Tagged: wildhorse peak

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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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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Twin Peaks

Saturday, June 13, 2015

This morning I drove down to Ouray so I could try and climb my first mountain summit of the year. After this weekend I’m going to be pretty busy for the rest of June and I didn’t want to wait until July to get into the mountains for the first time this year. Since I’m not in the best shape right now and the weather forecast was predicting that storms would move into the area late in the morning, I decided to hike to the top of Twin Peaks (10,798 feet), a famous Ouray landmark. There are currently two trails that will get you to the summit- a new trail and an old trail. The reason for this is because in the early 1980’s the Old Twin Peaks Trail was washed out by a major storm. To replace the old trail, a new connector from the Oak Creek Trail was built to bypass the washed out section. This trail is now known as the New Twin Peaks Trail. In 2004 the Ouray Trails Group reconstructed the old trail which now consists of over 300 steps and 1,300 feet of elevation gain within 1.2 miles. Apparently, the Forest Service won’t officially sanction the reconstructed trail because they consider it too steep, but it is back on the maps.

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