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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-03-29||Route: East Ridge
Info: Just made it back to COS after a successful summit on Sunshine peak. Didn‘t make it to Redcloud as our goal was just the one peak as we wanted to avoid as much soft snow and postholing in the late afternoon. My partner would disagree with this and argue it was my stamina and speed that was a factor (might be some truth to this). Starting out from Mill Creek Campground was easy until a couple hundred feet up where we were met with bare scree fields holding no snow. Although it felt like 1000 vertical feet with no end it was a painful & grueling way to start off the morning. Once you get by the scree fields (doesn‘t matter where your approach starts) you‘ll be met with snow through the trees and it will last for the rest of the trip. Start early to get solid footing through the snow in the trees as well as above treeline. Snow shoes & microspikes/crampons are needed. Snow conditions are prime for ski/snowboarding but expect to pick your way through scree fields and loose rock on the ascent & descent via this route. The only slide we saw was off of the south face of the summit but we didn‘t experience any avalanche prone slopes on our trip. Tough peak from this side, but doable... Ill upload a couple of pictures soon.
|2013-09-28||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: Trail is holding up to 1 ft of snow though some sections are bare. We descended off Sunshine without going back over Redcloud by going back to the last saddle and heading down. There is a cairn and a trail here. Great plunge stepping in deep snow all the way down to the basin. So as of right now this route has a track to follow.
|2013-09-24||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: Trail has anywhere from no snow to over 1 ft of snow after the storm Sunday night. Waterproof boots, gaiters needed. Did not use traction today. Access to Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch is mostly dry. Aspen are gorgeous - but leaves may blow off in next few days (high winds predicted).
|2013-09-07||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: After climbing Redcloud/Sunshine today, I do not think the trail that is supposed to come off the opposite side of Sunshine is viable to the average person. There are places where people have scratched down the scree field, but then it goes through a cliff band. It is NOT a ‘standard‘, maintained trail. It was safer to return over Redcloud, but that added considerable distance and elevation. Every person I spoke with that took that trail in the past said they‘d never do it again. The trail guide also says to return over Redcloud, but the topo that prints with the .pdf is misleading.
|2013-06-28||Route: Northwest Face
Info: Summer conditions all the way to the top.
|2013-06-22||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: Up Redcloud first, then over to Sunshine before descending over Sundog. Trail is clear and runnable/hikeable without any special gear, snow is not an issue. Just the standard rocky scree/talus on the route. Use trail descending from Sunshine to Sundog is rough, but easy to follow. The route over Sundog is best as an ascent route, steep and rocky, but footing holds pretty well. Photo #1: Looking over to Sunshine from Redcloud Photo #2: Looking down at Sundog from Sunshine Photo #3: The final steep ridge section from Sundog back to the main trail
|2013-06-02||Route: Redcloud/Sunshine loop
Info: Did the "loop" from Redcloud standard route to Sunshine and down NW Ridge. Basin below Redcloud has a few snowfields to cross but most held up well, minor post-holing. Trail from saddle to summit and over to Sunshine was clear except for a couple snow patches heading up Sunshine. NW ridge is clear from summit to upper basin but a lot of snow still in basin. Climbing down through gullies was "adventerous". Ice axe & spikes needed. Large snowfields in basin but all were still firm. No post-holing. Trail below basin is clear.
|2013-06-01||Route: Northwest Face
Info: Crampons and an ax are a must to get past the gendarme guarding the crux. The good news is there is a strip of snow from about 12,000 to 13,400. This is a lot more pleasant than the talus. I descended the Redcloud standard route. I left the summit about 10:15. Any snow I encountered was mush and I postholed to the ground. The good news is you can really avoid 99% of it.
|2013-05-25||Route: Northwest Face
Info: The route is pretty snow free until you get close to the amphitheater where you decide which gulley to ascend and there are large snow patches that are easily crossable while they are still cold. You will have to zigzag through the forest prior to that area (losing the trail to snow) but I am guessing that it will melt pretty quickly there. The galleys in the amphitheater are all snowed in, but the rest of route above that and to Redcloud has manageable or no snow. I kick stepped my way up the summer dirt gulley, just left of the gendarme. See the pictures below of the gulleys, the traverse to Redcloud and Wetterhorn/Uncompahgre.
|2013-01-19||Route: East Ridge
Info: No snowshoes or ice axe needed. Microspikes were helpful in a few areas but were not a necessity. A few drifts and small snowfields near treeline, but none were deeper than ~18 inches. Below treeline was mostly snow-free. Above treeline the snow was avoidable until the last 800 ft which had snow-packed trail. The trail over to Redcloud was also snow-packed trail with the rest of the peak being mostly dry.
|2012-12-29||Route: East Ridge
Info: No snowshoes needed. Some snow in tree line but nothing too deep. The ridge and traverse to Redcloud are in good shape with not a lot of snow.
