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Sunshine Peak  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-09-12  Northwest Face  This route was great, the turn off is well-marked with a huge cairn right on the trail, not down in the creek as described in the route description. It looks like a recent debris flow left a lot of loose rock at the junction and a new and improved, large cairn was constructed. Very nice! After you cross the creek, you can turn left or right, turn right and then it is straight forward from there. This was a great hike. After climbing the face of the rock glacier we were led to the left, around the glacier by a series of cairns. Although it was not difficult to traverse over to the base of the gendarmes, it was clear that those cairns are for the trail that goes up to the Redcloud-Sunshine saddle. Either head straight across the rocks to the gendarmes or maybe go right around the rock field. The scramble up through the steep gully was loose, but not worse than other scrambly gullies. Stay on the solid rock when you can. Above the gully it is easy route finding to the ridge and to the summit. Great day! JenGa   2014-09-13  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-23  Northwest Face  FYI...the cairn by the creek (pic #3 of rt description) for the cutoff to the NW face route of Sunshine is no longer there. The cutoff is still pretty easy to identify by the landscape features, but don‘t rely on the cairn. The 1st pic is from Saturday at about the same spot as Bill‘s pic. There is a definite trail junction for the cutoff about 50yds past the monstrosity of a cairn in the second picture below. psycholoco   2014-08-25 2     Edit Delete 
2014-07-19  From Redcloud Peak  We did Redcloud and Sunshine in one day. The scenery was beautiful. On the way up to Redcloud the trail is a little steep at times. Overall the trail was well marked. The discouraged you from doing the loop so we went back over Redcloud on the way down for about a 11 mile trip. It wasn‘t technical but if definitely challenged my endurance. outdoorjen5280   2014-07-30  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-04  From Redcloud Peak  Snow free from TH to summit. hilo21   2014-07-06  0     Edit Delete 
2014-06-13  From Redcloud Peak  Traverse can now be done completely avoiding snow fields/cornices. Requires minor deviations from standard route but exposure was not a significant issue on the ascent up from the saddle. Round trip time (from and back to Redcloud summit) was 1 hour 40 minutes at a steady, moderate pace. MtnMikeH   2014-06-13 1  2    Edit Delete 
2014-03-29  East Ridge  Just made it back to COS after a successful summit on Sunshine peak. Didn‘t make it to Redcloud as our goal was just the one peak as we wanted to avoid as much soft snow and postholing in the late afternoon. My partner would disagree with this and argue it was my stamina and speed that was a factor (might be some truth to this). Starting out from Mill Creek Campground was easy until a couple hundred feet up where we were met with bare scree fields holding no snow. Although it felt like 1000 vertical feet with no end it was a painful & grueling way to start off the morning. Once you get by the scree fields (doesn‘t matter where your approach starts) you‘ll be met with snow through the trees and it will last for the rest of the trip. Start early to get solid footing through the snow in the trees as well as above treeline. Snow shoes & microspikes/crampons are needed. Snow conditions are prime for ski/snowboarding but expect to pick your way through scree fields and loose rock on the ascent & descent via this route. The only slide we saw was off of the south face of the summit but we didn‘t experience any avalanche prone slopes on our trip. Tough peak from this side, but doable... Ill upload a couple of pictures soon. Mtn Izz   2014-03-29 4  3    Edit Delete 
2013-09-28  From Redcloud Peak  Trail is holding up to 1 ft of snow though some sections are bare. We descended off Sunshine without going back over Redcloud by going back to the last saddle and heading down. There is a cairn and a trail here. Great plunge stepping in deep snow all the way down to the basin. So as of right now this route has a track to follow. jimmtman   2013-09-29 3     Edit Delete 
2013-09-24  From Redcloud Peak  Trail has anywhere from no snow to over 1 ft of snow after the storm Sunday night. Waterproof boots, gaiters needed. Did not use traction today. Access to Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch is mostly dry. Aspen are gorgeous - but leaves may blow off in next few days (high winds predicted). sunny1   2013-09-25  0  2    Edit Delete 
