Peak(s):  Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,318 feet
Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,021 feet
Handies Peak  -  14,058 feet
Redcloud Peak  -  14,037 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,004 feet
Date Posted:  06/25/2011
Modified:  12/23/2013
Date Climbed:   06/25/2011
Author:  mountainmicah83
 5 San Juans in 2 days Solo   

5 Peaks in 2 Days Solo

Peaks Climbed: Uncompahgre, Wetterhorn, Handies, Redcloud, Sunshine
Total Elevation Gain: 17,000+ feet
Total Mileage: 32+ Miles
Ascent Party: Mountainmicah83, Baz Agastus (the dog)
Blisters: Huge!

Mid last week, I noticed the weather forecast for the weekend looking really good. I was originally planning on doing Ellingwood ArÍte on Crestone Needle but my partner had a family emergency and had to back out. Now, with no real solid plans, I started researching the possibility of nabbing the Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn combo. After thinking harder about it, I figured I could at least get something else so I decided I would see how that went, and if I had energy, I would go for Redcloud and Sunshine also. With one partner out for the family emergency and my other normal partner out of town, the only thing left to do was to talk my wife into letting me solo. I knew I could talk her into it. It was giving her that feeling that I would more or less be safe. I packed my gear in the car Thursday evening and researched all of the routes one last time. In the past, I haven't been to big on stats for my TR's but I was so intrigued on what I accomplished this weekend that this report talks more about them than normal. The intent of this is not to brag but just to give a reference on time, elevation, and distance as well as another numbers for people to add to their thoughts when researching climbs to prepare themselves.

Friday June 24, 2011

After getting off of work a little early Friday, I loaded up the dog left home around 3 PM from Colorado Springs. My goal was to make the Matterhorn Creek Trailhead before dark to avoid the last .6 miles of 4WD in the Dark. I rolled in at about 8:45 PM. The road was dry and easy driving until the last .6 miles of 4WD. A Honda Civic should be able to make it to that point. From there, the 4WD isn't horrible. My guess is that a Subaru Forester or Outback could make it there with a little care. It was an easy bumble and jumble in my jeep. With my few minutes of daylight to spare, I hastily setup the tent and readied my gear for a 2:30 AM wake up time. At 10:15, I was out for the night.

Saturday June 25, 2011

Peaks Climbed: Uncompahgre, Wetterhorn, and Handies!
Total Elevation Gain: 12,000+ feet
Total Mileage: 20+ Miles
(I don't usually measure elevation gain and mileage exact but this trip I decided to keep the GPS on while climbing)
Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn
2:30 AM both of my alarms go off waking me up after a few short hours of sleep. That is... if I even actually slept. Maybe a little! I hastily packed up the tent, heated up some coffee and had a few quick bites to eat. At this point, I debated the sanity of such an early start and almost went back to sleep for another hour in the Jeep. I then reasoned that the earlier the better for the sake of softening snow through the day. I felt like I was carrying too much weight so last minute, I dropped the snowshoes and decided to risk not bringing them (which turned out to be fine). By 5:15 I was standing atop the 12,200-12,400' pass underneath Matterhorn peak staring up at Uncompahgre. I remembered reading in Gerry Roach's book that if the gulleys had snow in them on the peak that they would make a decent snow climb and avoid going all of the way around. Fifteen Minutes later, I was under the base of the climb putting on crampons and axe and stepping off. By this time, it wasn't quite light enough for pictures. I will show pics of my route later on in the report. At about 5:45 to 6, it was finally light enough out to snap a pic of Wetterhorn in the twilight.

for the remainder of the report see my blog HERE

See you at the Top!


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Comments or Questions
Great Trip!
06/27/2011 21:54
Great report and sounds like quite the undertaking! Nice job!

5 in 2 days
06/27/2011 22:16
Congratulations on #43-47. Great report and thanks for the scouting report. I hope to get a few of these this coming weekend. Did you use or need micro-spikes anywhere? Particularly Handies, Redcloud and Sunshine. I think the advice is leave the snowshoes and gaiters in the car, use boots or trail shoes, trekking poles and go early.