|2012-06-09||Route: Northwest Face
Info: It‘s all clear up there. You‘d have to go out of your way to step in any snow. I hiked Sunshine from the non-standard Northwest Ridge, it saved a lot of scree scrambling down below on the standard Northwest Face route.
|2012-05-29||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: The trail from Redcloud to Sunshine is completely dry.
|2012-03-17||Route: From Mill Creek Campground
Info: The route from Mill Creek was very dry, but with spots of deep snow in the trees. Snowshoes were helpful from 11,000 to 12,000 ft. My trip was cut short due to a knee injury and I had to double back at 12,500ft. If you are interested a story of my 5 hour descent with a non-functioning knee is here: link http://awilbur77.blogspot.com/2012/03/no-luck-of-irish-on-sunshine-peak.html
|2011-12-30||Route: East Ridge
Info: Mike, Ryan and I generally followed the route from this post: http://www.summitpost.org/sunshine-redcloud-route-emporium/158780 Snowshoes were necessary from 11,700 to ~12,500. The snow conditions were challenging even with the snowshoes -- a breakable crust over sugar. We had crampons and axes, but didn‘t use them. Microspikes would have been helpful in a few sections. At 11,900 this route exits the trees and enters an open bowl. Mike was on point when we heard a loud whomp and a 60ft crack opened above him. Ryan and I retreated to safer ground before Mike slowly traverse to a group of trees. He waited there while Ryan and I descended deeper into the trees and traversed to the right (East) under his position. Ryan and I climbed a tree covered ridge until we were above Mike and had a good line of slight on him. (Mike felt safer continuing up vs. descending because the angle of the slope was much lower just above his position). He climbed the rest of the bowl without incident. The safest route would likely be to cut off of the trail around 11,800, traverse 200 yards right, and ascend the tree lined ridge. We lost an hour in this incident and didn’t make it to Redcloud.
|2011-09-16||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: Sorry, no pics. I can‘t figure out how to load pics directly from my IPhone. The trip up Silver Creek was uneventful, however, once reaching the ridge below Redcloud we began hitting 1-6" of snow on the trail and also began getting snow showers. This continued for most of the rest of the trip with windy conditions. The temps ranged from 28-42 above 13k. The trail up to Redcloud from the ridge was visible (for the most part) but generally covered with several inches of snow. The route from Redcloud over to Sunshine was similar to the climb up Redcloud -- the most snow was on the north face of Sunshine which made route finding a challenge at a couple points. We descended via the North Slope below Sunshine (sign reads "dangerous area") which was more challenging than usual due to the snow. We didn‘t use spikes. It did snow a bit more on Friday night and Saturday morning on both peaks so the snow totals may be a bit higher now. FYI, I have climbed Sunshine and Redcloud 15 times so I generally knew where the trail was despite the snow. SJ Ron
|San Juan Ron||2011-09-17||0||2|
|2011-07-16||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: Std route clear of snow execpt a couple of small patches you can easily avoid.
|2011-07-05||Route: Northwest Face
Info: Got weathered off the peak before making the summit but here‘s a view of the route from about 12,500 feet. First pic shows the rest of the route going up from 12,500 while the second pic shows what it‘s like below 12,500. Much/most of the route is snow free and no aids required where snow remains.
|2011-06-04||Route: From Redcoud out Northwest Face
Info: I hiked the standard route via Redcloud to Sunshine but exited the NW Slopes. Road is completely snow free to silver creek trailhead and seeing some traffic for sightseers. Still plenty of snow up there but I didn‘t find a real need for my snowshoes. The bottom half of South Fork Creek it was helpful, but the stetches of soft snow were pretty few and far between at noon when I was descending. There was plenty of slide activity in the South Fork area and a number of large cornices ready to fall. I would think a ski descent would have been fun as well. Just be safe! The standard route up Redcloud has firm snow all the way up to the 13,000 ft saddle. The connecting ridge has snow that can be avoided until the last push at 13,500 near the gnarly rocks.
|2011-04-16||Route: East Ridge
Info: Sunshine Peak and Redcloud Peak from Mill Creek Campround. The road to the campground is completely dry and the campground and bathrooms were open for use. The route was dry until 11,300. At that point we put on snowshoes and I wore mine until about 13,300. From there I wore microspikes to Sunshine‘s summit and also over to Redcloud (probably not necessary but I liked the extra traction). We were able to follow a trail or tracks most of the day. Snowshoes were needed back in the trees in the afternoon. I tried without snowshoes for a bit and immediately postholed up to my waist. Overall I thought the route was pretty steep but it made for a fun and rewarding day. Pic1 - Sunshine (taken in the afternoon) Pic2 - Redcloud from Sunshine Pic3 - Sunshine from Redcloud Pic4 - Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn