Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Date Posted:  07/08/2009
Date Climbed:   06/29/2009
Author:  globreal
 Redcloud/Sunshine and a scree hill from hell!  

Redcloud Peak: 14,034' Route: Northeast Ridge from Silver Creek (Standard)
Sunshine Peak: 14,001' Route: from Redcloud (Standard)
Climb date: Monday, June 29, 2009
Start Time: 3:46am
End Time: 2:00pm
Total Time: 10.25 hours
Trip Length: 12.0 miles (but not actually)
Elevation Gain: 4,800 feet (both peaks)

This is the second day, and the second climb of the 3 of us in Colorado linking up with the 5 Michigan Flatlanders.

If you want to see the trip report from day one (Handies) go here:

The eight of us left early on this one since we were doing 2 peaks and 12 miles of trail....or so we thought.

We began at 3:46am right from our campsite at the Silver Creek TH right off of the southern road of the Alpine Loop/Hinsdale Country Rd. 30.

About a hour or so into our hike, I liked the look of 4 of our guys on the ridge above me.

Somewhere around 5am, we passed this pond up above treeline.

Shortly after sunrise, we decided to take a break for a few minutes. The sun is just hitting Redcloud....where by-the-way...Eric, Tyler and John are already cruising up!! (Animals!)

Here is a closer shot probably about 5:30ish.

We met up with a solo climber, Jim Downs from the Denver area. He was a great guy to join our group for the rest of the hike.

A shot of Handies Peak across the valley. This is what we were on yesterday morning!

And the spectacular Wetterhorn off in the distance. The target of our next climb after today.

Looking up at our immediate target....the summit of Redcloud...almost there!

Britt and Jack finally on the summit of Redcloud. See the color of the soil? I wonder how they came up with the name of this peak?

Looking back down a comes Len & Ken. Steady and consistent. Len always said, "I'll summit, it just may take me a while with my sports induced athsma."

Looking over at Sunshine, Eric, Tyler, and John are already on Sunshine! Those guys were booking it! (Animals!)

Back here on Redcloud...our new friend and hiking buddy, Jim.

Now Len & Ken arrive. We've got from L to R. Mark, Brad, Britt, Ken & Len....and of course Jack.

Again, looking back at Sunshine...our next destination a mile and a half away. And you can see someone from our group over on the summit. (Animals!)

The infamous Uncompahgre of in the distance. (3 of us climbed this peak on Thursday. Awesome peak!)

Here we are now over on Sunshine. Most of this hike over is quite nice. The majority is downhill off of Redcloud. The climb back up the 500 ft. of lost elevation up Sunshine isn't to bad.

In this tight shot we've got L to R, Jim, Mark, Brad, Britt, Ken, and Len...and Jack.

We talked to a couple from the front range and got some beta saying that there was no snow in the steep area below Sunshine. (Note: We were not going to go that way since the Michigan guys didn't have ice axes.) However, since no snow...we go for it....down off the west slope of Sunshine into the basin between Sunshine and Redcloud. It was steep, unstable, and ugly, all the way down, and most of us slipped and fell at one time or another. Yuk!

Not a smart idea! We then enter into a very steep scree hill from hell!!

This is looking back up at what we came down. We descended just to the left of the small sliver of snow up high there. However, it's so steep, every a push away of all the rock and every thing slides down! We did spread WAAAY out so no one was hit with rock fall, however it took like an hour and an half to get down this couple hundred feet. This picture, in NO way shows how steep this is! Everything falls out from underneath your feet!!

I think this shot of Jack can show you how stressful it was. He was whimpering most of the way down. :-( My recommendation....DON'T GO THIS ROUTE! Go back over Redcloud. (Even though it's maybe a mile longer, the easier route is way better.) Especially, because once you get down this scree nightmare, you then have to hike over a full mile of talus and boulders. Not easy hiking!

Here is a parting shot from 4 of the Michigan Flatlanders underneath Handies. What a great group of guys and what a great day...even though the scree hill and never ending boulder field sucked. Two peaks summitted and all 8 of made it!

We take the next day off from climbing and then we go for Wetterhorn on Wednesday, July 1st.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

07/13/2009 02:15
Thanks for the beta re: scree fest. Ugh. Will avoid that descent!
Love the ridge silhouette shot - what an awesome time you guys had (minus the rolling stones)!


Beautiful Pictures....
07/09/2009 14:42
...I need to get over there.


Wetterhorn trip report
07/09/2009 15:36‘s a great area. Personally, I‘ve always thought the San Juan‘s are the most beautiful mountains in the state.

I just posted my Wetterhorn trip report if interested:


A Double & Some Trouble!
07/09/2009 19:02
Thanks for the TR Britt; some great pictures and description of the climb and the slide, via the scree field, down. In a warped way I enjoyed the scree scramble; but I‘m not sure if I was sent down as the ”sacrificial lamb” or in deference to my age! Again, I enjoyed the climb and look forward to future chances to climb with you guys again.

P.S. My vote goes to Jack as the strongest climber ...

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