Highly recommend going up the Northwest Face to Sunshine and down the standard route via Redcloud. Did Handies via American Basin after for a very satisfying day in the mountains :)
One foot in front of the other. Windy, sunny day.
Climbed from Grizzly Gulch/Silver Creek via north face. Great snow climb while in the shade. Bagged Sunshine via the ridge. Aptly named as the snow warmed up under the intense sunshine. Postholing was a fair price to pay for the fun glissades.
We started at 6:30 AM but due to a flat tire we had to return to camp. A nice guy from Lake Comity helped us change the tire on the truck. Wayne had to go to Lake City to find a new tire. The rest of us ended up starting the hike at 8:30 AM. We nearly turned around halfway up due to the wind and also a cloudburst over Handies Peak that gave us some light hail lasting a couple minutes. We pressed on and made it to the summit at 1 PM despite the strong winds. Cree and I were first. I went on to tag Sunshine Peak. Cree waited for Liz. Shade and Nizhoni didn't quite make it to the summit. I turned around to see Cree and Liz leave the summit when I was at the saddle between the two 14ers.
Hike through the basin was nice. Wind, clouds and rain picked up on the switchbacks. Didn't even stop for a photo on Redcloud; just kept walking out towards Sunshine. But there were only clouds and wind, getting colder by the minute. Visibility at both summits only 40'. Sleet (horizontal, but fortunately at our backs) started on return to Redcloud. Soaked through, I was glad not to get hypothermic. Sun finally peaked out last 30 minutes of hike!
Started at 3:30am / submitted Redcloud and Sunshine / began going down as the clouds thickened. Back at TH by 12:30 with numerous short breaks up and down. My first real "double" of the 14ers. (for some reason DECALIBRON - Mt. Democrats, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross does not seem to count!) If your thinking of bagging two 14ers, this combo is ideal. it's long at 12.25 miles though. The trail is a essentially a walk-up / some switchbacks / but no real joint-jarring boulder hopping. Easy to see the trail in dark with headlamp.
We climbed both together and in reverse. It was not our intention to climb Redcloud twice, and we were going to do the descent via Sundog, but we weren't sure about the weather and Sundog was looking a tad bit rotten (as the San Juans can be). Nevertheless, spending all that time meandering the alpine scenery was just fine.
Redcloud, Sunshine and back over Redcloud
9/5/04 - Standard route with Sunshine after a big Labor Day weekend snow. Got snowblindness very badly. Lesson learned!
3/8/08 - Winter ascent over Sunshine from Mill Creek Campground.
1/2/16 - Winter ascent over Sunshine from Mill Creek Campground.
Kessler and I climbed Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks. We got a late start and moved quickly, climbing Redcloud in about two and a half hours. We hiked the ridge to Sunshine Peak and came down the Sundog Ridge. Kessler wasn't feeling well, so we bailed off the ridge early. There was a lot of scree and one 5th class downclimb, so it may have been better if we had just stayed on the ridge. The two peaks took six hours round trip.
Hiked 14,034 ft. Redcloud Peak and 14,001 ft. Sunshine Peak on Saturday and then 14,048 ft. Handies Peak on Sunday. So far I've climbed 35 Colorado Fourteeners!
On Saturday I drove to the Grizzly Gulch trailhead and car camped. I hit the trail around 5AM and quickly hiked through the woods to treeline. I gained the ridge to Redcloud and made the summit around 9AM. I then hiked down to a col and then up again towards Sunshine, arriving at the summit by 10. This added over 2 1/2 miles to the trip and an extra 1000 ft. of overall elevation but it was well worth it because I beat the crowds and had the summit to myself. I then backtracked up the trail to Redcloud and headed back to the trailhead, which I arrived at by 1PM. From the trailhead I drove west towards American Basin and spent the night at the trailhead.
Fun day hike up Redcloud! Hail storm on the summit.
Climbed with Sunshine; reclimbed on the way out. Also did two un-named Centennial 13ers earlier the same day.
Excellent hike. Some of the best and most scenic views in the state.
Standard route, over to Sunshine, and then down over Sundog.
I climbed Redcloud on 7/7/11 and the weather was great. This was my 2nd 14er and the first time that I have done this much elevation gain in my life. I am 53yrs old and it took quite a bit out of me. I live in Texas so I had to acclimate a few days before. I arrived in Lake City on 7/3/11 and I did a couple of hikes to get ready for this.
I started at about 7:20am and made it to the summit at around 10:45am. There were about 5 or so snowfields to cross which was a pain but I managed. It was harder to get across them on the way down because the snow was softer by then. I passed about 4 or 5 people on the way up and I was the second one on top that day according to the register on top of the peak. I really like the way the peak looks on top with the red color. I did not spend very long on top, just about 10-15 minutes. I wanted to get down asap in case the weather got bad. I did have to take care of a couple of blisters on the way to the top. The view was spectacular on top and I am glad I did not quit about 3/4ths of the way up because I was really spent. Thanks for reading.
South ridge via Sunshine in winter with shanahan96. Coming off Sunshine was a little tricky with some icy snow then loaded slopes that required sticking directly to the ridge, including navigating a notch. Saddle to Redcloud snow on the tral but the rocks were dry.
Redcloud and Sunshine combo