Places I like: Wetterhorn Peak

For many years, I had this thing for a Colorado mountain called Wetterhorn Peak. I saw pictures of it. Heard about people climbing it.

And then I saw it. Five years ago, while hiking Uncompahgre Peak, I finally laid eyes on this beauty. That’s when a low-grade obsession began — not all-consuming (that would be weird), but frequently on my mind.

A few months ago, I finally got to climb it. What usually happens after a climb a peak is something like still feeling a great appreciation for it, but the allure it had previously fades a bit.

That didn’t happen this time. Every time I see a picture of Wetterhorn, or relive that late spring ascent, I still find myself in a bit of awe. Not because of the difficulty of the climb (it’s not an extremely tough ascent), but more from its beauty.

Four ridges rise to its 14,015 summit. From the north, it’s rise is nearly shear. The south features a dramatic and signature sweep. Its east and west ridges are steep and rugged.

Pictures tell the tale better. Here is Wetterhorn as seen from the summit of nearby Matterhorn Peak.

Wetterhorn Peak as seen from Matterhorn Peak.

Wetterhorn Peak as seen from Matterhorn Peak.

My friend Kay hiked in from the north and snapped this amazing photo.

Wetterhorn as seen from the north. (Kay Bessler photo)

Wetterhorn as seen from the north. (Kay Bessler photo)

Wetterhorn wears the snow pretty well.

Late spring snow conditions on Wetterhorn's east face.

Late spring snow conditions on Wetterhorn’s east face.

And like a true beauty, she holds up well in a close-up.

The Wetterhorn summit, with the Prow to the left.

The Wetterhorn summit, with the Prow to the left.

And if you’re fortunate enough to reach Wetterhorn’s summit, the views from the top are incredible.

Amazing views to the north from Wetterhorn Peak's summit.

Amazing views to the north from Wetterhorn Peak’s summit.

Climber and BASE jumper/wingsuit flier Steph Davis writes a blog she titles “High Infatuation.” Though I think that term has a different meaning for her than for me, I can definitely  relate to the sentiment. Especially when it comes to this mountain. She hasn’t lost her luster.

Bob Doucette

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6 thoughts on “Places I like: Wetterhorn Peak

  1. That peak is one of my goals. I’m spending my time running and getting into shape, but I am setting my sites on that peak.

    • It will not disappoint! I remember having that same thought, getting ready for it. One word of caution: If you tackle it when there is snow present, some of the gullies can be a little tricky. If that’s the case, micropikes (at a minimum, depending on snow conditions) and an ice axe should be taken with you. But the rock on Wetterhorn is solid. Great peak to climb.

  2. lovely shots! I backpacked into wetterhorn basin last summer and i fell in love. no one was there and it was absolutely gorgeous! i’d definitely like to go back and do the peak 🙂

    • You totally should! I haven’t been to Wetterhorn Basin yet (been to Matterhorn Creek Basin a couple of times). I’d love to see it from the north. My friend Kay said it was beautiful, and you get a lot of solitude because few people go there. But yes, you should climb that mountain. It’s pretty sweet.

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