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Uncompahgre Peak

14, 309

    Highest peak in the San Juans - Uncompahgre means hot water spring in the language of the Ute Indians, indicating the volcanic origin of the region. Since we had to drive right by the road where we could catch the trail to the top and still had a few days before our friends came, we decided to give it a try. A Saturday afternoon walk took us to base camp near 12,000 feet. The view in the photo above looks west from Slumgullion Overlook.



When we awoke on Sunday morning, snow was falling, so we slept in and had a long breakfast. I hadn't seen Zhibde in almost six months, so there was plenty to talk about. The snow tapered off around noon and it appeared that we were going to get some blue sky for a while. We quickly decided to attempt the peak and threw a few things into the daypacks. After walking through the upper meadow for an hour, Zoe got cold and stopped to put on her longjohns. We were barely a half hour from the summit, when two enormous thunderbolts convinced us it was time to turn around. So we did. On the way down, we were overtaken by a guy who had ascended in the snow earlier in the morning and said that it cleared up for about fifteen minutes and he could see forever. He was understandably satisfied with that and encouraged us to try again some other time, that it was well worth the effort to return.





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