Peak(s):  Weston Pk  -  13,572 feet
Ptarmigan Pk  -  13,739 feet
Date Posted:  07/19/2010
Modified:  07/20/2010
Date Climbed:   07/16/2010
Author:  BobbyFinn
 Weston and Ptarmigan Combination  

Mountains: Weston Peak and Ptarmigan Peak
Trailhead: Weston Pass (2WD ok)
Time: ~2.5 hrs

My wife was out of town and I wanted to hit up some 13ers to keep myself in shape for the rest of our summer hiking plans. I left work in Denver at about 3:30 pm and headed straight for the trailhead at Weston Pass (from the 285 side). Weston Pass is 2WD friendly, though there might have been one rough area where a regular passenger car driver might have had to pick a good line to get by. I think I was hiking by 6:30 ish. The weather was blue-bird so I wasn't worried about a storm.

There was a recent thread asking for info on this mountain so I thought I'd share my experience.

Well-marked trailhead.

I followed the old double track road in the above picture until it ended and then I started ascending the slope, making my own switchbacks as I went. Here's a view of the slope.

The steep slope - it isn't too bad, but it is steep.

And a closer view of the terrain.

A closer look at the slope - there is no trail (that I saw)

And here is the view down toward the trailhead from about 1/2 way up. The slope is stable and mostly grass with some small dirt sections and rocks here and there. It's not a bad way to go up a mountain, but it will give your legs a workout.

Looking down from about 1/2 way up the slope.

Up on top of the ridge, turn right for Weston Peak or left for Ptarmigan.

Now... I had studied the route and I had a quad map with me, but when I got to the top of the ridge I was unpleasantly surprised to see just how far away the peak was - or at least how far it seemed to be. However, it didn't take long to get there.

The route between where I got up to the top of the ridge and over to the flatter wider area just under Weston's summit was narrow, but the hiking didn't exceed class 2. In fact, the rock was a nice change from the grassy ascent. There is some exposure in this section, but it is not bad.

Wait - It's way over there? What? Are you serious?

Just below the summit - a lot of white rock.

Summit rocks

Here's the view over to Ptarmigan once back over the rocky ridge from Weston.

Back across the rocky ridge looking at Ptarmigan

The terrain between the two peaks is grassy. I didn't see any trail, but the route is obvious.

Looking back toward(ish) Weston, this is the terrain between the two peaks.

Here is a closer view of Ptarmigan. It was an easy hike from Weston to here.


The final bit up to Ptarmigan was a talus/boulder hop. It wasn't bad and the rock was pretty stable.

Almost to the summit

Summit view.

Summit view

For the descent, I hiked a descending traverse from below the talus leading to Ptarmigan's summit back toward the double-track "road" that I followed to begin the hike. It was pretty easy to find, even as it was getting dark.


This is a nice, quick hike with great views of the Sawatch and Mosquito ranges.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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