Peak(s):  Matterhorn Pk  -  13,590 feet
Broken Hill  -  13,256 feet
Silver Mtn A  -  13,714 feet
PT 13,681  -  13,681 feet
Date Posted:  08/25/2019
Date Climbed:   08/17/2019
Author:  Mtnman200
Additional Members:   RandyMack
 Two Days 'til Tomorrow   

Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. Last week's climbs left me with only four more tricentennial peaks to go, and all were in the San Juan Mountains where my son, Randy, has a number of bicentennial peaks he'd like to climb. We made plans for a trip to help each of us reach our goals and left home about noon, reaching the Matterhorn Creek trailhead by 6 PM. Tomorrow's goals: Matterhorn Peak (13,590') and Broken Hill (13,256').

Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. Randy and I hiked up the Wetterhorn Peak Trail to about 12,000', where we turned onto a trail that heads over the Matterhorn - Broken Hill saddle.At about 12,300', we left the trail and headed NW directly toward Matterhorn's summit, at first on grass and then on rocky slopes. The final ascent to the summit block involved some fun scrambling.

Wetterhorn (left) and Matterhorn

Uncompahgre peeking over the ridge

View north from Matterhorn's summit

Wetterhorn (left) and Coxcomb from Matterhorn

View toward Broken Hill from Matterhorn

Wetterhorn from Matterhorn

Wetterhorn, Coxcomb, and Redcliff from Matterhorn

After enjoying the views of Wetterhorn Peak and Uncompahgre Peak, we headed SE toward the Matterhorn - Broken Hill saddle and then followed the ridge toward Broken Hill. Along the way, we encountered a steep snowfield that we detoured around because we didn't have our microspikes or ice axes.

Broken Hill's summit is coming into view

Uncompahgre from the ridge on Broken Hill

We contoured around the south side of the summit block and then scrambled north to the summit. The makeshift summit register had been left by a man from Mumbai, India.

The summit register on Broken Hill

Uncompahgre from Broken Hill

Wetterhorn, Coxcomb, and Matterhorn from Broken Hill

After descending a bit and retracing our traverse below the summit block, we descended WSW until we reached a very old and seldom-used road that took us back to the Wetterhorn Peak Trail.

This old road rarely gets hiked anymore

Back at the trailhead, we drove toward Lake City and then up the Nellie Creek road to its end at 11,460'. Vacant campsites were abundant, despite it being a Friday afternoon.

Route on Matterhorn and Broken Hill

Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Today's goal's were Silver Mountain (13,714') and Unnamed (UN) 13681. We followed the Uncompahgre Peak Trail to about 11,940', where we turned onto the Big Blue Trail.

At the next trail intersection at about 11,400', we headed north on the Fall Creek Trail. We passed a rustic old cabin that included tree stumps as part of one of its walls.

The fixer-upper cabin along the Fall Creek Trail

After passing within a few hundred feet of a sheepherder's tent and causing his dog to sound the alarm, we left the trail at about 12,100' and climbed up the nose of a ridge before contouring right (north) and climbing to a saddle on Silver Mountain's south ridge.

A couple of large (5 or 6' tall) cairns stand guard on Silver Mountain's south ridge

From Silver Mountain's south ridge, it was an easy stroll to the fairly large summit area of Silver Mountain.

The view from Silver Mountain's summit

Another view from Silver Mountain's summit

We then headed north to a 13,180' saddle before angling NW along the ridge to UN 13681.

Easy terrain on the SE ridge of UN 13681

View from the summit of UN 13681

Another view from the summit of UN 13681

We headed back toward Silver Mountain, following a trail that bypassed its actual summit. From Silver Mountain's south ridge, we returned the way we'd come. Having to go over the 12,400' pass to get from the Nellie Creek drainage to the Big Blue Creek drainage and back again made today's climbs a bit tiring but still satisfying.

Tomorrow's climbs (in a separate report): a six-peak day above the Continental Divide Trail near the ghost town of Old Carson.

Route to Silver Mtn. and UN 13681

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
08/25/2019 05:54
Not sure why, but Matterhorn is one of my fav 13ers. Your report makes me want to go back... Thanks!

Good reminder...
08/25/2019 20:57
Of how many other cool peaks are around Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn. Need to get back that way soon.

08/27/2019 10:31
Jay: My first climb of Matterhorn was on 8/18/1981; 38 years is way too long before repeating it.
Andrew: There are a lot of unnamed 13ers in the area that we didn't have time for.

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