Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Wetterhorn Peak  -  14,015 feet
Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
San Luis Peak  -  14,014 feet
Date Posted:  08/20/2020
Modified:  08/27/2020
Date Climbed:   08/04/2020
Author:  SpeedWalker
Additional Members:   MounTimo
 San Juan 14ers in a Week (Part 2)  

San Juan 14ers in a Week (Part 2)

Alex "SpeedWalker" Walker

Introduction

This is the second half of my trip report from the 7 days I spent in the San Juan range, aiming to climb all 14 14ers there. For a more formal introduction to the trip (and to hear how we ended up where we were), make sure to check out that first report here!


Day 4 (Part 2) - August 2, 2020

After arriving back at Purgatory TH around noon from a successful 48-hour trip into Chicago Basin, we drove up to Silverton and stopped for ice at the gas station. I was annoyed to see that the gas was substantially cheaper than at our last stop in Ouray, as I had preemptively filled up the car there. Our destination now was the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch TH, just outside of Lake City, which would provide access to our 3 next 14ers. According to Google Maps, the recommended 2WD route to the south would take over 5 hours (although there looks to be a decent route to the north that takes just 4), whereas the direct route across Cinnamon Pass would take just an hour and a half. This high mountain pass, however, requires a high clearance vehicle, like the hundreds of Jeeps and specialized 4-wheelers we saw along the way. As we drove the increasingly-rough road towards Animas Forks, we saw fewer and fewer fellow SUVs, which was pretty intimidating despite the so far reasonable road.

20581_02
Turnoff between Animas Forks and Engineer/Cinnamon Passes

The road worsens considerably past the turnoff for Animas Forks, a "ghost town" that probably has more people around now than it ever did when anyone lived there; we saw dozens of Jeeps and tons of tourists walking around. There's some pretty rough, rocky spots here that are among the worst you will encounter on the route. Soon after, you make a sharp switchbacking turn to the right towards a steep, narrow stretch that climbs most of the way to the top. I found that most of these extremely narrow sections were surprisingly smooth, whereas the real 4WD happens on the less exposed (and less scenic) parts. This is probably why I couldn't find any pictures of the bad parts of the road; all of the pretty areas are relatively easy. We found ourselves at the top of the pass soon afterwards, without too much trouble. We got out and walked around to see the views; I was very amused to see our little Honda Pilot parked among the dozens of crazy off-roaders.

20581_03
Top of Cinnamon Pass

This west side of the pass is slightly worse, which means coming down the east side would be easier, especially since we were descending. If I were to rank this road among the various 14er approaches, it would definitely fall into this site's category of "easy 4WD," despite not being particularly "easy" in our car. Still, it's not the shortest drive in the world, taking us about 2.5 hours to reach the trailhead from Silverton, a decent amount above Google's approximation, but certainly faster than the standard road. I would recommend it, as long as you have a car with at least as much clearance as ours.

20581_04
Descending the east side of Cinnamon Pass towards American Basin

After being passed by so many more Jeeps, we finally made it to the turnoff for American Basin (the slightly shorter, less scenic trailhead for Handies Peak), where the road becomes quite a lot smoother. There isn't anything too far beyond "rough 2WD" from here down to the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch TH. We arrived around 4:00 PM, set up the car for the night, and cooked some dinner. However, I wasn't quite ready to be done hiking for the night. Since all we had done so far was an "easy" 15 mile backpack that was (mostly) downhill, I decided not to let the day pass without bagging at least one 14er. I had been waiting for the opportunity to film a cool timelapse of the sunset from atop a peak using a motorized camera slider, and this seemed like the perfect time to go for Handies Peak. So, I loaded everything up, carrying about double the weight I otherwise would have, and left at around 5:30 PM. Tim, on the other hand, was not as crazy, so he didn't come with me.


Handies Peak - East Slopes

Class 2 | Distance: 8.04 mi | Gain: 3,547 ft

  • 1:42 to Handies
  • 1:27 to TH

They say that this one of the most scenic routes up a 14er, and I was not disappointed. It heads through the forest in a beautiful valley, out of the trees, and up to the ridge towards the summit. The trail was also incredibly well-maintained, especially the first half mile or so, with hundreds of nice log steps lining it almost continuously.

20581_05
Infinite log steps winding up the somewhat-steep initial section

The sun soon fell behind the ridge, casting me in a strange evening shadow for most of the way to the summit. Even in the growing darkness, the trail was stupidly easy to follow all the way to the ridge, without even a single junction to make you pause.

