The Plan: Redcliff and Pt 13241.
Reality: Redcliff and ALMOST 13241 (AKA "Fortress Pk)
After hitting Chicago Basin (see Pt 1 http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8882) headed over to the Owl Creek Pass an area I just discovered earlier this year which has become one of my favorite areas of the state.
When planning the trip originally I was aiming for hiking Redcliff and Precipice, but I couldn't find any route info for Precipice so I decided instead on Pt 13241 as I found a route description in a guidebook for the Uncompahgre wilderness.
not a 13er but still impressive
Redcliff was a very straight forward hike, just head up the West Fork trail (TR 226) a little past Redcliff then cut up to the Redcliff Coxcomb saddle, then up Redcliff's only sloped side.
Coxcomb from Redcliff-Coxcomb saddle
Views were incredible, giving a seldom view of Uncompahgre's and Wetterhorn's north sides.
Courthouse and Chimney from Redcliff
See http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8639&parmuser=luckyzsquirrel&cpgm=tripuser for a description of the hike of Courthouse earlier this year.
Fortress from Redcliff
Precipice from Redcliff
A traverse from Redcliff to 13241 looked near impossible as it was on bad rock and would be class 4 or 5 IF THE ROCK WERE SOLID, which it wasn't. So I dropped down and headed up to the Redcliff-13241 saddle.
Redcliff on the way down
The guidebook described Redcliff has more difficult and 13241 as "relatively easy". The landscapes were incredible, the hike was miserable. The top half of the ascent to the saddle is very steep loose dirt and talus. From there the rest of the hike was up terrain you'd expect to see in Bryce canyon if Bryce canyon was on top of a mountain with exposure. Pictures imply good hand holds, but the rock is crumbly volcanic tuff, like climbing up a pebbly sand castle. Only 150' or so from the top I hit a spot that i just wasn't comfortable crossing. I basically had to traverse across a steep side slope of loose dirt/rock above a sizable drop off. So if I started sliding I'd be screwed. I really didn't want to turn around but it just wasn't worth the risk. Heading down I did note that West slope looked very climbable, but from where I was I would need to head half way down to get around some shear sided gullies, and I just didn't have the energy or will at that point.
Redcliff from near the saddle of Fortress
Looking back to Redcliff from the turn arount point
Matterhorn and Weterhorn behind a balanced rock.
Disappointing that I didn't make the 2nt peak, but still a great trip overall.