Peak(s):  Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Date Posted:  07/31/2008
Date Climbed:   07/29/2008
Author:  Gabe K
 Marmot Metropolis   

After reading the trip report from thesgang, I decided to attempt to hike up Wetterhorn. My start to the day is very similar to thesgang, for I am staying in the park housing at Curecanti National Recreation Area outside of Gunnison. I awoke at 3:30AM and was driving towards Lake City by 4:00AM. My Subaru outback reached the trailhead with no problem, and I parked subie at the bottom of the 4WD recommended sign. My hike began at 6:05AM and the beginning was a fairly gradual ascent up a large drainage which reminded me a lot of neighboring Uncompahgre. There were some flowers about, but nothing like the Blue Lakes has going on near Mt. Sneffels, which I hiked the day before. Anyway... I reached a boulder field at the base of Wetterhorn Peak and was greeted by a plethora of marmots. There were more marmots here than I have ever seen, literally dozens of them scurrying about and resting on the rocks to soak up the early morning sun. I was distracted by them all and took some time taking pictures and watching them. After some time, I continued on my way up to the summit. I was totally alone, and quickly realized it when I reached the class 3 sections of the hike. It definitely put me beyond my comfort zone, but I took my time getting through what I felt was a sketchy section; I believe it is referred to as the "rib". Upon getting through "the rib" I realized I reached the top. Woo-Hoo! I made it! The hike was fairly easy for a fourteener, but the class 3 rock scrambling definitely pushed me on this peak, more because I am not experienced with this stuff and I was hiking solo. I scrambled down, and was greeted by several others going up at the first place on the peak where I had to start scrambling. They looked a little unprepared with little or no water, and no extra clothing or rain jacket, but I am sure they did fine. I got back to my car pretty quickly and went into Lake City for a snack and a cappuccino. Afterwards I went into Gunnison to run some afternoon errands and start packing for my trip home back to Michigan, which will be very soon now, yikes! I wish I could stay longer in this wonderful state of Colorado, but alas, my job will be starting back up at the end of August. Maybe I can fit on more summit before I leave.

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