Wetterhorn Peak Route Guide – 14er Tips to Succeed
The southwest ridge Wetterhorn Peak route is a great climb in the southern Colorado Rockies. Following an approach hike through alpine meadows, you’ll ascend through boulder fields and along the ridge before making a few class 3 moves to gain the summit. As you go you’ll pass the “Prow,” a large fin-shaped outcropping just below the summit, a major landmark on this peak. This route is exposed, so if heights aren’t your thing, you may want to pick a less challenging peak. Start planning your climb with my Wetterhorn Peak Route Guide below.
Wetterhorn Peak Route Guide Fast Facts
Wetterhorn Peak Route Guide - Southwest Ridge
About .8 miles from the trailhead, you’ll come to a junction with a sign that says the trailhead is ahead. Park here if you don’t have 4WD and hike up to the trailhead.
From the trailhead, start hiking up the basin about 3/4 of a mile until you come to a split. Go right and continue north following some switchbacks up the hill. Exit the trees around 11,600 feet. Turn left onto the Wetterhorn Peak route.
Continue north until you reach rocky terrain east of the peak. Continue through the rocks until you reach a saddle along Wetterhorn Peak’s southeast ridge. From here, the route gets more intense.
Turn right and start up the rocky ridge. Continue along yellow-covered dirt. Use a small trail along the left side of the ridge. Above and ahead of you, you will see the Prow, a large rock outcropping just below the summit. Some scrambling will be required as you follow the route towards the Prow gradually.
Eventually you will come to a rock rib that blocks easy passage to the summit. Turn right at the rib to climb a small gully back towards the ridge crest. From here, you have two different paths forward.
- Find a V-shaped notch to the left that allows passage over the rib. Pass through and continue up to the summit.
- Continue around the rocks at the top of the gully to reach the ridge crest directly, and then follow the crest to the summit.
Around 13,800 feet, pass along the right of the prow through a flat section below the summit. Climb through the higher of two notches located between the summit and Prow. Turn right to face the crux of the route: a steep class 3 section of scrambling. It looks imposing but is very stable. At the top, you’ll come to a ledge/catwalk. You can either climb directly from here to the summit, or go left to find easier climbing to the peak.
I hope you enjoyed this Wetterhorn Peak Route.