My wife and I had were discussing a day-hike in Crested Butte and I mentioned that I had been wanting to hike Mt. Emmons (aka Red Lady), which is one of the more prominent views we see from our window. I originally had a different route in mind, but she talked me into a better choice, an out-and-back via Scarp Ridge and Gunsight Pass from Lake Irwin. I can imagine that a car shuttle hike starting at Lake Irwin but returning via Copley Lake could also be a great option. Anyway, this was a really nice day-hike, ~9 miles, and took us about 5 hours. It was a bit early for this area’s famous wildflowers. The route is obvious except for a short section through willows just before you reach the ridge. Lots of exposure and great views in all directions. Sort of sketchy weather as you can see in some of the photos. Even though we left the trailhead at 7am, we got hit by a couple of small hailstorms, but we luckily escaped the worst of it. Everyone had a great time, including our gray-face.
The initial climb to the ridge has some steep parts (1-3) and brings you suddenly to a ridge with expansive views and significant exposure (4). The hike goes east over undulating terrain along the ridge for a few miles, with views of Kebler Pass (5) to the south and Peeler Basin (6,8) to the north. Plenty of places where the dogs made us nervous with their antics near the edge (8 is not an actual cornice BTW, but there were plenty of them). The last part of the route descends steeply over loose rocky terrain to Gunsight Pass (10), and then climbs (11) over the last half mile to the summit (12-15). I even found the marker (13), which I am notoriously bad at doing. Some threatening clouds chased us off the summit (16) at the end, and we took shelter a couple of times on the return.
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