Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Post Date:  05/31/2011
Modified:  08/11/2015
Date Climbed:   05/31/2011
Posted By:  BillMiddlebrook

 Redcloud - Sky Blue        

Today's pano from Redcloud
Click for larger images and interactive, Flash version (Try "Full Screen" when viewing the large Flash - it's like being there!)


Route: Redcloud Peak - Northeast Ridge (standard)
Date: 5/31/2011
Climbers: Me
Skiers: Me
Trailhead: Silver Crk/Grizzly Gulch
Elevation Gain: 3,700'
Time to reach summit: 4.5 hours
Ski Vertical: 2,800'
RT Mileage: 9 miles

The National Weather Service was predicting high winds for much of the north, so I decided to make a quick trip to the San Juans for another ski of Redcloud. It turned out to be a spectacular day with super snow conditions. I'll let the photos do the talking...


The familiar view of Handies and Whitecross at sunrise.

I never get tired of this

Finally, the sun. 12,700'

Looking back to the north


Climbing to the ridge

On the ridge

There's not much snow on the trail here but plenty just to the west

Couloirs and cornices, plus a bit of desert dust. "Gudy Peak" 13,566'

Wetterhorn Peak

Uncompahgre Peak

Approaching the false summit, summit on the left

Nice cornice

False summit

Final pitch

Looking south to Sunshine Peak

Looking southwest to Handies Peak

Some familiar names in the summit register from this past weekend.


The snow was narrow along the east edge of the summit but quickly widened as I skied down toward the false summit.
Skiing off the summit

From the false summit it was a mellow, corn-covered ski down the NE face.
Dropping off the false summit

Looking back at the northeast face

Looking back at the northeast face

Big, corny turns down the face


Near 12,300', looking back at the upper basin

Back to the creek

Another look at Handies


The skiing was continuous all the way down to 11,200', 1.5 miles from the trailhead.
Bye for now...

Topo (blue=hike, red=ski):

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

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Wow Bill     06/01/2011 02:19
The first five or six photos - the pano, the sunrise, and the snow forms are fantastic (esp the sixth snow form). Every photo through your report has a very friendly and organic feel to it, like the day really connected with you. I enjoyed seeing the result.


Nice     06/01/2011 02:30
Hey, I was up there on Friday, 27th. It was windy as heck. Just constant gusts, never letting up. Quite draining actually, but we soldiered on over to Sunshine. Great climb to start the year.


Cheers Bill!     06/01/2011 03:37
Need to get up there and git me some...

Michael York

beautiful     06/01/2011 07:51
day to be in the mountains, sweet pix!


Great Eye Candy!     06/01/2011 08:15
Awesome Pictures Bill! You should consider peddling some of your 'bests' to the tourists in Breckenridge! Looks Like you had a great time!


Great Photos and report     06/01/2011 13:24
I've never done these peaks and your photos suggest I should do them when there is snow on them. And thanks for this great website!


Awesome photos!     06/01/2011 13:37
Great photo's Bill! I cannot wait to get to the San Juans in July to hike Redcloud/Sunshine/Handies.


Wilson Peak     06/01/2011 14:32

Image #17 is that Wilson Peak or Ulysses S. Grant Peak in the background? Awesome photos as usual.



Distant Peaks     06/01/2011 14:38
Chris, that's US Grant Peak (left, 13,767') and South Lookout Peak (right, 13,357'), behind and just right of Handies.

All - thanks so much for the nice comments!


Drive in?     06/01/2011 14:45
Gorgeous day you had up there! How was the drive in to the trailhead? Lots of snow or is it finally melting? We're planning on this in 3 weeks. Thanks!


Trailhead     06/01/2011 15:02
Road was dry and in good condition. Still rough 2WD, though.


nice ski     06/01/2011 16:04
Looks like plenty of lines that need to be skied back there.


So jealous...     06/01/2011 19:25
of the ski descent! When I went up there (you know when ) I decided to boot it because I wasn't with any other skiers and didn't want to walk the first mile or so in ski boots. I was kicking myself for most of the climb up the ridge...
Looks like you had better weather than we did though! We hit the false summit and thought we were on top because we couldn't see the rest! Oh and it looks like that cornice off the falsy is still about the same size...


Nicely put together!     06/01/2011 20:21
Your pics are always good, but can see you're getting better in the creative and artistic mountain photo department!
Very well done.
Bill's next website endeavor = ”Gain the Shutter-speed” ha-
Keep up the good work!


Nice Bill!     06/01/2011 20:30
Good work on Redcloud, coverage on those peaks looks awesome right now.


Pix and Fix     06/01/2011 23:41
Pix: Thanks for the positive comments but I must admit that it's easy to get good pics when I take out the DSLR. After skiing Lindsey last week and seeing KansasBoarder's pics, I couldn't help but haul the Nikon D300 up Redcloud since I didn't have the weight of crampons, axe and several other items.

Fix: Ben, Steve, bckcntryskr, Matt and other skiers - GO GET SOME/MORE. Ben and Matt, I have no doubt you guys will (continue to) take advantage of the snow in the area. The San Juans have a ton of snow and I hope you guys find the time to get more.
Be safe.


Awesome     06/02/2011 01:27
3 yrs ago i made my first 14er up redcloud on my birthday on 5/31. I have since climbed many peaks and had many adventures. just got back from some snowboard descents in N Arizona. These pics are a siren call...May 2012 will need to come here! Thanks!!


Finally...     06/02/2011 05:08
...starting to look just a little like spring.

Thanks for the great photos.

Looks like a really sweet ski. Congrats.

   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. 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 and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2015®, 14ers Inc.