|Peak:||Vermilion Peak (13er)|
|Route:||standard route from Ice Lakes basin|
|Date of Info:||09/25/2011|
The route up to Ice Lakes was in good shape and snow-free, muddy in only a few spots. From a bit above Fuller Lake, there was patchy snow up to the base of the slope leading to the Vermilion-Fuller saddle. The climb to the saddle was in ~6" of new snow on 30-degree slopes; an ice axe is good to have, but I never put on my microspikes, and the snow was so soft it was un-glissade-able on the descent. Once at the saddle, the remaining route on the SW aspect of the mountain was almost snow-free, with a few spots warranting either an axe or a slight detour around the area. Fuller Peak was in similar shape. The picture shows Vermilion from the summit of Fuller, and gives a pretty good idea of general conditions; the Wilson group is in the background.
From the summit, the Wilson group looked like it had only some lingering snow, but our view was from the south. South-facing aspects of pretty much every peak we saw (including Golden Horn and Sneffels) looked virtually snow-free; north-facing sides were still holding several inches of snow.
The aspens are turning in the San Juans--get there soon!
Photos (click for slideshow):