KI6YMZ Trip Report - Sneffels/Wetterhorn/Princeton

David Stillman

Hi all,

I took off work at 4pm on Thursday and headed straight to the San Juan range. I parked at the lower Sneffels trailhead at around 11pm and went to sleep in the back of the truck. I didn't set an alarm for day 1, as to get as much sleep as I could and not tire out early this weekend. I woke up around 6:45 and drove as far as I could on the gnarly 4wd road until I hit a snowbank around 12,200. From there I took the southwest slopes route where I ran into a fox (you might remember the photo in another thread) and did the 3rd class scramble up to the top. There wasn't any activity on 2m given I started a day early, but I made 14 contacts on HF SSB over a half hour. I talked to NS7P who informed me the contact pushed him past 120,000 chaser points!!

I went to Ouray for a burger, then drove up and over Engineer Pass into Lake City to check out the brewery. From there it was ~11 miles up to the 4wd trailhead of Wetterhorn Peak, where I once again camped in the truck. I got up a bit earlier and hit the trail just before 6 and summited around 8am. 3rd class scrambles at altitude are much more my style than long slogs up scree fields... Saturday had a lot of VHF activity so I jumped around 2m and didn't wind up setting up the HF rig at all, sorry California!

I hiked down with some nice folks and enjoyed lunch and beers with them in Lake City, then started the long drive home past Salida and up the 4wd trail to camp at 11k' at the base of Mt. Princeton. This morning I hit the trail around 7, not to summit until 10am - my legs were pretty well jelly by then, plus that last thousand feet of elevation is absolutely brutal in steepness and amount of loose rock. At times the only thing keeping me going was hearing Wayne/AD0KE calling CQ from the summit of Democrat - it really did put some spring in my step :) Like Saturday, I worked VHF only but had a lot of fun for an hour or so until the wind got cold and the clouds dark, and headed back down.

A bit of traffic on 285, then back home by 6pm - a great long weekend of mountains, radios, 4-wheeling, and beer!

Thanks to all, especially Bob K0NR for a great weekend. I had a ton of fun and look forward to it again the first weekend in August 2020!

Many photos are at the following link on Dropbox:

Don't miss the video of the fox walking right up to me (and peeing...), plus the marmots behind the yagi :)



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