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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-09-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Drove to the trailhead over Cinnamon Pass Wednesday night. Road was in good condition and a breeze for my Ford Ranger. You do need 4WD and some clearance. Hiked Redcloud/Sunshine on Thursday and Handies from Grizzly Gulch on Friday. The trail conditions and weather could not have been better. I had at least 20 minutes alone on each peak.
|2015-09-01||Route: From Handies
Info: Didn‘t climb Redcloud/Sunshine. From Handies it looks completely snow free. Driving in, the Aspens were just starting to turn. Still mostly green. More fall colors showing here than near Telluride/Wilson Peak two days before.
|2015-08-26||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Creeks are running low - only one small crossing along the standard route doesn‘t even get your boots wet. Ice bridge on north side of Redcloud stretches across the parallel stream - stay to the left on the ascent and it‘s an easy walk-over; slick, but flat, with rocks and pine needles for traction in some places. Snow on the left side of the ridge between the false and true summit doesn‘t affect the route.
|2015-08-20||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Also did Sunshine Peak. The two make them my 28th and 29th fourteener summit this summer. I‘m attempting to climb all of them this summer. You can read more about this hike and others at Sunshineof1985.com. Enjoy! Time started: 7:15 am End time: 1:55 pm Time to Summit Red Cloud: 2 hours and 45 minutes Time to Summit Sunshine Peak: 45 minutes Time to Descend: About 2 hours Overall Pace: 1.8 mph *GEAR (to bring): Bear spray, GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, lightweight gloves (didn‘t need), day pack with water sack (64 oz did just fine), snacks. *Road Condition: The road is typical pot holes and pointy rocks, but my sedan was able to make it all the way to the trailhead. *Trail Condition: The trail is an easy one to follow, and no mud. You will hit a giant mount of snow when leaving the forest, but it‘s not bad. Just stay to the left. The only annoying factor of this hike was the extremely windy conditions, which obviously you can avoid. There is another trail that you can take coming down which I have taken a picture of, but expect it only shave off 15 minutes of your total hiking time and also expect to spend a lot of time on your butt slipping on shale (from what I heard).
|2015-07-13||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Summer conditions all the way. Great hike. Wildflowers are amazing right now.
|2015-07-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Summer conditions but for one avalanche field still melting out about 1.5 miles along trail, easy to circumvent. Beautiful approach with lots of wildflowers, Columbines everywhere now. Traverse to Sunshine straightforward and few remaining snow spots easy to avoid.
|2015-07-07||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Trail is 99% dry all the way up so no problem to reach it. There is a trail restauration in place before the final ridge which makes you switchback a bit more than the known route.
|2015-07-03||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: A few small patches of snow that can be avoided. Water running down the trail in some areas.
|2015-06-30||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Climbed Redcloud & Sunshine on 6/26. Ascended on Northeast Ridge of Redcloud. Post-holed through a few spots, but most of the route is clear. Once you hit the 13,000 foot saddle and begin to ascend the Northeast ridge, stay as close to the trail as possible. Snow pushed us off the ridge and we mistakenly thought we saw another route. Wrong. We ended up having to scramble back up to the ridge through a bunch of nasty scree. This mess can be avoided if you pay attention and stay near the ridge. The traverse between Redcloud and Sunshine is almost entirely clear and the few patches of snow are easy to cross. Sunshine still has a large cornice on top of it, but plenty of room to relax. We descended the Northwest face. It is entirely clear, but up to and well beyond the dirt gully near the gendarme is full of snow. It would be a pain to ascend but we had a blast glissading down it!
|2015-06-14||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The basin still holds plenty of snow, starting roughly 12,000 ft. The snow was supportive when we went up, and was a post-holing nightmare coming down. Either start very early, or carry snowshoes. Upper ridge to summit had a nice boot track. Will try to upload some photos later.
|2015-05-17||Route: Mill Creek and Silver Creek
Info: Cinnamon Pass is clear of snow to both trailheads, Mill Creek and Silver Creek. Storms are frequently adding a fresh layer of snow to the area. Mill Creek Trail is an alternate route to gain Sunshine Peak and Redcloud Peak. It‘s south facing and looks fairly snow free up to 13,000 ft. I could see the summit ridge of Sunshine Peak covered snow from the valley below. Starting from Mill Campground you will head straight up and begin route finding. I did this route at the last Fall Gathering sometime around October. I couldn‘t see the full route from below in the valley on 5/17, though it‘s probably a safe bet. Might be the safest route in the San Juans right now if you have experience finding routes. The connection to Redcloud is deep in snow. It may have avy danger. The standard route from Redcloud (Silver Creek) is quickly covered in snow at the first mile. You will find a lot of snow on the standard route and may find avy danger this time of year.
