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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-05-17||Route: Mill Creek and Silver Creek
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.
|2015-05-01||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Attempted Redcloud peak yesterday. The gate to Silver Creek Trailhead is still closed, opens May 15th, but the road is completely clear. Hiking from the Mill Creek trailhead to the Silver Creek trailhead would be about 4 miles so I would suggest waiting for the gates to open and camp at Silver Creek, where there‘s parking (albeit limited) and plenty of camping space. The trail is quite easy to follow heading east for the first few miles as it poked out occasionally through the snow and followed the river. The snow was firm enough to walk on without snow shoes. Where we got thrown off was somewhere around 12,000 feet, possibly higher, there‘s a sign in the basin that says "trail" and points NORTH. This is contradictory to what our book and 14ers.com says but without being able to see the actual trail due to the amount of snow up there (still several feet), the context was lost to us. Around this sign, possibly a bit past, the trail still wraps to the SOUTH. If you‘re hiking this in the winter I recommend disregarding that sign. The way back was great, snow softened up a bit and we postholed in areas. Overall, great "winter" conditions and probably the most beautiful winter hike I‘ve done.
|2014-10-11||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: No snow below 12,300 feet. From there all the way to Sunshine, we generally encountered about 4-8" of snow... sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. Gaiters and microspikes are highly encouraged, though microspikes may not be a necessity. We didn‘t feel there was any need for snowshoes, crampons, or ice axes. We broke trail the whole way, so if anyone‘s interested in heading up, that might make it a little easier. Based on the latest forecasts, it looks like another inch or two may fall over the next 24 hours, but beyond that the weather looks great. So if you‘re looking for a 14er to climb before winter hits with all its fury, Redcloud and Sunshine are still viable options!
|2014-09-21||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Ran into some nasty weather in the morning on Redcloud (I‘ve attached pics), but it had disappeared by the time I got back from Sunshine. It had rained the night before/all morning, so if that is the case expect some snow up top this time of year, though it was only ankle deep and microspikes weren‘t needed. Both mornings (9/21 on Redcloud/Sunshine, and 9/22 on Handies) the weather was terrible in the am, but burned off by midday and was blue skies. No actual thunderstorms or lightening, just crummy rain/snow. I expect the snow will start holding more consistently soon.
|2014-08-03||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The standard route up Redcloud has some of the best wildflowers I‘ve seen in the last few years. It is worth the hike or repeat to see them in my opinion. The iPhone pictures certainly do not do the upper basin any justice. Other than that, the route is in great shape. Only thing of interest is along the creek above treeline you must cross over the remnants of a big avalanche, but you can easily cross over the snow, or bypass above if you feel like climbing over the talus.
|2014-07-13||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: There is very shallow but large snowfield to cross around treeline. No gear necessary to cross.
|2014-07-04||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Snow free from TH to summit.
|2014-06-29||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: No snow gear needed, trail has minor snowfields in the basin but above that did not cross any snowfields that aren‘t able to be bypassed by stepping on the rocks direct next to the trail. Entire traverse is clear to Sunshine.
|2014-06-26||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: There are still 8-10 snow fields to contend with. The longest is a 100-150 foot avy run over the creek. Daybreak/Ascent: All but one snow field was solid enough to walk on. Avoid the last field between the saddle and false summit. I postholed to the knee. Bypassing beneath it will only cost a few minutes. Most of the fields can be completely bypassed without losing the trail. The avy runs near the creek were solid at daybreak, but there‘s enough dirt, rocks and organic material to get traction with just hiking boots. Midday/Descent: Again, avoid the highest snowfield. All others were mushy a couple inches down, but as long as I re-traced old foot prints I didn‘t slide much and didn‘t posthole.
|2014-06-15||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The road to the Grizzly Gulch/Silver Creek trailhead is clear of snow and dry. The Silver Creek trail is virtually clear of snow until you start to reach the upper basin. There are about 3 avy run outs that piled up snow that was solid and no post holing was experienced as late as noon. Overnight temp was 22. At the trail marker (photo 3) keep a sharp eye out for the trail that heads up left to toward the summit. If you run into the snowfield (photo 3) you went too far. I suspect it may be a couple weeks before that snow is gone. The trail is hard to see when looking up and I missed it...ending up on the other side of the snowfield is loose talus...this cost me time and energy.
