Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Date Posted:  09/10/2008
Date Climbed:   09/05/2008
Author:  MUni Rider

 Redcloud-Sunshine-Handies, act two  

And now, onto act two of the day:

Hike date: 5 September 2008

When we left off, I had just finished Redcloud and Sunshine Combo.....

Time to eat, short rest, re-pack the camelbak for Handies and I chose to drive to American Basin TH, just up the road. I know. I know. I'm already sitting at the Grizzly Gulch TH but decide that I want a shorter trail for an afternoon 14er hike.

(How many Grizzly Gulches are there in this damned state anyway?!?!? probably just as many as there are castle rocks, chimney rocks, sheep mountains, beaver creeks, etc. Some pretty piss-poor naming went on some time way back when.... but I digress).

So I drive the rollerskate (Toyota Yaris) up to the creek crossing between the 2wd and 4x4 trailheads. There is parking for one. Me.

3:00 p.m. I start walking from the creek crossing.
Check out the view.

3:15 gets me to the TH sign-in roster which is missing both the book and the lid to the roster box.

3:40 and the trail makes the big left curve. A head is a large talus flow that will most likely bury the grassy valley and stream, thus necessitating a rerouting of the trail 100,000 years from now. Hike it now while you still can.

4:20 and I'm admiring lofty Sloan Lake. You have to hike a steep rocky trail to get above the cliffs that ring half lake. The other end of the lake is slowly getting buried by another talus flow. This one I only give 50,000 years. Better hurry if you want a pic!

After the lake, the trail crosses a skree slope.

5:00 Standing on the top of the ridge looking over the other side.

The view looking back onto the trail leading up the ridge.

5:30 The summit! Success! But blurry picture. And I wasn't smiling. I'll blame the wind.

"Button" USGS Bench Mark. The only BM I could find up here, and reminds me that I totally forgot to look for them on top of Redcloud and SUnshine this morning. Oh well.

Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre in the distance.

View of Grizzly Gultch th?

View of AMerican Basin trail leading up to here.

5:40 Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the wind is here too. It followed my from Redcloud and Sunshine. After 10 minutes I've had enough and head back down the trail to the saddle in the ridge. Then I head downward. Straight down. You can't accuse me of cutting switchback in the trail because I wasn't on the trail. I just aimed to the right of Sloan lake and away I go. Fastest way out of the wind. I reconnect to the trail somewhere below the trail, far below that "closed area" sign I passed in the small wetlands below Sloan Lake. So please no hate mail. I didn't walk in the wetlands. I take the trail from here. It's pretty much a straight shot.

6:40 I'm back at my car. And then to sleep. I'll pull up camp tomorrow. I'm tired from three summits today after Sneffels yesterday!

As I'm driving back to my tent at GG/SC TH, a view of Redcloud on the left, Red Dog on the right, and on the far-far right corner, Sunshine peaking out from behind Red Dog.

The drive out around 8:30 the next morning. Autumn colors are starting to show!

And in case you missed act one of this report, click on the link below:

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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