Thursday, July 1, 2010

Backpacking part 2 - Redcloud/Sunshine

Looking at the map near the location of the Sherman aid station, I couldn't help but notice two 14ers looming over the road. After a wonderful pizza dinner in Lake City (Huge thank you to Steve and Deb and their truck!!), we got up super-early and started up toward the mountains. At least we were moving faster without packs for this portion of the journey.

We beat the sunrise to the ridge, but not to the top of Redcloud Peak. Here is the peak just as it is starting to get light - almost looks like the peak has a "moon halo"!


Climbing toward sunshine:

No words needed:

Good morning!

The final climb up to Redcloud:

Signing the trail register, with the amazing San Juans in the background:

Almost a perfect selfie, trying to indicate our next goal of Sunshine Peak. It's the lowest of the high mountains, at 14,001 feet, not super-difficult to reach, but still a bit out of the way if you are doing both Redcloud and Sunshine in the same morning (which I believe most people do):

Rocks and snow on the way up to Sunshine:

Looking down into the valley where we were planning to try an alternate route down (including a scree field, and yes, that was my idea):

Good morning, Sunshine!

Putting on my morning "lipstick":

On of our odder summit photos. I title this one, "Taste of the Rockies":

Going down the west ridge, John had to wait for me to pick my way down, but he's a patient man. And luckily we were going to the right in this photo and not to the left:

Making use of trekking poles:

The top of the scree field:

It wasn't easy for me, but there were plenty of handholds for once (usually scree is just an open area of rocks and dirt). John of course had no trouble, but continued to be patient. Yay for reaching the bottom - still standing! (well OK, I sat down a couple times on the way down...)

We ran down the valley and back to the truck where we picked up our packs for the next leg of our journey. Time to get back on the Hardrock course!
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