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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    The Ranch
    Posts
    3,536

    TR: Uncompahgre Peak

    11pm Friday night, a cold piece of fried chicken lay on my chest and politics talk through the radio as we sit at the Nellie Creek 2WD trailhead. There are two things I’ve learned after doing this for a while, #1 democracy doesn’t work, #2 fried chicken begets success. The alarm doesn’t go off at 4am as planned and we awake at 5am, pack up and the %ski brothers hit the trail at 5:30am. It is 4 miles and 2,000 feet of vertical to the summer 4WD trailhead.

    Climb2ski skinning up the Nellie Creek road at the dawn’s early light.


    The trail was broke about 3 miles and then the tracks stopped, it was abundantly clear at this point that no one had been past this point in quite some time. In democratic fashion we took turns breaking trail the remaining mile to the trailhead, took a short break, then cold temperatures warranted that we continue moving. After another ½ mile you break out of the trees and get your first glimpse of Uncompahgre.


    The route gradually ascends up a series of rolling hills, once the sun came out the temps warmed up quickly. Climb2ski picks up the pace and pushes the route higher.


    After shedding some layers, I finally caught back up to the bro and continued on with more of the same, skinning in magnificent surroundings on a windless, bluebird day in January.


    After about 5 hours of constant movement, a nice break at 12,800 feet was as welcome as an invitation to an all you can eat chicken buffet. Here climb2ski eyes with a steely gaze the remaining work to be done.


    Some steep skinning quickly ensued as the route traveled enfolded in the distance.


    Once the south ridge is gained the view opens up tremendously. Climb2ski takes a break with Wetterhorn looming in the distance; they both look striking in their winter coat.


    Some sketchy skinning around the cliff bands, thanks to climb2ski forgetting his ski crampons, led us to a nice scramble up a gully and then onto the broad open slopes just below the summit. We arrived on the summit at 1:30pm, happy as can be.


    The vast San Juans are vast indeed.


    After a nice break and several heart stopping peaks down the north face, we prepared for the summit ski descent. We’d only be able to ski a little ways down then we’d have to downclimb through the rocky section, but the summit ski is always worth it, and climb2ski shows you why.


    Climb2ski below the rocky section, much edge was left behind on those rocks.


    Once we got to the saddle below the cliffs at 13,800 we were able to ski again. The snow conditions were variable on the descent, climb2ski making some turns below the cliffs.


    Ireallylike2ski getting ready to enter the gnar.


    Ireallylike2ski prepares to schralp the gnar.


    Climb2ski prefers to ski on snow.


    Bluebird turns.


    Climb2ski eyes a nice slope.


    Ireallyliketoski succumbs to the crust.


    Back at the 4WD trailhead at 11,400 feet at 2:45pm another break was warranted. The temperature was perfect as we soaked up the rays and some sandwiches. The only question that remained in our minds was whether or not the warm temps would have turned the snow on the road into mank and make for a less than enjoyable ski out. Either way Ireallyliketoski is stoked to be here and doesn’t care what lay ahead.


    The ski out down the road went perfectly; most of the trail was back in the shade and had firmed up enough to make for a quick ski out. Climb2ski walks a flat section immersed in the incomprehensible beauty of the San Juans.


    30 minutes later we were back at the car, set up camp, toasted the day with some beers, sausages and steaks. Climb2ski wondering where the warm temperatures went.


    The temperature plummeted once the sun went down and it was a cold night, but that didn’t matter, the memory of an amazing day in the mountains kept us warm, like a warm blanket that keeps you warm.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,622
    Awesome work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northampton, MA
    Posts
    73
    Awesome, looks like a lot of fun. Nice Sox hat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,997
    Way to get after it on a perfect day.
    You guys twins too?
    Thanks for the report.

  5. #5
    cab's Avatar
    cab is offline Skied with Seth M..once.
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    21
    You guys look like the Huber brothers. Or maybe it's the Wilson brothers.

    Way to rip it!

    I would have brought my ice axe though. And some crampons. And some smoooookes.
    Are you bringing your ice axe?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    706
    love the 14er stoke
    We hold daggers in the side of the Moon...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    4,726
    Nice! I have the same helmet and goggles.

    Quality stoke.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Summit County
    Posts
    1,129
    wow! nice summit grab! thanx 4 sharing it.

    fwiw, i stood near where u are and followed that treeline in summer, too.

    when not on the snow what else do i do...

    http://www.jatho-craftsman.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    5280
    Posts
    88
    Nice work! Love that part of Colorado

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    co
    Posts
    81
    I love sitting at that summit, looking at the world drop off from the San Juans - thousands of feet below.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sydney/Avon
    Posts
    490
    Nice, one of my favorite 14ers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    465
    Thanks for another sweet 14er TR!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,794
    That's rad. I need to hit that one up, but I think I might wait for it to fill in a little better. Way to take advantage of the great weather window we've been in for the last couple weeks.
    Ride Fast, Live slow.

    We're mountain people. This is what we do, this is how we live. -D.C.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Trench-Town U.S.A.
    Posts
    744
    nice to see mid winter 14er descents. Looked like quite a slog!
    "Why do I always get more kisses on powder days?" -my wife

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Where the Butte is Crested
    Posts
    3,340
    Glad you guys had a good time! The San Juans are so beautiful! But, man, it's scary how little snow you guys had! So much snow has fallen in the San Juans-- guess it's just been seriously blasted by the wind! Stupid wind!
    -
    14erskiers.com

    "Don't be afraid of the spaces between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." - Belva Davis

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"--Albert Einstein

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Just outside the bubble
    Posts
    1,748
    I like the way you guys do business
    Have fun or get hurt bad. "MFT" A.K.A. Dr. Doom

    There are but three true sports--bullfighting, mountain climbing, and motor-racing. The rest are merely games. "Ernest Hemingway"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    The Padded Room
    Posts
    5,320
    billy goat, billy goat.



    nice!
    .....Visit my website. .....

    "a yin without a yang"

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    2,507
    Nice work - looks like a long, but fun day.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Home in the Highcountry
    Posts
    484
    This thread makes me happy like a thread that makes me happy.
    An Evolutionary Rider

    www.PeaksforPeace.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    154
    Nice work! It's been too many months since I dragged my skis up a 14er. It's great to have a little inspiration.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerskierchick View Post
    Glad you guys had a good time! The San Juans are so beautiful! But, man, it's scary how little snow you guys had! So much snow has fallen in the San Juans-- guess it's just been seriously blasted by the wind! Stupid wind!
    Isn't one of you remaining descents in the Crestones? A recent TR included a photo of them from the San Luis Valley that had them looking pretty snowy compared to other ranges around Colorado. I was pretty surprised, given their reputation for being dry -- so maybe you'll have some luck after all.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    5th Switchback
    Posts
    394
    Respect the effort as boney as it turned out to be.
    -You can't get hurt if you are in the air.

    Caleb Wray Photography

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    527
    Cool. Such a beautiful day.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    la la land
    Posts
    5,618
    Nice day for a walk with great views. Way to get after it!
    `•.¸¸.•´><((((º>`•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸.•´¯`•...¸><((((º>

    "Having been Baptized by uller his frosty air now burns my soul with confirmation. I am once again pure." - frozenwater

    "once i let go of my material desires many opportunities for playing with the planet emerge. emerge - to come into being through evolution. ok back to work - i gotta pack." - Slaag Master

    "As for Flock of Seagulls, everytime that song comes up on my ipod, I turn it up- way up." - goldenboy

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Eagle, CO
    Posts
    2,237
    Good stuff bros!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    52
    Nice to see folks high in the mountains. Good work!

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