Trip Report: Sundance Mountain Bowl, RMNP ~ 5.26.13

Sundance Mountain Bowl 12,200′

Trail Ridge Road has now opened for the summer and has opened some easily accessible terrain, to include Sundance Mountain Bowl. There are several pullouts one can park to access Sundance (see the map below). This year there is a nice bounty of perfect corn snow from top to bottom. From the parking on Trail Ridge Road, you will hike only a few hundred yards to the summit of Sundance. From there you can drop 1700′ vertical feet to the Fall River Road.

Sundance Bowl starts off as an intermediate aspect but quickly gets steeper toward the bottom. The lower one third of Sundance is well over 45 degrees – extremely steep, so a word of caution there. Most people descend to a point they are comfortable with and return back up. If you go to the lower one third point it will be too steep for skins. As of May 26th there is a boot track put in the steeper areas. Sometimes the lower areas have been known to ice. Self arrest device of some sort is recommended.

When the old Fall River Road opens you could technically have a vehicle staged at the base for a return run to Trail Ridge. To the northwest you will see the Never Summer Range (Mount Nimbus, Mount Cumulus, Howard Mountain, Mount Cirrus, and Lead Mountain). To the northeast lies Ypilson Peak, Fairchild Mountain, and East Desolation Peak. To the South lies Stone and Sprague Mountains.

As a note; as of May 26, 2013 the Upper Hidden Valley area was in, various lines on Trail Ridge, and Ypsilon were also in with enough snow.

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