|2015-05-01||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Attempted Redcloud peak yesterday. The gate to Silver Creek Trailhead is still closed, opens May 15th, but the road is completely clear. Hiking from the Mill Creek trailhead to the Silver Creek trailhead would be about 4 miles so I would suggest waiting for the gates to open and camp at Silver Creek, where there‘s parking (albeit limited) and plenty of camping space. The trail is quite easy to follow heading east for the first few miles as it poked out occasionally through the snow and followed the river. The snow was firm enough to walk on without snow shoes. Where we got thrown off was somewhere around 12,000 feet, possibly higher, there‘s a sign in the basin that says "trail" and points NORTH. This is contradictory to what our book and 14ers.com says but without being able to see the actual trail due to the amount of snow up there (still several feet), the context was lost to us. Around this sign, possibly a bit past, the trail still wraps to the SOUTH. If you‘re hiking this in the winter I recommend disregarding that sign. The way back was great, snow softened up a bit and we postholed in areas. Overall, great "winter" conditions and probably the most beautiful winter hike I‘ve done.
|2014-10-11||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: No snow below 12,300 feet. From there all the way to Sunshine, we generally encountered about 4-8" of snow... sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. Gaiters and microspikes are highly encouraged, though microspikes may not be a necessity. We didn‘t feel there was any need for snowshoes, crampons, or ice axes. We broke trail the whole way, so if anyone‘s interested in heading up, that might make it a little easier. Based on the latest forecasts, it looks like another inch or two may fall over the next 24 hours, but beyond that the weather looks great. So if you‘re looking for a 14er to climb before winter hits with all its fury, Redcloud and Sunshine are still viable options!
|2014-09-21||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Ran into some nasty weather in the morning on Redcloud (I‘ve attached pics), but it had disappeared by the time I got back from Sunshine. It had rained the night before/all morning, so if that is the case expect some snow up top this time of year, though it was only ankle deep and microspikes weren‘t needed. Both mornings (9/21 on Redcloud/Sunshine, and 9/22 on Handies) the weather was terrible in the am, but burned off by midday and was blue skies. No actual thunderstorms or lightening, just crummy rain/snow. I expect the snow will start holding more consistently soon.
|2014-08-03||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The standard route up Redcloud has some of the best wildflowers I‘ve seen in the last few years. It is worth the hike or repeat to see them in my opinion. The iPhone pictures certainly do not do the upper basin any justice. Other than that, the route is in great shape. Only thing of interest is along the creek above treeline you must cross over the remnants of a big avalanche, but you can easily cross over the snow, or bypass above if you feel like climbing over the talus.
|2014-07-13||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: There is very shallow but large snowfield to cross around treeline. No gear necessary to cross.
|2014-07-04||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Snow free from TH to summit.
|2014-06-29||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: No snow gear needed, trail has minor snowfields in the basin but above that did not cross any snowfields that aren‘t able to be bypassed by stepping on the rocks direct next to the trail. Entire traverse is clear to Sunshine.
|2014-06-26||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: There are still 8-10 snow fields to contend with. The longest is a 100-150 foot avy run over the creek. Daybreak/Ascent: All but one snow field was solid enough to walk on. Avoid the last field between the saddle and false summit. I postholed to the knee. Bypassing beneath it will only cost a few minutes. Most of the fields can be completely bypassed without losing the trail. The avy runs near the creek were solid at daybreak, but there‘s enough dirt, rocks and organic material to get traction with just hiking boots. Midday/Descent: Again, avoid the highest snowfield. All others were mushy a couple inches down, but as long as I re-traced old foot prints I didn‘t slide much and didn‘t posthole.
|2014-06-15||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The road to the Grizzly Gulch/Silver Creek trailhead is clear of snow and dry. The Silver Creek trail is virtually clear of snow until you start to reach the upper basin. There are about 3 avy run outs that piled up snow that was solid and no post holing was experienced as late as noon. Overnight temp was 22. At the trail marker (photo 3) keep a sharp eye out for the trail that heads up left to toward the summit. If you run into the snowfield (photo 3) you went too far. I suspect it may be a couple weeks before that snow is gone. The trail is hard to see when looking up and I missed it...ending up on the other side of the snowfield is loose talus...this cost me time and energy.