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 Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
"Sundog"  -  13,432 feet
 Post Date:  07/13/2009
 Date Climbed:   07/12/2009
 Posted By:  bergsteigen

 A civilized loop - with a bit o spice!   

Redcloud, Sunshine and "Sundog"
3's Company: Josh, Karen & me
TH: Silver Creek
Start: 5am
Mileage: 10.3
Elevation gain: 4,500'
Time: 8.5 hrs

Day 1: Wetterhorn (Matterhorn, Uncompaghre)
Day 2: Redcloud, Sunshine, "Sundog"

Day 2:
My "Mission Impossible Theme" alarm went off at 3am. I didn't want to hear it, so I hit snooze. It went off again, I didn't see headlamps in the other tent, so I hit snooze once again. After a bit, I take out my earplugs, and what do I hear.... rain. Gah, no wonder there's no one else is up. Apparently it had rained pretty hard overnight, and I thankfully had missed it. My second pair of boots, that I was going to wear that day, didn't miss the rain. They knew ALL about the rain. Oh well, that's why you bring 2 pairs.

We cruised up the first part of the trail. Once we got out of the trees, we turned around and got a nice view of Handies Peak:
Image

We made note of the remains of a large snow avalanche zone that covers the creek. Just above that, is where the old Sunshine trail connects. If all goes according to plan, that's where we'll connect the loop.

A little later, a nice sunrise, lighting up the clouds over Handies:
Image

Zooming up the ridge, and our first view of Redcloud Peak:
Image

Nearing the first summit of the day, we stop to apply sunscreen and listen to some motivational music, "I'm on a boat". Now if there was only a peak named boat...
Image

Shortly we were on top of Redcloud. Looking over at our previous days' trip, we note how far away Wetterhorn looks from Uncompahgre...
Image

Our next peak, Sunshine:
Image

The 3rd peak of the day, "Sundog". No escape off Sundog‘s ridge on this side!:
Image

Handies:
Image

Close up of Uncompahgre:
Image

Close up of the Horns:
Image

Yay!
Image

Some flowers amongst the rubble, uhh talus:
Image

On Sunshine, looking back at Redcloud:
Image

2 down, 1 more to go!
Image

On to Sundog, and the best part of the entire trip!:
Image

For anyone wanting some route finding experience on class 2+ with some exposure on a narrow ridge, Sundog is an awesome place to go and complete the loop. It was easily the extra spice this trip needed. There are even some areas of faint trail visible, so it‘s isn‘t that difficult to find you way. Just stay on the ridge.

The first section of ridge obstacles, you can easily skirt around, if you want:
Image

After that, it becomes a bit difficult to skirt, so we did some 2+ over this next section:
Image

As we continued up the ridge, it was more fun to go over a lot of the obstacles than contour around. So choose your own adventure!
Image

Josh making his way up a fun section:
Image

Looking back over at Sunshine, with Karen making her way up the ridge.
Image

Josh posing on the false summit:
Image

With a fast approaching storm, I didn't take too many photos on the summit. And a group shot of us will have to wait until Josh can send me his photos, as he's on Handies Peak today.

Making a speedy descent:
Image

Looking back up at Sundog, further down the ridge, not near "safety" yet:
Image

Once below treeline, we were going to try and follow the ridge down to the Silver Creek, possibly cutting off a bit of distance. But when lightning struck near us, we all made the same decision. Down! So we dropped off the ridge to the stream drainage where the Sunshine trail is. Soon as we reach the stream, the sky lets loose, and we put on our rain kit.

A nice gushing stream:
Image

A little bit into the trees on the lower trail, we get one last parting short of Handies, to send us on our way home:
Image

Overall, I found the addition of Sundog to be well worth the effort (vs going back over Redcloud). In fact, it was so much fun, I was sorry we had to race over it!

Now to make that long drive home.... dreaming of when I can return and climb all the peaks I‘ve had to put off for another day.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Matt


Back in time (posted August 2010)     2011-01-18 20:38:48
I like your early trip reports much better than the later ones.
These are more focused on the mountain and route, less labored and ostentatious.


bergsteigen


Thanx     2010-08-25 14:46:58
I made sure to take as many route photos as possible on Sundog. Esp when I realized it was a bit more than a walk up.
Yeah, too much lightning!


mt_turtle


That is what the other side looks like!     2009-07-14 15:57:48
My wife and I crossed your paths many times over to Sunshine. Your report answered my question of what the other side of the ridge looks like on Sundog. I saw your two partners on Handies the next day, they said you had to go to work, too bad. Great report!

The 3rd picture you took looking up at Redcloud has my wife and I in it walking on the saddle. If I pm you my email could we have the full resolution picture?


bergsteigen


Sundog was great!     2009-07-14 15:56:55
Yeah, work, it‘s what pays for these trips Glad to meet you on the summit parking lot!

Sure I can send the photo, it‘s 3.2MB, so hopefully your email can accept that big?


Floyd


Thanks for the TR     2009-07-14 21:22:00
I‘m headed that way in a few weeks and have been debating on whether or not my dog can handle Sundog - your pics add to the debate. Probably the hardest mtn he‘s done is Castle or the summit block on Harvard - do you have any thoughts?


CarpeDM


Sundog with dogs     2009-07-15 07:02:52
Floyd,
Perspective from one dog owner: I took my dog on that same route last year. He had no problems with the route - although Sundog was the last of 5 peaks in 3 days so he was pretty worn out. He‘s a 5-year-old beagle-mix and has done 27 14ers now. Here‘s my TR:

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=4997&parmpeak=San+Luis+Peak&cpgm=tripmain

Also, I made a comment in the report about finding the way across the creek when joining back up to the standard route. Others didn‘t seem to have a problem finding the crossing, so maybe I was just blind from exhaustion that day.


CarpeDM


Nice report!     2009-07-15 07:07:25
Your image 20 was the exact pic I had in mind when I said in my TR that I should‘ve had my camera out. Sundog is definitely the pinch of spice on that hike.


bergsteigen


Sundog similar to Castle     2009-07-15 09:48:33
Floyd - As I was going up the ridge on Sundog, I was thinking how similar it was to the top part of Castle Peak (hence my 2+ rating). My photo #20 is the only steep loose rock section, that your dog ‘may‘ need some help with. Otherwise the route is pretty solid (for talus).

CarpeDM - Thanx for your report from last year - I printed out the map for reference. It‘s also why I made sure to take so many photos of the route


Floyd


THANKS!     2009-07-15 10:37:27
If we catch the weather right, looks like the pup is in for the side trip. Happy trails.


CarpeDM


You‘re welcome     2009-07-15 21:32:50
I‘m glad to know it helped. And yeah, your pics show more of the ridge - and show it better. At the time, my camera was stuck in my backpack a lot. I‘ve since attached it to the front so it has become easier to get more and better pics in recent trips.


brandonkparker

pics     2010-09-01 22:02:38
Great pics!



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