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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-06-14||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: It is possible to find a dry ridge path from Redcloud for most of the way. There were a couple of small sections that required us to break trail. Summit is completely covered in snow, and it looked like there‘s a very large cornice at the summit.
|2015-06-08||Route: Northwest Face
Info: Snow coverage starts shortly after the trail juncture towards the basin up to the northwest face. The gullies to gain the plateau below the face are in excellent condition right now. We climbed directly up the face, and the snow was bordering on ice. Summit is covered in snow, with a large cornice on the backside.
|2015-05-24||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: I wanted to post the road conditions on HWY 550 heading to Silverton, the road conditions to Animas Forks and the road conditions on Cinnamon Pass. I did not attempt to climb either peak due to the conditions of the road from the Silverton side of the Alpine Loop. The road is clear of snow up to Animas Forks and any 2wd can make that drive. I only got about 1.5 miles on Cinnamon Pass before I turned back due to the snow and the time of day I was up there. I have a 2003 4Runner with a V-8 and I used 4 Low several times just to get where I was yesterday. The snow kept coming all last night and today so it might be worse than it looks in these photos. Hope this helps!
|2015-05-17||Route: Mill Creek Trail and Silver Creek Trail
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.
|2015-03-27||Route: East Ridge
Info: Gained the East Ridge from the Mill Creek TH. Dry conditions until approximately 11,200-ft when following the trail. Snow most of the way from there to the summit. South slopes below treeline became wet by late morning with high temps and sun. Above treeline the snow was fairly consolidated, but not full spring pack. Small wind slab formed in the upper bowl from prior days snowfall. Was able to ski off the summit, down the East Ridge and drop into the bowl at lower angle terrain. Traversed some rock to regain snow just below the false summit on the ridge. Skied back to 11,200-ft following my ascent route to avoid bushwhacking.
|2015-02-14||Route: East Ridge
Info: Trail to somewhere about 10,800‘ or so is mostly snow free. After that snowshoes are helpful to nearly 13,000‘ even though there‘s a decent trench to follow. Be prepared for a muddy mess below 10,600 on the descent. The snow was sloppy in the afternoon heat also.
|2015-02-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: I climbed Sunshine today via the east ridge. I was surprised by how much snow was on the route. You definitely need flotation. Today you did not need traction, but that may change on the upper mountain with the strong winds. It was posthole hell, bush wack hell, and a fair amount of trail breaking. It took me 6 hours to get to the top and I would be cutting it close to do Redcloud. Coming down took 5 hours as the warm temperatures softened the snow. I came down in my uphill track and was postholing from top to bottom with crampons on! Skis would be a good idea. You could ski almost any aspect from the summit. If you come down the east ridge. Route, below 11000 feet you will suffer a thousand deaths.
|2014-11-01||Route: Northwest Face
Info: We hiked up to the glacial moraine and found that the conditions were too difficult to proceed on the standard route. Ice glazed the loose rock, making for something unconquerable by either bare boot or spike+axe. Instead we climbed up towards the not-recommended face of Redcloud. After bagging Sunshine+Redcloud, we descended the Redcloud trail. Snowdrifts up to the waist but otherwise easy. Bring spikes and an axe.
|2014-09-12||Route: Northwest Face
Info: This route was great, the turn off is well-marked with a huge cairn right on the trail, not down in the creek as described in the route description. It looks like a recent debris flow left a lot of loose rock at the junction and a new and improved, large cairn was constructed. Very nice! After you cross the creek, you can turn left or right, turn right and then it is straight forward from there. This was a great hike. After climbing the face of the rock glacier we were led to the left, around the glacier by a series of cairns. Although it was not difficult to traverse over to the base of the gendarmes, it was clear that those cairns are for the trail that goes up to the Redcloud-Sunshine saddle. Either head straight across the rocks to the gendarmes or maybe go right around the rock field. The scramble up through the steep gully was loose, but not worse than other scrambly gullies. Stay on the solid rock when you can. Above the gully it is easy route finding to the ridge and to the summit. Great day!
|2014-08-23||Route: Northwest Face
Info: FYI...the cairn by the creek (pic #3 of rt description) for the cutoff to the NW face route of Sunshine is no longer there. The cutoff is still pretty easy to identify by the landscape features, but don‘t rely on the cairn. The 1st pic is from Saturday at about the same spot as Bill‘s pic. There is a definite trail junction for the cutoff about 50yds past the monstrosity of a cairn in the second picture below.
|2014-07-19||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: We did Redcloud and Sunshine in one day. The scenery was beautiful. On the way up to Redcloud the trail is a little steep at times. Overall the trail was well marked. The discouraged you from doing the loop so we went back over Redcloud on the way down for about a 11 mile trip. It wasn‘t technical but if definitely challenged my endurance.
|2014-07-04||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: Snow free from TH to summit.
|2014-06-13||Route: From Redcloud Peak
Info: Traverse can now be done completely avoiding snow fields/cornices. Requires minor deviations from standard route but exposure was not a significant issue on the ascent up from the saddle. Round trip time (from and back to Redcloud summit) was 1 hour 40 minutes at a steady, moderate pace.
|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.