Sunset Peak

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Tom goes back to clean up unfinished business.

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On the way to Mackay, as we glanced nervously at the building cloud structures, Tom told us about being chased off Sunset by lightning.

But when we got to the trailhead, it was just cotton balls. So we were off. Time to clean up the record.

Trailhead

 

The route starts out following what is now an ATV trail. With blue skies and moderate temps, we made rapid progress.

Trail

When we finally left the ATV track, we started to gain quickly up the west ridge.

Forest

Our hard work paid off with outstanding views from the saddle.

Miners Peak close-up
There's our summit (not- but it is close). Ponderosa forest
Other than the ugly red blotch, this photo shows the very pretty upper ridge.
SnowshoesAndrew Chiles photo
After a nice cruise across the saddle,we hit the very steep and loose talus. Ponderosa forest
After that initial patch, the angle eased and there was some occasional bedrock to grasp. Ponderosa forest
Here's something like that previous shot from the other direction.
Ponderosa forestAndrew Chiles photo
We laced together a couple gullies and popped out onto the summit ridge. It's always a cool feeling to leave the confines of a gully and suddenly get a 360 degree panorama. Ponderosa forest
There's the summit over there. Ponderosa forest
Smiling summiteers. Upper ridge and lookout

We had a nice lunch, took loads of pictures, and looked at the map. That's when we realized there was a great loop available.

This is looking south from our loop, with our ascension ridge forming the upper skyline.

Upper ridge and lookout

One particular attraction on the descent was this huge cave. Tom and I wisely chose to admire it from a distance. If we had done the extra work to climb up to it like Andrew did, I never would have taken this cool shot. That's the advantage of experience (and old age).

Upper ridge and lookout

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