20581_06
Approaching the ridge in the shadows

Given its great views, decent access, and easy hiking, I'm surprised this peak isn't way more popular than it is. Heck, maybe it is as popular as I'm imagining, but I just didn't notice because it was such a strange time of day. I only saw one person (and his dog) on the entire hike, who reached the summit around the same time I did, and who I would later come across hiking on the next two days in a row.

20581_07
Looking up the final steep section of ridge before the summit (featuring the one person and dog I saw)

The only Class 2 section on this otherwise walk-up of a 14er is the final stretch up to the ridge, where the trail turns to steep dirt and rock for a hundred feet or so. Normally this kind of terrain would be barely a consideration, but with all the extra camera equipment on my back, it was actually a bit of a challenge. Still, within minutes, I was standing at the summit, just after 7:00 PM. I took my normal summit pictures and got my special slider set up.

20581_08
#46 - Handies Peak

I won't talk too much about the sunset timelapse, but I was up there for a couple hours, and it worked out pretty well. After the sun went down, I packed everything up and was ready to leave by around 9:00 PM. It felt very weird being up here at this time of day, similar to just before sunrise, but knowing that it's only going to get colder, rather than warmer. I put on my headlamp and made my way down quickly and carefully, glad I was forever done carrying this extra weight upwards. I made it back to the car around 10:30 PM, threw my stuff inside, and fell right asleep.


Day 5 - August 3, 2020

Redcloud Peak/Sunshine Peak - Combination

Class 2+ | Distance: 10.05 mi | Gain: 3,957 ft

  • 1:44 to Redcloud
  • 0:32 to Sunshine
  • 1:49 to TH

Though I enjoyed the evening hike of Handies, its effects on my sleep schedule made it a questionable time saver. Not only did we wake up at 6:00 AM, an unusually-late start time for us, but I was also entirely unprepared for the morning's hike. I unpacked my bag from the night before, and eventually refilled everything just the way I like it. It was past 7:00 AM by the time we actually started hiking, marking our latest morning start time so far. The trail starts out just as nice as the last one, although not quite as steep, and with much fewer log steps.

20581_09
"Much fewer" log steps still means quite a lot, compared to Handies

This was my first hike in a while where Tim agreed to join me on the entire thing. I was glad that he was finally able to do a solid 14er combination, although it's always a lot slower going when I have someone else along. Tim is definitely in the top 25% of fastest hikers, but I still find myself leaving him behind quite often. I guess I need to find someone who actually enjoys hiking as fast as I do.

20581_10
Tim, trying to enjoy the hike while still keeping up with me

The route continues through a long valley, much like the hike up Handies. It looks like there were around a half dozen huge avalanches here back in 2019, and there's still a mass of snow sitting at the bottom of the largest one. It seems like the trail is starting to get steep for a bit, but it soon flattens back out and continues gradually towards the ridge. At this point, it looks like you're almost there, but there's actually around a thousand feet of steep, rocky terrain to go. You head on up the ridge, bypassing a particularly steep section on one giant switchback. There are many smaller ones as you approach the top... of the false summit. After a few more bumps in the ridge, you finally have a clear view of the top ahead of you.

20581_12
Finally nearing the top of Redcloud

It is at this point that you realize why the mountain you're climbing is called "Redcloud Peak:" there are large amounts of unusually red rock around the summit area. I eventually made it to the top, where somebody recognized me from one of my trip reports. I ate some snacks as I waited around for Tim, then we took our summit pictures.

20581_13
#47 - Redcloud Peak

I was also surprised to see how giant of a lump Uncompahgre Peak was in the background. Even in the super wide-angle summit picture above, you can still see it very prominently in the back, with Wetterhorn Peak a ways to its left. But this peak wasn't in store for me until tomorrow; for now, we had to get on over to Sunshine Peak. We headed down the other side of Redcloud, with our second peak clearly visible and not far away.

20581_14
Headed towards Sunshine from Redcloud

The entire connecting trail was really easy and relaxing compared to the last little stretch up Redcloud. The final slopes up Sunshine are the steepest, but still not bad. Overall, it's about a mile and a half from one peak to the other, but it really didn't feel that long. I was surprised at how fast Tim went on this little traverse; even he said it was easy.