2013-09-07  From Redcloud Peak  After climbing Redcloud/Sunshine today, I do not think the trail that is supposed to come off the opposite side of Sunshine is viable to the average person. There are places where people have scratched down the scree field, but then it goes through a cliff band. It is NOT a ‘standard‘, maintained trail. It was safer to return over Redcloud, but that added considerable distance and elevation. Every person I spoke with that took that trail in the past said they‘d never do it again. The trail guide also says to return over Redcloud, but the topo that prints with the .pdf is misleading. zsmith   2013-09-07  0     Edit Delete 
2013-06-28  Northwest Face  Summer conditions all the way to the top. esagas   2013-06-28  0     Edit Delete 
2013-06-22  From Redcloud Peak  Up Redcloud first, then over to Sunshine before descending over Sundog. Trail is clear and runnable/hikeable without any special gear, snow is not an issue. Just the standard rocky scree/talus on the route. Use trail descending from Sunshine to Sundog is rough, but easy to follow. The route over Sundog is best as an ascent route, steep and rocky, but footing holds pretty well. Photo #1: Looking over to Sunshine from Redcloud Photo #2: Looking down at Sundog from Sunshine Photo #3: The final steep ridge section from Sundog back to the main trail thebeave7   2013-06-24 3     Edit Delete 
2013-06-02  Redcloud/Sunshine loop  Did the "loop" from Redcloud standard route to Sunshine and down NW Ridge. Basin below Redcloud has a few snowfields to cross but most held up well, minor post-holing. Trail from saddle to summit and over to Sunshine was clear except for a couple snow patches heading up Sunshine. NW ridge is clear from summit to upper basin but a lot of snow still in basin. Climbing down through gullies was "adventerous". Ice axe & spikes needed. Large snowfields in basin but all were still firm. No post-holing. Trail below basin is clear. SES_17   2013-06-09  0       
2013-06-01  Northwest Face  Crampons and an ax are a must to get past the gendarme guarding the crux. The good news is there is a strip of snow from about 12,000 to 13,400. This is a lot more pleasant than the talus. I descended the Redcloud standard route. I left the summit about 10:15. Any snow I encountered was mush and I postholed to the ground. The good news is you can really avoid 99% of it. Nelson   2013-06-01  0     Edit Delete 
2013-05-25  Northwest Face  The route is pretty snow free until you get close to the amphitheater where you decide which gulley to ascend and there are large snow patches that are easily crossable while they are still cold. You will have to zigzag through the forest prior to that area (losing the trail to snow) but I am guessing that it will melt pretty quickly there. The galleys in the amphitheater are all snowed in, but the rest of route above that and to Redcloud has manageable or no snow. I kick stepped my way up the summer dirt gulley, just left of the gendarme. See the pictures below of the gulleys, the traverse to Redcloud and Wetterhorn/Uncompahgre. Patinator   2013-05-26 3     Edit Delete 
2013-01-19  East Ridge  No snowshoes or ice axe needed. Microspikes were helpful in a few areas but were not a necessity. A few drifts and small snowfields near treeline, but none were deeper than ~18 inches. Below treeline was mostly snow-free. Above treeline the snow was avoidable until the last 800 ft which had snow-packed trail. The trail over to Redcloud was also snow-packed trail with the rest of the peak being mostly dry. Lemmiwinks   2013-01-20 4  4    Edit Delete 
2012-12-29  East Ridge  No snowshoes needed. Some snow in tree line but nothing too deep. The ridge and traverse to Redcloud are in good shape with not a lot of snow. areed20   2012-12-29  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-09  Northwest Face  It‘s all clear up there. You‘d have to go out of your way to step in any snow. I hiked Sunshine from the non-standard Northwest Ridge, it saved a lot of scree scrambling down below on the standard Northwest Face route. Lindyhapa   2012-06-12  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-29  From Redcloud Peak  The trail from Redcloud to Sunshine is completely dry. Amadisofgaul   2012-05-31  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-17  From Mill Creek Campground  The route from Mill Creek was very dry, but with spots of deep snow in the trees. Snowshoes were helpful from 11,000 to 12,000 ft. My trip was cut short due to a knee injury and I had to double back at 12,500ft. If you are interested a story of my 5 hour descent with a non-functioning knee is here: link http://awilbur77.blogspot.com/2012/03/no-luck-of-irish-on-sunshine-peak.html awilbur77   2012-03-18 2  2      
2011-12-30  East Ridge  Mike, Ryan and I generally followed the route from this post: http://www.summitpost.org/sunshine-redcloud-route-emporium/158780 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 didn’t make it to Redcloud. carson_h   2011-12-31  0  1    Edit Delete 

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