Tagged: ridge stock driveway

Darley Mountain & Dolly Varden Mountain
Friday – Saturday, September 8-9, 2017

Hiking along the ridge to the summit of Darley Mountain in the Uncompahgre Wilderness.

This weekend I wanted to climb a peak or two in the mountains since it would probably be my last opportunity this summer before I would begin spending most of my free time back in the desert of the Colorado Plateau. However, since I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately I didn’t want to travel too far from home either. After a little thought I decided to head back down to the San Juan Mountains near Engineer Pass so I could climb Darley Mountain and Dolly Varden Mountain within the Uncompahgre Wilderness. It wasn’t too long ago that I was in the area climbing a couple other peaks and it was nice to be headed back there again.

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Saturday & Sunday, August 13-14, 2016

A beautiful sunset over the San Juan Mountains from the Uncompahgre Peak trail.

Earlier this year Diane told me that she wanted to climb Uncompahgre Peak (14,309) this summer, and even though I already climbed Uncompahgre a few years ago, I was up for doing it again this year since it’s a beautiful hike and the highest peak in the San Juan Mountains.

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Labor Day Weekend | Saturday – Monday, September 5-7, 2015

An incredible Labor Day sunrise below Uncompahgre Peak.

This year for the long Labor Day weekend I wanted to go on another backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, but I also wanted to go somewhere that was unlikely to be crowded since this is probably one of the busiest camping weekends of the year. After some research I selected the Big Blue Creek drainage as our destination. Not only was there very little information about this area online and in guides, which hopefully meant it wouldn’t be very crowded, but I was also hoping to photograph the north face of Uncompahgre Peak (14,309) at sunrise since I hadn’t seen too many photos of this massive mountain from that side. I had originally thought about connecting the Fall Creek and Failes Creek trails to create a big loop hike but changed that idea so that I would be able to spend two mornings photographing Uncompahgre Peak to help improve my chances of catching a great sunrise. This strategy paid off well as you can see from the opening photo above.

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Saturday & Sunday, August 22-23, 2015

Over the years I have spent a lot of time in and around the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains, and every time I do I usually see the massive Uncompahgre Peak looming above all the other mountains along with it’s shorter but more rugged neighbor, Wetterhorn Peak. I have wanted to climb Wetterhorn Peak for a long time, but the class 3 route to it’s summit combined with exposure had stopped me from trying until I gained more experience. For years I have looked at photos and videos of the final climb to the summit and thought that there was no way I’d be able to do that, so I kept putting it off. After a few years of hiking easier fourteeners, it was finally time for me to attempt my first class 3 route and I knew it would have to be on Wetterhorn.

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Saturday & Sunday, July 25-26, 2015

The Dragon’s Back at sunset with Wetterhorn Peak and Uncompahgre Peak on the horizon.

This weekend Diane and I went on an overnight backpacking trip into the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains to explore and photograph the area around Unnamed Peak 12968, which is unofficially known as the Dragon’s Back. I have wanted to visit this area for a few years and had planned to finally get there sometime this summer, so I’ve been waiting for the right weather forecast on a weekend when I was also free. With the wet and stormy weather we’ve been having around here lately, this proved to be a challenge. Finally, we had some drier air move into the area and this weekend looked like it would be mostly storm free and might still have good conditions for photography. It turned out to be a great weekend for this trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better sunset on Saturday evening!

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