Ascent of Uncompahgre Peak on 2015-07-29

Climber: BMS 914

Others in Party:Collin Kamholz
Eric Kassan -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Tim Newman
Date:Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Uncompahgre Peak
    Elevation:14309 ft / 4361 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was the second peak of Eric's annual Colorado peakbagging trip, at least for me. I had missed El Diente and Wilson Peak the two previous days getting over Hesperus, but was hoping to be recovered enough to summit Uncompaghre in spite of my subpar conditioning and elevation adaptation.

The whole hike was on a trail, and rather than slow the group down and feel pressured, I decided it would be best if I just went at my own pace, and see how far I could get toward the summit. The others were fine with this, so we arrived at the trailhead in Eric's Xterra, piled out, and started down the trail.

I have hiked and climbed a lot of peaks the last few years, many of which the TV+sofa crowd would deem spectacularly beautiful. After a while one begins to get used to the natural beauty of nature just a little bit. Even with that, the trail up to this peak was just something incredible to behold. Lush mountain meadows, streams with little waterfalls, wildflowers blooming, white patches of snow, and the deep blue sky overhead to set it off. I still feel fortunate to have seen this place - I really can't do justice to it.

As for the hike, I took my time, with frequent breaks (mostly for photographs), and kept on trudging up the mountain. No headache, no signs of AMS. The injured Achilles tendon was surprisingly mellow, and didn't cause as much of a problem as I feared it would, even in the steeper sections near the top. It was a little bit more difficult near the very top, where the hiking became heavy Class 2 scrambling, but by then I knew I was going to summit and didn't care. Turns out I wasn't that much slower than the others, as they were still on the summit when I got there, happy for me that I made it all the way.

The descent went smoothly as well, shaving nearly an hour off my uphill time, and I was tired but not wrecked when I got back to the trailhead.

This was the highlight of the trip and made me feel a whole lot better about have decided to attend.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2892 ft / 880 m
    Extra Gain:5 ft / 1 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.8 mi / 12.6 km
    Route:Nellie Creek (East) trail/South Ridge
    Trailhead:Nellie Creek Trailhead  11427 ft / 3482 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2+
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:3 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Clear with a few clouds late
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 39 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 47 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by BMS 914
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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