20581_15
#48 - Sunshine Peak

Also, after being unusually cold on Redcloud (considering how late in the day it was already), I was pleasantly surprised at how warm it was atop Sunshine. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I feel like this peak's name also has some meaning to it. We started heading down around 11:00 PM, off the opposite ridge and towards the Northwest Face.

20581_16
Headed down the upper ridge onto the Northwest Face route

We planned to make this combination of peaks into a loop by descending Sunshine directly. Although this is shorter in distance, the "Difficult Class 2" section of the route is certainly way more difficult (and annoying) than any of the Class 2 up to this point. If you just want a simple walk-up, return to the trailhead by reascending Redcloud; it's not that much further. Anyway, to take this route, you descend Sunshine's west ridge on a somewhat loose, rocky, and sort-of defined trail, before turning right onto some switchbacks down the face. At this point, the trail completely disappears onto miles of endless rocks, and is replaced by a series of cairns. These lead you to the biggest obstacle of the route: a large cliff band, making you stop and question which gully to descend.

20581_17
Tim approaching the cliff to descend

The most tempting place to start is the biggest gully, near the center of the picture above. Don't try this one; the route description warns against it repeatedly, which is probably for a reason. This route description, by the way, suggests the gully just to the right (east) of the big one, whereas we chose the gully just to its left, where the trail is leading in the picture. We went against the advice of the website just because this route seemed so much more popular, with tons of cairns and even sort of a trail, and I'm still not sure which one is better. The way we went started out with a steep section full of larger loose rocks, with barely enough solid stuff to cling onto, followed by a longer, steep scree slope.

20581_18
Just past the worst of the rocky section, headed towards a giant scree slope

After a solid few minutes of carefully sliding down this scree, happy to be wearing gaiters, I found the "trail" and waited for Tim before continuing onward. From here, you have yet another choice, left or right. We decided to go left, into a long but gentle gully full of talus. The alternative? Walking slightly to the right of the gully, still across a mile-long field of talus. If there's lots of lingering snow, up high is probably the way to go, but I imagine either way is just as annoying.

20581_22
On the left path, through the gully of endless rock

Finally, nearly 2 miles from the summit, you emerge onto your first solid dirt trail. The only problem is that you're about to walk across a huge avalanche path, and the trail definitely hasn't been cleared since it happened. It wasn't bad for that long, but you'll be climbing over and under a mess of trees for a while, wondering where the trail went under all the debris.

20581_23
Tim crawling under avalanche debris on the "easy" section of trail

Finally, after dealing with a loose descent, navigating some cliffs, walking miles across an ocean of rock, and traversing an avalanche path, you've emerged onto the original route, having saved a couple miles and a few hundred feet of gain. Was it worth it? Probably not, but at least it looks cooler as a loop on the map.

20581_24
Crossing the creek, back to the standard route

Anyway, we descended the standard route uneventfully and soon made it back to the trailhead around 1:00 PM. We put our bags away, packed up the car, and set off down the road. This area was all new to us, although the road was very manageable compared to what we did the day before. I'm not sure why this trailhead is labeled "easy 4WD" on the website, as it's definitely closer to the category of "rough 2WD" when compared to other roads. Once you're off the winding part and past the main junction, the road is as smooth as dirt roads get, all the way back to Lake City. We stopped here for a quick snack, then continued up the similarly-nice dirt road towards Matterhorn Creek TH. This trailhead is the standard starting point for Wetterhorn Peak, and from this hike you can add on about another 8 miles round trip to do Uncompahgre Peak, too. It's certainly one of the longer popular 14er combinations, long enough not to be included on this site, but it definitely saves you some elevation gain at the very least. What's more is that the Nellie Creek TH for Uncompahgre's standard route is actually pretty intense 4WD (much more than I would ever think of doing), so if you avoid that, the combination actually saves closer to 8 miles and nearly 3,000 ft round trip. So despite the high mileage, doing these two peaks at once wasn't even a question for me.

Anyway, the road remains rather smooth well past the turnoff for Nellie Creek TH, up to the junction where you can turn left across a bridge towards Engineer Pass, or right and up into the trees towards Matterhorn Creek TH. There's definitely some serious "easy 4WD" past this point, requiring good clearance at a minimum. Finally, about 0.6 miles from the true trailhead, you reach another junction with a number of dispersed parking spots, where most people stop. Past this point, it's narrow, steep, and rocky, requiring a better vehicle and some serious 4WD skill. Luckily, it's close enough that it doesn't really add much distance, so we stopped the car here and set everything up for the night. I got my stuff packed up for tomorrow's hike while Tim cooked some dinner (he would be staying behind to let me move as fast as possible). I'm not sure if it was the weather or the location, but there seemed to be way more bugs and mosquitoes around here than I had seen so far this summer. Either way, I got in bed as early as I could to make up the lost sleep from the night before; I was asleep before 7:00 PM.


