| Listen here, Sunshine
I'm finding that there is just not enough snow in the most recent 14er trip reports. So, I thought I'd help solve this problem by posting a tr with a few eye-candy shots from back in March.
The story begins all the way back in March. I was sitting at home, thinking about global warming and the rising sea levels, and thought to myself "I better go ski Sunshine Peak before it's no longer a 14er." The next day I set out for Lake City. I spent the night in Gunnison and early the next morning drove to the Mill Creek campground.
I arrived just after sunrise, and got a good look at Sunshine's beautiful white face. Check this one out:
The plan for Sunshine was to just head straight up the South face and then hike the SE ridge to the summit. The valley, and South slopes were bone dry, as you can see.
However, she wasn't dry for too long after I started climbing her. Indeed, I reached snow by 10 000'. Or was it 11 000'? I forget, but I'm pretty sure it was a multiple of 1000'. This route wasn't nearly as heinous as I've heard it described. In fact, it is really direct and fast. Although, I did cause a rediculous amount of erosion by taking this route, and at only 14 001,' I was scared that I might become the a**hole who made Sunshine a 13er.
Here are some more snowy shots
Some peak to the SW
I think I started the day a little too late. The snow started softening up in the sunlight and really began to stick to the bottom of my skins. There are very few things in life that anger me, but carrying half my body weight in snow up the mountain, via the bottom of my skins, is one of them. I imagined that anyone who followed my skin track would think I was insane. "Why are those tracks winding all over the place? It looks like he purposely skied into rocks and over logs and over that stump. He must have been drunk."
At a couple points, I had so much snow under foot, that my tips and tails were a good three inches above the surface of the snow. This made me irate! I even began yelling at the mountain. "Alright, look Sunshine! We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way, but we both know how this day is going to end...with me on top of you!"
Sh*t, I'm getting angry just thinking about it. Let's look at some more pictures.
Hey sunshine! Are you full of beryllium, gold, and titanium? Because you are Be Au Ti ful!
Some peak to the SW
She's looking fat
Snowy highway to the summit
As I climbed higher, the snow was cooler and didn't stick as much. I was grateful for this. My anger subsided.
The skin up the ridge was cake, and the views were gorgeous.
On top of Sunshine, looking North toward Sweetheart, Baby doll, and Sugar tits (aka Redcloud, Uncompahgre, and Wetterhorn)
Me on summit (the eye-candy I promised you)
I made a few ski cuts on the way down, and did my best to avoid any trigger points. All in all, it was a beautiful ski down.
Thanks for the good times, Sunshine!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):