Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Date Posted:  06/02/2020
Date Climbed:   06/02/2020
Author:  Bradenkerrco
 Beautiful...and wet   

I want to be very clear with this because I made the mistake of trusting another recent trip report before my ascent today. It is NOT YET SUMMER CONDITIONS. In my mind, summer conditions means that the trail can be hiked without any additional gear (snowshoes, spikes, axe etc.) and that the trail is not obstructed by snow except for small patched where it is clearly visable it enters and leaves that patch.

The ascent up redcloud has nominal snow until the basin, where it is then mostly snow filled. Starting at about 12000 up until the ridge there are continuous large sections of snow that make following the trail impossible unless you know where it goes from a previous ascent. I entered the basin at about 7am and most of the lower snow was still firm pack and was easily crossed but around 12300, I had to posthole even before the sun hit the snow. It's steep and so I recommend snowshoes and poles since it has a crust that breaks easily.

Once you gain the ridge, there isois only one more patche of snow that obstructs the trail and that's around 13200 on the side of redcloud. It's surrounded by loose talus so I simply crossed the talus but it was very loose so if you aren't comfortable navigating that sticking to the snow in flotation or traction will be a better bet.

I brought poles and they helped a lot feeling comfortable crossing the higher small patches of snow around the false summit of redcloud and also sunshine.

The picture attached is looking down into the basin from above at the large snow field. The best way to describe how completely the basin was covered is you could easily ski/board a continuous line from the top to the bottom of the basin.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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