Day 6 - August 4, 2020

Wetterhorn Peak/Uncompahgre Peak - Combination

Class 3 | Distance: 16.76 mi | Gain: 6,152 ft

  • 1:48 to Wetterhorn
  • 2:16 to Uncompahgre
  • 1:35 to TH

I finally awoke back at my normal time of 4:00 AM, got myself ready, and set off down the headlamp-lit road. I took some pictures later in the day to demonstrate what you'll be dealing with if you decide to tackle this in a car, and as you can see, it gets very rocky.

20581_25
Gentle but rocky section of the road to the top of Matterhorn Creek TH (it's worse than it looks)

From the very beginning to gaining the ridge near the peak, the elevation gain is actually very steady all the way up Wetterhorn. The trail is pretty nice past the end of the road, with quite a few convenient log steps in one section. It was a little muddy as you approach the junction between the Wetterhorn Peak Trail and the "Ridge Stock Driveway" (which you actually return upon from the combination), but overall it seemed well-maintained. A little past this junction, you walk through a pleasant boulder field with enough continuous dirt to make a nice trail through it. Just after that, you gain the ridge at just over 13,000 ft.

20581_26
Nearing the ridge, which leads up to Wetterhorn

There's some very steep dirt sections as you go up a few of these bumps in the ridge, but altogether I was surprised at just how nice the entire trail was up to this point. The real scrambling only begins past 13,600 ft, but getting to this point was probably easier than your average 14er.

20581_28
Well-maintained trail all the way up to 13,600 ft, the start of the scrambling

I got to the beginning of Class 3 terrain and put on my helmet. If I were to do this combination again, I would probably consider not bringing one, as this section felt quite short and minimally risky. You're saving so much effort by not lugging it around for the other 16 miles, so it seems like a reasonable trade-off. First, you enter a rocky slope on the left side of the ridge, and work across it on some well-traveled rock paths towards the big rock rib, then turn right and up to a notch.

20581_30
In the notch, where the standard route continues to the left

Once in the notch, the standard route is to turn left and across another rocky slope. You can also scramble up the right side of the notch and continue higher on the ridge (like the route description mentions), although it definitely requires some harder moves, as I found out after accidentally stumbling across one section on my return. Make sure to memorize where the exit of this notch is, and you won't make the same mistake.

20581_33
Harder scrambling past the first notch

The correct path is still fairly well-marked the whole way through, with quite a few cairns and, in some places, a well-worn path showing the way. You gain the ridge towards a flatter section under "The Prow," and come across the final notch to the summit.

20581_34
Notch to reach the final scramble to summit

Once you scramble up this notch, the final pitch to the summit is visible. It's probably also the crux of the route, as it's quite steep Class 3, but it's still very solid with good handholds.

20581_35
Looking across from the notch towards the final pitch

Once you're past this scramble, you immediately emerge onto the top of Wetterhorn. The early morning views up here were amazing, with a weird misty quality because of some smoke in the air, presumably from the California wildfires. The person I met at the top must have brought them along; I assume he was from California based on all the routes he mentioned. I borrowed a few of his fingers to take my summit picture.

20581_36
#49 - Wetterhorn Peak

I was once again amazed at just how massive Uncompahgre Peak was. Even though it sits nearly 3 miles away from the top of Wetterhorn, it seems like you could almost reach out and touch it. In combination with the sun, smoke, and some clouds, I took this truly epic-looking picture of it.

20581_37
The great Uncompahgre Peak

I spent a fair amount of time at the summit, enjoying the views and taking lots of pictures. Though I did start early, I was surprised to only see one other person by around 8:00 AM. These are certainly among the very least popular 14ers, but they're accessible and cool enough that I would expect more visitors. Anyway, I made it down the scrambling section, off the ridge, and through the boulder field without incident. As soon as you leave this section, turn left off of the trail to a small creek crossing, with a small trail visible on the other side. This is the standard shortcut towards the combination with Uncompahgre. This short trail soon disappears, but you can see the same "Ridge Stock Driveway" trail from earlier, which you want to merge onto. It was as I turned towards this trail that an incredible sight appeared before me: an ocean of thousands of sheep. Having no choice but to proceed right through them, I cautiously approached, and they slowly moved out of my way to either side.

