Peak:  Sunshine Peak (14er)
 Route:  East Ridge
 Range:  San Juan
 Posted By:  carson_h
 Date of Info:  12/30/2011
 Date Posted:  12/31/2011

Mike, Ryan and I generally followed the route from this post:

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 didnít make it to Redcloud.

 Comments or Questions

Video showing conditions
01/02/2012 00:09
Ryan put together this video of the trip

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