|2014-06-14||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Hiked Redcloud on Saturday. The trail was 85% clear, save for some short snow fields just at treeline (alongside Silver Creek - picture #2 in the main route page) and in the basin before the saddle at 13k. If you are weenie like me and don‘t like risking sliding on snow in to a very high, very cold creek, I would suggest bringing along an ice axe or poles to assist with walking along the snow fields. The basin is still holding snow and it seemed like every party kind of chose their own path. However, there should be some distinct footprints now that help guide hikers along snow about where the real trail should be. The ridge up to the false summit also has some snow cover on the trail, but that will probably be gone within the next few weeks. Most folks hiked up a short scree/rock section perpendicular to the real trail to avoid the snow and regained the trail to the false summit. We opted not to go over to Sunshine since some fast-moving clouds were closing in, but it would be easily passable and looked fantastic. I‘ve provided a picture of this for those that start earlier than we did and commit to the traverse. Overall it was a beautiful day and the San Juans are stunning this time of year. It was my first time to this range and I am still blown away by the colors and shapes of all the surrounding peaks. Enjoy!
|2014-06-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Still not summer in the San Juans. No snow for first 1/2 mile or so, but from that point on, each gully crossing features a significant snowfield. Snow increases in coverage throughout Silver Creek Basin, although it doesn‘t present any route-finding issues, due to several tracks between bare trail sections. Descending these snowfields around 10:30 was slushy and slippery, with minor post-holing. Other than one avoidable section, snow was not a factor above 12,800 feet, and does not appear to be a factor on the traverse to Sunshine.
|2014-06-01||Route: West Face and NW Ridge
Info: Here‘s a picture of the West Face of Redcloud and Sunshine taken from Handies. Looks like there is almost a continuous ski line down the NW Face of Redcloud. Could not get a view of the NE Ridge from where I was.
|2014-05-26||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Continuous snow from about 12000‘. Intermittent small snow patches on the trail before that. Wore snowshoes from 12k for the remainder of the way to Redcloud and Sunshine. We were breaking trail through roughly ankle deep powder from the basin up the NE Ridge. Previous reporter‘s tracks were erased by the storm on Saturday night / Sunday. Snow covers the entire traverse between Redcloud / Sunshine as well. NE face would be in to ski from the summit right now. Photo #1: Looking back down into the basin below the NE Ridge. Photo #2: Look at the NE Face of Redcloud Photo #3: Looking back at Redcloud from Sunshine
|2014-05-25||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Went after Redcloud and Sunshine on Saturday 5-24-2014. Left the TH at 6:30am and found a snow-free trail for about 3 miles. Near tree-line the snow began in earnest and from here on out snowshoes were helpful. Once on the ridgeline to Redcloud and then over to Sunshine there are periodic patches of snow and clear trail. I was fortunate to leave early, make good time (RT 6.5 hours) and only post-holed a few times back to the trail. If you left much later the hike out could be tough. Pic 1: the snow really starts here and looking back down trail. Pic 2: same spot looking up the trail Pic 3: me on Redcloud summit but the background peaks are Unc/Wet (fyi)
|2013-09-28||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Large storm Friday with snow up until 6 pm. Snow/ice from the parking lot up. From 12k to 13k in the basin broke trail through 6-12 inches of snow. Less snow from the saddle to the top likely from wind scour. Coming back in the afternoon the light snow/ice below the basin was melted off.
|2013-09-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Very wet conditions on trail. Snowing and windy at top of peak. Probably not dry enough for accumulation of snow, but it was raining all day down below. No snow accumulation was visible on the trail.
|2013-06-28||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Summer conditions all the way to the top.
|2013-06-22||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: No snow on the ridge that you have to touch, trail in excellent shape...including over to Sunshine. Road to TH in good shape also, check TH section for update.
|2013-06-09||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The snow is all but gone, trail is dry all the way to the top and only a very small patch between Redcloud and Sunshine.