20581_38
Parting an ocean of sheep on the combination shortcut from Wetterhorn

Well, that was quite the experience. Anyway, after making it onto this trail, you pretty much just follow it straight over some rolling hills towards Uncompahgre. There's a little "shortcut" trail at one point that branches off down a hill then merges back, but it looked a lot easier to stay to the right and contour around the hillside on the standard trail. After a singular steep switchback, you emerge onto a huge grassy slope, where the proper trail takes an annoying detour to merge with the standard route up Uncompahgre. Instead of turning to the right along this trail, you can basically stay straight up the beginning of the ridge, then turn slightly right onto an obscure shortcut "trail" which brings you to a much nicer spot on the standard route.

20581_39
Continue straight along the ridge for a while, rather than turning right so early with the proper trail

It's clear that this route isn't official, but it's well-traveled and saves enough distance that I would definitely recommend it. After meeting up with the standard route, it's about a mile and a thousand feet of pretty smooth hiking to the summit.

20581_40
Approaching the top of Uncompahgre on the standard route

After some big switchbacks, you're forced onto some trickier Class 2 sections to overcome the large cliff band guarding the summit. There's one spot in particular where I was unsure of which way to turn, and opted to stay low (left) rather than ascend up a steep slope. This was a mistake, which led me to a much looser slope that wasn't a lot of fun. I later took a picture of the junction to demonstrate.

20581_41
Turn right here and ascend the steep rocky trail that follows, rather than staying low and to the left

Once you emerge from this tricky section, it's back to easy walking up to the summit. It's a super strange-looking area because your entire field of view is filled with this huge rocky slope; it definitely doesn't feel like the top of a mountain. Still, I made it to the summit area pretty quickly, which was when I noticed how bad the smoke was getting. Even Wetterhorn, which I had just been on, looked pretty hazy only a few miles away.

20581_42
#50 - Uncompahgre Peak

After enjoying what I could of the summit views, I was already heading down my second 14er of the day, and much earlier than I had expected. It was a little past 10:00 AM, and although I had over 6 miles remaining, I wondered if I could make it by noon. So, after retracing my steps through all the tricky terrain (avoiding my mistake from the way up), and making it back onto the combination trail, I started picking up my pace to a jog as I returned to the first intersection of the day. I started hitting 12 minute miles while alternating between a run and a fast hike, and I realized that I could make it if I kept it up.

20581_44
Passing back through the ocean of sheep, with a wider angle view

I decided that I just wanted to be able to say "Good Morning" to Tim upon making it back to the car, and I was still feeling surprisingly good after 6 long days of hiking. So, I kept on jogging past the intersection and back onto familiar trails from earlier in the day, now illuminated in the full morning light.

20581_45
Back into the valley towards the trailhead

As it turns out, running a trail downhill makes it feel a lot shorter than hiking up it, especially with so much less water weight on your back. I was back down the car in no time, and I thoroughly surprised Tim with my early arrival. We packed up the car, ate lunch, and set out on the 2 hour drive to our next destination: West Willow Creek TH for San Luis Peak, my last 14er in the range. Now, this road actually gets fairly rough on the last little stretch to the trailhead, but we parked about 2 miles from the normal starting point, just before it starts to get rough. In fact, it was actually a very nice and easy 2WD dirt road up to this point. We stopped here because it marks 11,000 ft, and I'm crazy enough to walk an extra 4 miles round trip just to say I've gained the proper 3,000 ft of net elevation on my way to the peak. Tim still wouldn't be coming with me, so that we could leave for home as early as possible the next day, so he was happy to avoid the rough drive.

