Peak(s):  Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Date Posted:  06/15/2013
Date Climbed:   08/10/2012
Author:  zinj
 Rpt 3 of 6: Shine & Clouds  

Preceding Report: Rpt 2 of 6: Hellah Handies

August 10, 2012
We overnighted at the Castle Lakes Campground (showers & laundry -- yay!) so we had a morning drive to reach the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch TH. No matter. We started on the mountain plenty early.

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Stephanie and Will emerging from the valley


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Redcloud Pk (14,034) -- we'll approach by going far left and gaining that ridge


The approach is about as uncomplicated as it gets -- a bit on the sandy side, but you just gain the ridge and follow to the summit. All that is required is endurance and patience. The real challenge is the descent (it hurt my knees quite a bit)

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Redcloud Pk (14,034) (L) from its NE ridge. Note the several false summits


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Making my way up the ridge. Stephanie is a little below.


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Stephanie ascending Redcloud's NE ridge


I just KNEW the handlebar mustache was going to catch on!!!

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Redcloud summit (14,034) with my long-lost beard-brother "Dave".


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Stephanie, Will and me on top of Redcloud (14,034)


Selected Redcloud summit photos with notable points of interest:

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look for the two parallel white stripes in center of photo - that's Handies Pk


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R to L: Uncompahgre (14,309), Matterhorn (13,590), Wetterhorn (14,015), Coxcomb (13,656)


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the golden-to-orange NE ridge of Redcloud (14,034). The trail gains the ridge almost exactly at the low point.


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Zoomed in: R to L: Uncompahgre (14,309), Matterhorn (13,590), Wetterhorn (14,015), Coxcomb (13,656)


The weather was shaping up like a typical Colorado summer day -- which meant t-storms likely in the early afternoon. The traverse to Sunshine certainly didn't LOOK hard (it wasn't hard, but it is MUCH longer than it appears).

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Sunshine Pk (14,001) from Redcloud Pk (14,034), tiny figure on first hump at left


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Approaching Sunshine Pk (14,001) along the ridge


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Craggy bits along the trail


I finally caught up with Stephanie and she took an "emerging from the chute" photo of me (the route does not involve this at all -- I just took a few steps down into this rocky gully)

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Sunshine Peak (14,001) summit...

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She-hulk summitting Sunshine Pk (14,001)


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The posse on Sunshine Pk (14,001)


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Will and Stephanie on Sunshine Pk (14,001) looking south


Sunshine Pk (14,001) summit pano vid



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On the edge


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Lake Fork of the Gunnison River, Handies Pk (14,048 look for the stripes) near top


We spent much more time goofing off on Sunshine than we had on Redcloud. But eventually the clouds indicated we were overstaying our welcome...time to go!

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Clouds rolling in - looking West off Sunshine Pk (14,001)


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We do not descend this valley, but cut across it at the green part crossing from right to left.


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Sunshine no more -- we had better leave!


Brisk pace back to Redcloud.

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Half way back to Redcloud Peak (14,034)


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final steps on Redcloud's (14,034) south side


Final steps on Redcloud's south side. The weather overhead was still safe, but what was blowing in from the West was a classic, easily identified t-storm. The mountains were giving us ample warning. Folks on Redcloud's summit? Surely they would be hurrying off with us...right? We did talk to them since several seemed unaware of the storm bearing down on us and were actually still planning to go to Sunshine. Well, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make some people realize that when the lightning starts, it's too late.

Run-walking off of Redcloud.

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final steps on Redcloud's (14,034) north side


BOOOM! Thunder erupts. Notice the little ants still on top of Redcloud?
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Redcloud (14,034) with an Darwinian experiment of sorts being conducted on top


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Hustle...


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Storms upon us: descent to SilverCreek/Grizzly Gulch TH



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


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