Driving south from Divide, Sentinel should have been prominent on the distant left skyline. We were pretty sure it was there, though.
[CMC = Colorado Mtn Club]
Horsethief Park TH is just past the old road tunnel.
We headed up on schedule at 8:00.
Hmm, time to stop carrying our snowshoes.
It's always smart to get the group photo near the start - when folks are still nice and friendly. :)
L-R: Olga, Eric, Rick (leader), Lori and Bruce.
Surprisingly, there had been no fresh snowfall, but on the trail here it was somewhat icy.
Crossing the creek. Note beautiful ice crust still on the trees and bushes.
Time to carry the snowshoes for awhile. Yep, that's Sentinel Pt looming on the skyline.
Our route would be clockwise - ascending via the ridge to the north (left) and descending from the south ridge.
You guessed it - a series of beaver ponds.
Our climb was listed by the leader as 9 miles RT with 2800' gain.
YES - the sun was breaking through.
Fearless leader: Rick Weaver. He had led this trip a year ago, and I believe with everyone else but me.
Time for the serious gain to begin.
The front person postholed some, making it much easier for those behind.
Looking back northwesterly. The rock formation to the right overlooks The Crags campground.
Well, we had been sorta following a trail, but in the end were led into the wilderness!
Rats: eventually the snow was so soft and deep that virtually all of us were kinda postholing, not just the front dude!
The lead person, of course, kept rotating - but I lost track of the large number of cycles we went through. [Never ever do this without at least six determined climbers!]
Aha - finally approaching the ridge and firmer snow.
Above the clouds - and life is good.
Sentinel Pt summit wasn't that far off now - assuming we could beat the whiteout.
Drumming up courage for the final assault.
Olga would stay here to guard our rear - and besides she had summitted a couple of weeks ago.
[Did I mention she's the only one in our group to have climbed all 54 Colorado 14ers!]
Still in snowshoes, but not for long as we were thrust into 3rd class rock.
[Summit out of sight.]
Eric lunching out just below the summit.
Looking east, I suppose Pikes Pk is in the background?
12:40 pm - Gnarly Bill on the summit.
At 12,527' Sentinel Pt is the highest peak in the area not directly part of Pikes Pk. [Sheep Mtn is second at 12,397.]
Then they told me I had been on the false summit, so I moved over several yards to the real one!
Rick thought this would be a cool shot of me.
We all ate lunch in very calm weather, with a splendid view of each other.
Time to complete the loop.
The cars must be down there somewhere! Should we fan out?
Starting to clear up again.
Heading back to Horsethief Park - the open area right of center?
Notice the cool rock formation in the foreground.
Can you tell which pinnacale is named "The Fickle Finger of Fate"?
Descent was often quite steep and through still very soft snow.
But at least we didn't have to rotate the front person.
The creek feeding Horsethief Falls.
Trust me: Horsethief Falls!
So, what sorts of critters are at work here?
"Pancake Rocks, 2 miles; The Falls, 1/2 mile."