20581_46
Our overnight parking spot along the very nice dirt road at 11,000 ft

This actually isn't the standard trailhead for San Luis Peak, but it is the most accessible. We would be driving directly home afterwards, which Google Maps lists as a 5 hour drive. The other option, Stewart Creek TH, isn't too much further at just under 6 hours, but the drive from Lake City is multiple hours longer. In addition to saving many hours of driving, it would also normally save a few miles and a couple hundred feet of elevation gain while hiking. However, the extra approach distance I added on actually made it longer in both respects. Either way, it was still the better option for us. Upon arriving, we were getting sick of all the cold food we had been eating all week, so we got desperate enough to break out the camp stove and make pancakes. They were remarkably good after 6 days of difficult hiking, and well worth the effort in cooking. We eventually set the car up and went to sleep at around 6:00 PM (yes, I was really tired at this point)



Day 7 - August 5, 2020

San Luis Peak - South Ridge

Class 1 | Distance: 15.31 mi | Gain: 4,203 ft

  • 0:34 to TH
  • 1:54 to San Luis
  • 1:28 to TH
  • 0:23 to Car (11,000 ft)

I woke up at 4:00 AM on the final day of the trip, to climb my final 14er in my second-to-last mountain range. It would be a long hike, but on relatively easy terrain, and I hoped to once again make it back before noon. The road walk was rather uneventful. Just remember that you have to turn left and up a rougher road into the trees, to avoid walking through the middle of what looks like a mining operation. The road is considerably rougher past this point, deserving of the "easy 4WD" title on this site. There's plenty of rocky sections and water crossings; here's a picture I took later in the day to demonstrate.

20581_47
The main water crossing near the end of the road

After this one big water crossing, the road gets worse than before with lots of bumpy, washed out sections. I think I probably could have made it all the way to the upper trailhead, but if you have any hesitation by the time you get to the water, just park right before it and walk the extra half mile or so to the start. The trail itself isn't too much more exciting, with its notable feature being a steep elevation gain out of treeline at the very beginning, followed by merging onto the Colorado Trail and losing most of that elevation back into the trees.

20581_48
Steep, straight section near the beginning

After this seemingly unnecessary elevation gain and loss, the trail returns to the gradual uphill slope of the approach road for a few more miles. The terrain is actually pretty cool around here, especially since you're in such a remote area, and it really made me want to come back here along the Colorado Trail someday. After gaining the final ridge at just under 13,000 ft, you again diverge from the Colorado Trail and head up the final mile or so to the peak.

20581_49
Branching off the Colorado Trail towards the final ridge

Once you're truly on the ridge, the steep grade reappears, and you begin walking on small but sufficiently annoying rocks. There's a lot of little alternate trails past this point, but it's easy enough to follow the proper one by looking for the giant cairns.

20581_50
Giant cairns up the rocky ridge to San Luis

At this point, I actually started coming across a bunch of other hikers, all descending from the peak. It made no sense that this many people would've gotten even earlier of a start than I had, and the parking lot had seemed mostly empty when I passed. But then I noticed that some of them had large backpacking backpacks, and it all made sense. There were also a few tents set up back near the Colorado Trail junction, so it must've been a big group of backpackers who all decided to take a morning and hike San Luis. Anyway, they were all gone by the time I reached the top, so I had the summit all to myself.

20581_51
#51 - San Luis Peak

The views up here were great; the area is just so unique. This peak is contained within a huge subrange of the San Juan, which seems very seldom visited. It's just crazy to see mountains in all directions, yet not even know the name of a single one. It's no wonder that so many of the state's 13ers and lower peaks are within the San Juan; it's truly a huge area. Anyway, I had now finished my mission of climbing all 14 of its 14ers in a week, leaving just 7 peaks and one more range, the Elk, to go. But for now, I still had to make it the 7.5 miles or so back to the car. I was forced to walk carefully down the rocky mile or so from the top, but as soon as the trail became a bit gentler, I started running.

20581_52
Running down a nice section of the Colorado Trail

In the light, this area looked even cooler. Passing all the backpackers (presumably on their way to Durango) just made me want to hike the Colorado Trail even more. But in the meantime, the very gentle slope made for great running, at least until I ran into the steep up and down near the trailhead. It slowed me down a little, but I was past it and back onto the road soon enough.

20581_53
Nearing the trailhead, with a few Jeeps and big trucks around

I made it back to the car in well under 2 hours, which is around 40 fewer minutes than it took me to go up. I again surprised Tim by making it back so early; it was still before 10:00 AM. Luckily, he had just finished packing up the car, and we soon set off on the uneventful 5 hour car ride back home. With just 7 more peaks to go, we were soon getting ready to set out on our final 14er adventure early next week.


My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 22 23 24 25 26 28 30 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53


 Comments or Questions
jordanthebuff
Missed Connection
08/25/2020 16:43
I've been following your journey and my friends and I did Handies on the 5th and Sunshine/Redcloud on the 6th. We missed you only by a day or two! Good luck on finishing out your trips this summer!



   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.




© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.