First Sunset of February
Steamboat Point is a favorite mountain of mine that I've climbed more than any other. But I've never been able to catch a great sunset from the top, until now. The 7,877' peak is close to Sheridan and easy to access year round. On the lower south-facing slope the snow is quick to melt. After the trail bends around into the forest, the snowpack is often a couple feet deep in the winter. But the summit itself is usually scoured clean by the frequent strong winds. I'd estimate winds were gusting to about 80mph up here, making it difficult to stand up straight. But it was these same winds that contributed to the fiery sunset. On warm winter or early spring days it's common to get lenticular or mountain wave clouds over the Rockies. They are caused by oscillations in the air flow after encountering a mountain range. When the sun catches them just right, the color and texture of these clouds can be truly stunning.