I think you shorted Baz on a peak!! Should be at #22 (#18-22)

Congrats on you and your partner!
06/27/2011 22:37
Awesome report! Very jealous

Great work!
06/27/2011 23:31
I have Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn on my short list and this report really helped give me an idea of conditions! Glad to see you enjoyed the weekend to the max

Love it!
06/28/2011 01:13
Awesome job Micah!!! Those are all some of my favorite peaks... and you and Baz are seriously bad ass! LOVE the sunrise pic of Wetterhorn! (Actually love all of them)

06/28/2011 01:28
Great job! Fabulous photos! What a beautiful area! Thanks for the post!

Great post! Question...
06/28/2011 02:11
I thorough enjoyed reading your post. Quite the adventure. I am planning to conquer Uncompahgre on Friday. There looks to be quite a bit of snow there. You stated ”...probably the last weekend that this will be a full snow climb as well.”

We don't have any snow climbing tools or experience. Is there a trail that bypasses the snow? Any concerns?

06/28/2011 03:19
focollins- You won't be able to bypass all of the snow on uncompahgre by friday and if you aren't pairing it from wetterhorn, you will be much better off from Nellie Creek and not Matterhorn Creek. The standard route would not require snow tools and an early start should keep the snow firm enough for you. I recommend at least ski or trekking poles so you don't slip as easy though. The standard route is not steep at all.

06/28/2011 03:24
Irish14er- Definitely go with boots and not shoes or you will have wet feet. As for micro-spikes- I hate the things but over the hard snow early in the morning, they would be super helpful and would probably negate the need for poles or axe. If you like to glissade though, you might want the axe.
Regina-Thanks for thinking so highly of us. That pic is my fav too!
Others- Thanks for the kind words.

Nice TR
06/28/2011 04:13
Thanks for posting.

Very nice!
06/28/2011 04:26
Great report, fun trip, butt-kickin' times!

Wetterhorn is still my fav of that group - I like that alternate ascent line you took. Very cool!

Amazing Job and Amazing views!
06/28/2011 14:10
Great job, I'm actually going to be bagging those same 5 peaks in about a week and a half. I will be doing them one day at a time except for Redcloud/Sunshine. It looks like the snow is pretty well melted up there on the standard routes, except I didn't see many pics of the standard route up Wetterhorn. Can you tell me if anything more than microspikes would be needed for that route? Thanks again for the awesome report and any advice you can provide is appreciated!

Hike on!

You rock sir
06/28/2011 14:14
Man, epic report. You have got some crazy endurance man. I need to get my butt in gear haha. Great photos and nice story. Grats to you and Baz!

06/28/2011 18:10
How did your dog get up that final scramble???

06/28/2011 19:10
That water shooting out of the ground is too cool. Great report and congrats on the endurance that must have taken!

Love it!
06/29/2011 16:38
I don't think I've seen either of you that smiley since Ellingwood Point.

06/29/2011 17:14
Matt- You're welcome
Dancesatmoonrise- The alt ascent was stellar.
big_red_pride- for the standard route, microspikes should be fine as long as you have an early start on the firm snow. If not, you will post hole on the way back.
mattpayne11-Thanks- we gotta get out together again. Maybe snowmass? I'll try and remember my boots this time Good luck on your upcoming adventure this weekend btw.
Taillion- My dog climbed it just like I did. Taking him to the crags pays off.
matthewbe- I took a video of the water coming out of the ground too.
Bruton- You are at least the 4th Matt to post a comment! Being in the mountains makes me smiley. Come back and join me on Pyramid before the snow melts!

06/29/2011 18:31
Wow. that is some serious stamina. Congrats on 17k in two days to you and to Baz and thanks for the report! Baz seems super cool.

06/29/2011 20:59
Also, I'd highly recommend using Leukotape to prevent blisters- it is much more sticky than mole skin, gets stickier as it heats up and is a great preventative measure.

Just put the tape on and rub it a bit (heat it up) before putting your socks/boots on before a climb and you should be good. For multiday climbs, you can leave the tape on for 3 or 4 days before changing it. It's been a life saver for me. Here's a link-

Awesome day
06/30/2011 04:18
Hi there! We would have crossed paths that day. It was gorgeous!!!

San Juan Ron
Handies via GG
07/01/2011 21:30
Nice report, that was me you ran into on your way up Handies. What a great day for a hike! SJ Ron

Great Pictures
07/07/2011 14:26
Thanks for this report. The variety of peaks and pictures gives a good look into the snow conditions.


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