Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Date Posted:  07/24/2010
Date Climbed:   07/13/2010
Author:  Paco
 Double 14er ultramarathon Part 2.   

Part 2: Lake City

Day one, July 11: we drove to Lake City from Durango arriving there in the evening and was already planning on doing the Uncompahgre/Wetterhorn combo the following day, BUT, the cabin rental manager did not honor our reservation and we ended up with no cabin that night.
Day two, July 12: we spent most of the morning looking for another cabin; needless to say my first hiking day was over. We explored the alpine loop and surrounding area that afternoon.
Day three, July 13: Uncompahgre/Wetterhorn (from Matterhorn trailhead). I set out from the lower parking lot around 5:45 AM and went up the southwest slopes of Uncompahgre on a sunny morning. I stepped on the summit around 9:00 AM and spent a good 45 minutes chatting with other guys and enjoying the views. From there I headed back to Matterhorn's lower slopes to make the traverse toward Wetterhorn. When I reached the main trail up the rocky section the skies were already clowdy and I could see rain to the south; I pressed on up the upper ridge but around 13,800'(near the prow) I decided to turn around when I saw storms developing just to the west and approaching fast. I got pelted by a brief but intense Thunder-sleet storm on the way down, a little scary with so much lightning around me.
Summit of Uncompahgre.
Wetterhorn from Uncompahgre.
Storm approaching Wetterhorn.

Day four, July 14: Redcloud/Sunshine (northeast ridge). I started my hike at 5:30 AM from the Silver creek-Grizzly Gulch trailhead at a slower pace since my legs were somewhat tired from the 16 mile hike the day before but made it to Redcloud in 3 hours with fair weather; 45 minutes later I summited Sunshine after hiking the connecting ridge. Then clouds started to build overhead and fearing a repeat of the day before I went down back over Redcloud as fast as I could. In the end it was only clouds and luckily no rain.
Sunshine from the summit of Redcloud.
Summit of Sunshine with Redcloud behind me.
Handies from Sunshine.

Day five, July 15: Handies (east slopes). On what turned out to be a beautiful day I headed up from the same trailhead with no one else in sight at 5:45 AM, making it to the summit in 3 hours. The views on the trail and summit were marvelous, so I took many pictures spending 30 minutes all by myself up there. I made it back down in an hour and ten minutes.
On Handies' summit, Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre in the background.
Looking down on Handies' basin.

Day six, July 16: Originally I was planning on climbing San Luis and Stewart but poor planning and a late start put me on the road back to Wetterhorn, after all I still had some unfinished bussiness there. With clear skies all day I went up the nasty looking ridge and then up the class 3 final pitch summitting also in 3 hours exactly at 1:00 PM. Great views surround you here and I couldn't help but shout of joy. I took some pic's of the nice wildflowers on the hike back. That was a nice end to our Lake City stay, I'm glad I conquered Wetterhorn, so far the most interesting/difficult 14er I've done but not the most challenging mountain. We headed back to Texas the following morning feeling really good after summiting 10 14ers in twelve days.
Uncompahgre from Wetterhorn's summit.
View to the south from Wetterhorn's summit.

Thanks for reading, this was my first report.

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

08/17/2010 10:53
You really made the most of your time in the San Juans! I love the Lake City area too. I need to head that way again soon. Enjoyed your reports!

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