Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
 Post Date:  06/29/2011
 Date Climbed:   06/26/2011
 Posted By:  Zambo

 Sunny San Juans   

Climbers: Me and the Wifey
Conditions: Beautiful. A few small snowfields beneath Redcloud's 13,000ft saddle, other than that, totally clear including the Redcloud-Sunshine connecting ridge.
Summary: Nothing too special or earth-shattering here: a fun weekend in Lake City followed by a standard day out on these beautiful peaks.

As any Denverite knows, the San Juans are just far enough away to be especially inconvenient for a day trip. With that in mind, the wife and I decided to take a weekend away to hang out in Lake City and explore some of the Northern San Juan's beautiful peaks.

We departed Denver early Saturday and spent the afternoon hanging out in Lake City and the surrounding area. Katie had never been that way, so it was fun to explore. Lake San Cristobal (gorgeous), Poker Alice, The Alpine Loop, Lake City history....as so many other 14er climbers have found, this is really cool little town with lots of history, and only a few crazy locals

One stop I did want to mention was Russ Brown and his beautiful gallery in town. Maybe other people on the site have visited, but his art and paintings are truly remarkable. Approx 50% of his painting are airplanes (which happens to be a hobby of mine, so that was sweet), but he also does some very beautiful work of the peaks and nature.

The reason I mention him is because I highly recommend a stop in if you're down that way. Some of his work of the mountains is incredible, and he does commissions as well. I'm am absolutely considering bringing some of my favorite climbing pics to see about some commission work.

Image
The Russ Brown Gallery. Lots and lots of planes.
Image
Russ showing me some nature pieces. Talking with him, you can tell he's got a LOT of practice chit-chatting w/ Lake City tourists ;)
Image
Lake San Cristobal. Hard to belive this is CO's second biggest natural lake - went for a run on Saturday, and only took 45 minutes to circle it.
Image
Doing the Lake City tourist thing.


Anyways...on to the peaks.

We drove to the TH and pitched a tent the night before. I can't even remember the last time I got 8 hours of sleep before a climb, so the full night's rest was much appreciated. 5:00 had us on the trail and being quickly chased by the dawn.

Image
Handies smiles up at us in the morning.


The trail up is mostly snow free-with a few very easy snowfield across the trail at points. Breaking tree line, we got first glimpses into the basin beneath Redcloud's Northeastern flanks. It not all too often in Colorado that you get to hike through an alpine basin covered in green, and we loved the spot.

Image
Relaxed, green, and wide open...love this basin.
Image
Looking back down the route.
Image
Beta shot beneath Redcloud's saddle. Although as you can see, there's really nothing left to even report. Only 1 or 2 fields had to be crossed


Reaching the saddle, the peak wasn't too crowed. Maybe a dozen or so people out in the morning. The route was snow-free from the saddle all the way to Sunshine and back.

Image
Other side of the saddle towards the Alpine Loop.
Image
All clear to the false summit. Of course, that didn't stop the group from NM going too far and getting off route, stuck in the loose choss.
Image
Kinda cool one.
Image
Beautiful to watch Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre slowly come into view while ascending Recloud. Always amazed at how massive Uncompahgre is...


These are easy peaks, and we topped out in what seemed like no time. As usual, the views from Colorado's highest places are well worth the effort every single time.

ImageImage
Kinda different summit pick.
Image
The monarch of the San Juans
Image
Looking over to Sunshine. Snow-free the whole way.
Image
To copy Bill's line...Redcloud, sky blue.


Originally planning to only do one peak, Katie was feeling good and decided to make the trek over to Sunshine with me. A bit further than it looks, we eventually got there.

Image
The best kind of climbing partner.
Image
Mountains, mountains everywhere...what a range.


The climb back was bit rough as the wind picked up and the altitude started to get to poor Katie. Slowly but surely though, we made it back over Redcloud and back to tree line.

Image
Making it out, Handies in the afternoon sun.
Image
Everytime I see this one I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Haha, needless to say, Katie wasn't feeling too good on the way out.


The high TH for these peaks is much appreciated on the walk out, we were off before we knew it.

Again, noting too special from a mountaineering perspective, but nonetheless a terrific day out in the Colorado high country. Excited for all the other San Juan trips planned this Summer.

Happy climbing!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
mcutt


Good Trip Report     2011-06-30 07:17:00
Nice Pics. Doing same trip next week.


SuperPolok


husband and wife     2011-06-30 08:04:54
It's always good to see a husband and wife getting out together.


mountainmicah83


Sweet     2011-06-30 17:49:20
Nice to see you guys got both.


lordhelmut


well rounded report     2011-07-01 09:36:17
Nice description of your interest in airplanes and this guy Russ Brown's gallery. I always pass through Lake City without much thought to swing in and check out the town. There is a lot of history to this state, always interesting to take a break from chasing peaks to learn a thing or two about who came before you, not to mention checking out the local flavor of the secluded mountain towns.

Good to see couples getting out together. I had a girlfriend in high school who loved the outdoors, but she turned out to be an absolute psycho (probably just as much my fault as it was hers anyway). Anyway, I feel you can learn a lot about each other on trips like this. If you can put up with each other while sharing a tent, all dirty, muggy and tired and still find ways to get along, thats a special thing.


benners


Nice Dood     2011-07-01 16:24:39
Glad you were able to nab both peaks and turn it into somewhat of a relaxing weekend with the wife in a unique corner of the state. I hope to take Al up a few peaks this summer in a similar fashion.


rocketsmom

I'm a wifey too     2011-07-01 19:28:08
Loved your trip report. I hike/climb with the hubby so I would be the wifey too. Hope Katie felt better by the time you got down. Beautiful/creative photos.


Dancesatmoonrise


Nice     2011-07-01 20:08:47
Very cool to do these with the wife. Way to go, David!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.