of information for folks, like myself, who are on the newer side of class 3 hikes. For lots of us less-than-pro-mountaineers, trying to decide ‘Can I do this?’ when considering class 3 hikes like Wetterhorn and Sneffels SW Ridge, is always tough. With good preparation, yes, you CAN do it!! But of course, one should only hike in control and within one's limits and abilities. I found that looking at as many descriptions and photos helps, so hopefully I can add to that.

Sneffels SW Ridge - 8-24-18

After a failed attempt on the standard route in 2016 (snow / slippery conditions in notch) Sneffels was tops on my list and I was fascinated by the Southwest Ridge route. It did not disappoint! I mention this in my full report, but my main takeaways were that I felt the gullies were steeper than I anticipated (although you quickly adapt). The other point was that the ridge proper section (once you leave the gully section) was MUCH longer than I thought. I know there's not much to differentiate one area from the next once you're on the ridge, but still, it's a good ways to the top once you break out of the gullies. Also, while the exposure on the right / East / Yankee Boy Basin side is less than the left / West / Blue Lakes side, there is still exposure either way. In the end this is a great entry to class 3 but I would recommend going with someone who has some experience. The toughest move for sure is the chimney after the up-gully which follows the down-gully on the route. And the Kissing Camels!!?? - MAGICAL!! :)





Wetterhorn - 8-19-18

Wow... LOVED Wetterhorn. I wasn't surprised this was amazing after reading so much about it on this site. Everybody loves it and I see why ... what a BLAST!! The rock scrambling is just so cool! I admit it kept me up thinking about if I was going to be able to handle the little down-sloping slab after the second notch as well as the final head wall. The slab, now, this is assuming it is dry, is easy. It's very wide, and the exposure isn't really until you reach the bottom where you turn up the wall. The wall is a bit intimidating the first time you see it, but evaluate where you are and head on up. The holds are great and it's basically like some steep steps. Once you're on the wall it is much better than when you're at the bottom of the wall thinking about it. And the ledge 2/3 of the way up is great... it is easy to navigate to the left to make the final push easier. The is also a great beginner class 3 hike, but honestly, that final wall is so short you're almost thirsting for more! Overall, just tremendous day. Oh!! and by the way, staying in the cabins and doing the scenic loop and partying in the restaurants in Lake City was super-fun too!


La Plata Peak - SW Ridge Route - 8-11-18

La Plata was amazing, and the Southwest Ridge route was really fun. Just getting to Winfield is fun. In that I only had a 2WD car, I parked in Winfield and walked the extra 2 miles to the 4WD trail head. For anyone who is considering this, as opposed to many 2WD to 4WD trail head roads, this one is basically flat and a very easy 2 miles. The basin leading up to the dirt wall / saddle and ridge was gorgeous. Once you're on the ridge it's longer than you think to the summit as the first huge wall only leads to a false summit with a good bit more ridge to go after that. I did have a fun little incident on the summit with a baby lightning flash that freeked me out... but all was good in the end as it was a very nice day. This was a really fun route, and from what I gather, it’s a bit less traveled.


Mount Bierstadt - 8-15-18

Loved Mount Bierstadt - Yes, this one was on the easier side, but I had run into some storms on Huron a couple of days earlier and had to turn around, so this was a great confidence builder to get my legs back under me. I really felt the scenery in the Guanella Pass area is gorgeous and the Sawtooth is awesome. I had been a bit sick so I didn't have the energy, and I normally find a partner for class 3 hikes, so I didn't really contemplate doing the Sawtooth traverse... but it was tempting! Can't wait to go back and get that one.


Mount Princeton - 8-7-18 - Have always been infatuated with Princeton since the first time I came from Fairplay down into Beuna Vista... what a sight! It was a late day shot since I had just got into town, but my friend Tim took me to the radio towers in his Xterra. I did not start the hike until about 11AM, but I thought that if the weather held, it could be a great late day summit. And I was in luck! The clouds completely held and by the time I got to the summit at 3PM, it was a beautiful bluebird Summer afternoon. And I have the summit to myself!! Hung out for a good while hamming around taking photos, relaxing, having a snack and absorbing the views. A memory I'll never forget!!


Lots more photos and commentary in the blog reports and thanks for checkin' it out!!

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

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 44 45 46 47 48 49 51 52 53 54 55 56 57

Comments or Questions

Busy August
02/19/2019 08:15
in the best possible way. Nice report!

Bad links
02/19/2019 18:13
Nice report. A couple of the links on the report go to the wrong report on your blog. Princeton link goes to Bierstadt report and LaPlata link goes to Wetterhorn report.


02/19/2019 19:57
Thanks for pointing out the incorrect links Dave!! They should be fixed now. The editor was a little squirrelly when I was putting all the pics up! lol!

And thanks for the nice comments Dave and Glenmiz!!


02/19/2019 20:26
... via the SW ridge route is one of my all time fav routes on any 14er. I really enjoyed your blog on that one. Thanks for putting this TR up!


Class 3bies
08/07/2019 20:09
Hi as a relative class 3 newbie, I enjoyed your reports. Nice to find someone close to your own level and with a similar head for heights. I just did Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre, but didnât try Sneffels SW ridge because there was too much snow. Agree the top of Wetterhorn was shorter than I expected, and the exposure was not as scary as I was prepared for. Sneffels SW ridge sounds like a step up. Of the other class 3s Iâve done Iâd rank them top to bottom in this order: Longs keyhole, Quandary west ridge, Kelso ridge of Torreys, east ridge of Bierstadt (although I had to bail on Sawtooth because of weather). Hope that helps planning your next adventure although you might be ready to push a 4! Cheers

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