Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Date Posted:  06/12/2012
Date Climbed:   06/11/2012
Author:  BirdMan

 San Juan Suffer-Fest / Day 4: Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks from Silver Creek  

Exhausted from the previous days activities I had dinner and climbed into my tent at roughly 6 pm. I stared at the tent walls for a bit too tired to do much more than that and then slept for almost 12 hours. I guess I needed it!

It had gotten quite a bit colder than it was the previous nights and I awoke to find a little frost on the inside of my tent - I expect this was from the condensation of my breath. I had brought a water bottle in the tent with me and overnight that had turned into a slushie - brrr!

I finally warmed up and got going at roughly 7 am. Redcloud and Sunshine have a similar start as Handies - slightly steep at the beginning as you head up the creek valley.

The below is a view of the Redcloud / Sunshine area from Handies the day before.

Some shots heading up the trail.



After a gentle open basin, you gain a ridge and the trail starts in earnest again rising steeply towards Redcloud's summit. Good signs lead the way.

The first view of Redcloud and a snow field you go around.

On Redcloud at roughly 10 am - having completed summit #42!

No rest for the weary - the look down the ridge to Sunshine.

I was planning on taking Roach's route #4 back to Silver Creek until I came across the below on the saddle.

Ah well, on to Sunshine... I figured with the help of the additional elevation and perspective from Sunshine I could make a decision about whether to take Roach's route #4 back to Silver Creek or just to return the longer route over Redcloud again. I met a few folks along the way with varying opinions about which return route they were taking, but ultimatly I decided the longer but more cautious route back over Redcloud the way I had originally come.

Below shows Redcloud from Sunshine. Roach's route #4 is to the left of the snowfield in the saddle below. I heard people successfully took this route the day prior and I saw a few folks take this route the day I was there. So, you'll want to make your own decision.

A view back at Handies on the way out.

A similar view - those dots along the road are the bathrooms and abandonded log cabins.

A closer look at the cabins.


And with this the San Juan Suffer-Fest comes to a close.

If the numbers in Gerry Roach's Colorado Fourteeners are accurate then I estimate I hiked something like 47 miles and 17,500 feet in elevation gain (and loss) in four days time!

Whew... I think it's time for a beer and a nap! But in which order...?

San Juan Suffer-Fest
Day 1: San Luis Peak -
Day 2: Uncompahgre (and almost Wetterhorn) Peak -
Day 3: Handies Peak -
Day 4: Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

06/13/2012 03:47
Too bad we didn't connect yesterday. I was camped at tree line by silver creek...waited to thaw out around 745a before ascending. Vaguely remember you walking by while I was thawing water in my jet boil for coffee!


What a
06/13/2012 05:46
fantastic quadruple trip report! Been dreaming of a 5 day weekend to go and do exactly what you did! Beautiful colors on Redcloud. TONS of snow melt-off on handies since I climbed it mid-May.

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