Peak(s):  Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Uncompahgre Peak  -  14,309 feet
Date Posted:  06/26/2007
Modified:  07/11/2007
Date Climbed:   06/11/2007
Author:  otr13

 San Juan Spectacular  

I left Flagstaff on 6/10 and drove to Yankee Boy Basin. Since there is no camping at/near the solar outhouse in YBB, I made dinner and slept in the back of my truck (since that's not really camping). I left for Sneffels at 330 on 6/11 and was at the base of Lavender Col @ 615. I ended up exiting Lavender a bit early and crossed good, firm snow to the summit at 645. I took a picture of Uncompahgre
and the Wilsons
and returned to the base of Lavender for a break before heading out.
I left Ouray @ 1000, drove through Silverton, up and over Cinnamon Pass to Silver Creek. It proceeded to rain all night and turn to snow at daybreak on 6/12. I was supposed to climb Handies w/Ron from Lake City...Ron was nice enough to drive to SC to tell me he was cancelling due to weather. Shortly after he left, it started to clear up, so I drove to American Basin to "test my new snowshoes" at 915. Despite poor visibility, I summited Handies at 1205. I returned to SC for Redcloud/Sunshine on 6/13.

While napping at SC, I heard a strange scratching from just under my truck bed. After some time I got out to look, only to find a marmot stowed away above my spare tire. Despite several (forceful) prods from my hiking pole this guy wouldn't budge. I ended up dropping my spare tire and finally sending this furry little bugger on his way.

I woke to clear skies on 6/13 and left at 815. Just prior to the summit of Redcloud, I passed a couple on their way down. I had the entire mountain(s) to myself for the rest of the day. I summited Redcloud at 1115, Sunshine at 1220, and Redcloud again at 1330.
So I had the whole ridge to Sunshine and back over Redcloud all to myself, just blissed out to have done four peaks in three days...completely in another world...and this was what greeted me at the trailhead. *L*
Thursday the 14th was a rest day, so I supported the economy in Lake City and headed for Nellie Creek that afternoon. I left for Uncompahgre at about 430 on the 15th and summited Uncompahgre at 700.
After one of the most fun glissades I have ever done, I left Nellie Creek and drove to the 4x4 trailhead for Wetterhorn at Matterhorn Creek. I left for Wetterhorn at 545 on the 16th. I was unsure if I'd summit Wetterhorn due to the fact that I was by myself and had not been on it before. I made the ridge at about 730 and slowly progressed up the ridge. Just prior to the Ship's Prow, I dislodged a TV sized block and in the process of righting this block, knocked a toaster sized block down the gulley I was crossing. Despite feeling great at altitude, this shook my confidence enough that I turned around at 905. As much as I want this peak, there are other third class projects I have in the San Juans that I plan to return w/a partner and bag.
I drove over Engineer Pass later that afternoon on the 16th.
I spent the remainder of my trip hanging out being a complete tourist in Silverton.

So five (and 3/4) peaks in six days. Minor sunburn, no blisters, and a reason to return to the San Juans again (Wetterhorn and Wilsons).

As if I need a reason...

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
That's hilarious! A marmot did the same thing to me at Silver Creek on Memorial Day weekend. He was trying to dislodge my cooler that I'd wedged under there, and he tried for at least an hour. Must have wanted the beer pretty badly...
Nice TR and pics, BTW.


Redcloud and Sunshine conditions
07/03/2007 20:53
Very cool trip - We did Uncompaghre last year and were amazed at how we made the top in under 2 hours. Lots of fun though!

How was Redcloud and Sunshine? Any snow left? Were you hiking the entire time or did you snowshoe/ski at all?

Thanks -


07/03/2007 21:44
I used snowshoes on the approach to Uncompahgre and ascended snow to the ridge using them. Also used them on Handies and on the way out of Sneffels.

No snow on Redcloud, but did some thigh-deep wallowing on my way over to Sunshine and back.

This was a couple of weeks ago...I imagine the snow is going quick.


Porcupine at the trail head!
11/30/2010 17:28
I had a similar experience camping at the Handies/Redcloud & Sunshine trail head. I was sound asleep in the back of my truck; I awoke to the strangest sound, a rustling and ”singing” coming from someplace underneath the truck. I tried to ignore it, but it was too strange. Finally, I got up, grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate. It was a huge porcuping under the front of my truck, turning and twisting and brushing his quills against the frame. But it was his vocables that really got me. He was ”singing;” I don't know a better word. Not at all sure what this meant, I watched him for a few minuntes, then chased him off. He came back twice that night, and each time he repeated this unusual behavior. That next day climbing up Grizzly headed for Handies, I saw him singing porcupine!

   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.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.