Cirque Mountain Sunrise

Sunrise alpenglow over Yankee Boy Basin
[+] Sunrise alpenglow on the peaks above Yankee Boy Basin, San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

This last Monday I woke up at 2am, drove up to Yankee Boy Basin, and hiked in the dark via headlamp up to the ridgeline of Cirque Mountain, a 13-thousand footer with a nice view of neighboring Mount Sneffels. With a solid overnight freeze, the snowpack was hard as a rock and the hiking was easy with my crampons. Dawn was just starting to break when I got to my destination, so I put on all my layers, put the hand warmers in my gloves, and hunkered down behind a big rock out of the chilly wind while I waited for the sunrise.

Here’s a few digital shots of the sunrise. You can see my large format shot here.


Mt Sneffels Sunrise
Sunrise light on Mt. Sneffels and Pleasant Valley out in the distance.

5 thoughts on “Cirque Mountain Sunrise

  1. Nice images and an impressive pre-dawn climb, Jack. Very inspirational work your doing – just think how much more you could do if you gave up sleeping altogether!

  2. wow there is still so much snow! nice work- you bring your board?

    I’m heading down to telluride this weekend, think i might have to do some skiing.

  3. since the sun moves during the year what is the best month to get the sunrise so it has the same angle as the basin, so it lights up the entire basin? I was thinking of coming there and get a shot of the entire snow filled basin from mt. hayden, but I do not know what the best month is. I hope it is in the winter. thanks for your time and your piks are great.

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