Vermilion Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: From Ice Lake Basin
Posted On: 2022-07-27, By: SionaRW35
Info: Wildflowers are amazing. Shale is not. Summit register could use a new pen. 
Route: Ice Lakes
Posted On: 2022-07-09, By: superdawg
Info: Summer conditions. We looked but could find no summit register on either Vermilion or Fuller. The trail to Vermilion is in decent shape. We opted to backpack in on Thursday, camp above Ice Lake, summit the following day, and relax and do some hard-core people watching for the rest of the day. Influencers in the WILD. The side quest to Island Lake is worth the additional effort. Hiking out this morning (Saturday), we encountered at least 65 discrete groups (average of 3 per group) hiking in - not counting the 20+ people already milling about the lake before we packed up camp. Not surprising for a summer Saturday. We spoke with a ranger at the trailhead who said that, prior to the late 2020 fire that prompted the closure of the Ice Lakes trail, upwards of 800 people were hitting this trail on summer weekends. The ranger described the upper basin in 2020 as a “litter box.” So, the area totally needed a break. But we did notice that the basin seems to be bouncing back from that level of abuse - the wildflowers are going insane right now and people seemed to be packing out their trash. 
1
Route: Lake Hope and Beattie Ridgeline
Posted On: 2022-07-05, By: frigidridge
Info: The only snow up here is the miniscule remains of a cornice off the north side of the Vermilion-Fuller saddle. I went from the popular Lake Hope trail from the west side to the top of Hope Pass, then went off trail north up the ridgeline to the first summit of "V8". V8's south face is some very loose and unstable, steep rock salad. I had to move very delicately to find rock that would take my weight. I especially wouldn't want to come down it. After V8 the Ridgeline is some slightly spicy and slightly exposed class 3 with some interesting features. You could argue class 2 if you're crazy enough to trust any rock up there - it is not highly travelled and is crumbling. There is some light route finding involved. The final descent to the Beattie-Fuller saddle is easy class 2 dinner plate rock. All of Fuller and the descent off of this Beattie-Fuller saddle is class 2, loose ankle-knocker rock. The top section of Vermilion is relatively solid but expect to make one decision between some class 4 or a steep and loose class 3 gully at the end. On the descent west off of the Fuller-Beattie saddle there is not an obvious trail but there are cairns here and there and the terrain is not too difficult to navigate. This route virtually starts at the last switchback up to Hope lake, but as far as I could tell there's no indication of a diverging trail or junction there. 
Route: Via Ice Lakes
Posted On: 2022-07-04, By: durkan
Info: Avoided the somewhat snow filled gully/slope as much as possible on the way up to the ridge, but heel plunged down. Brought traction, but never put it on. Dry from ridge to summit as well as trailhead to said gully/slope below the ridge. 
1
Route: SE Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-21, By: smartt
Info: San Juan's are dry. V9, V8, Beattie, Fuller, and Vermilion Peak. 
5 1
Route: Ice Lakes
Posted On: 2022-06-07, By: PeakSixTD
Info: Vermillion from ice lakes is currently a pleasant snow climb. We parked at the switch back and saved about 600ish feet of gain. Trail is basically dry to the basin. From there you will have to start crossing snow fields. Took a combination of snow and talus into the bowl. Threw on crampons and headed up the snow field that hides the standard route. I went far right to crest the ridge via the steepest line I could see. Even the most mellow line probably requires a very short 45 to 50 degree top out, but the rest is significantly less steep. The summit top out had some snow and ice on the really loose section. Care must be taken here, but that being said it went fairly easily for us. Crampons and axe will be necessary for atleast another week or two. Ice lake totally frozen. 
4 1
Route: Hope Lake up Vermilion Dollar Col down
Posted On: 2022-01-18, By: blazintoes
Info: Came up via Hope Lake. The road to Trout Lake is plowed for homes. The road to Hope TH was snow catted! The hike up to Hope was long. Snow was good. The hike up to the Beattie/Vermilion sadddle was scary. Avy debris and areas of avy potential. I decided to come down the vermilion dollar col. It was steep but the snow was good. I made quick time down west and back to my tracks then walked the long 3 mile road back to the car. There is a nice place to park on the road with an outhouse. It snowed on my way down Glad to get this snowflake! Nice feather in my cap. 
15 5
Route: From Fuller
Posted On: 2021-09-05, By: ScottLovesRMNP
Info: Trail segments and cairns the whole way, just 30 minutes from Fuller. Plenty of loose rock around - stay on the established path. 
Route: Grant/Swamp Pass
Posted On: 2021-08-24, By: j_vada
Info: Took the Swamp Canyon trail from Ophir into Ice Lake Basin. The trail up to Grant/Swamp Pass was straightforward and well defined the entire way. The final stretch up to the top of the pass was steep and loose, but fortunately short. This approach offers some great views of Ice Lake Basin from the pass and is a nice way to tour the upper basin while on route to the peak. 
5
Route: From Hope Lake
Posted On: 2021-05-09, By: Will_E
Info: Reached Vermilion's summit Saturday. I started a few miles below the Hope Lake TH, the road isn't quite melted out yet. I followed the Hope Lake trail for a few miles until reaching the basin below the Fuller/Vermilion saddle. It was fairly warm Saturday (40° at summit), snowshoes were needed from start of the TH. when I reached Vermilion's steep west side I needed crampons and axe to ascend the steep snow. Once on the ridge I stayed mostly ridge proper to summit, no traction needed. After summitting Vermilion I went across to Fuller, it has fantastic views of Vermilion, Golden Horn and Pilot Knob. Nice day, unexpected thundersnow notwithstanding. 
15 4
Route: SE ridge from Hope Lake TH
Posted On: 2021-04-26, By: Will_E
Info: No Summit. The basin leading to Vermilion's East Ridge had nice snow, even the steep sections were easy to get up. I used snowshoes most of the way up until getting to a section that my snowshoes just couldn't grab well so switched to crampons. Left crampons on all the way to a few hundred feet below Vermilion's summit and I just couldn't see the way up. Lots more snow than I expected. Got Golden Horn as a consolation prize. 
5
Route: From Beattie Peak/Southwest Basin
Posted On: 2020-08-24, By: supranihilest
Info: From Beattie Peak's summit head north down the ridge towards the Beattie/Fuller saddle. This is where the trail from Lake Fork San Miguel trailhead meets up with our route. Ascend a great trail up the talus until you're at the Vermilion/Fuller saddle, then continue on a great and seemingly improbably trail across Vermilion's fast southwest face. The route finding is obvious here, just stick to the trail. There's a small amount of scrambling on the ledges, and eventually you'll wrap far around Vermilion and come to a wide couloir full of yellow dirt. The trail ends abruptly here and you must scramble up this couloir which isn't hard at Class 2+ but is very loose. At the top of the couloir you'll be able to peer down the other side into the Vermilion Dollar Couloir on Vermilion's east face. Turn west and finish the hike to Vermilion's summit, which includes a narrow catwalk-like section that finishes directly on Vermilion's tiny summit. If descending to Lake Fork San Miguel trailhead/Lake Hope area go back to the saddle with Fuller/Beattie. If descending to Ice Lakes Basin and South Mineral trailhead descend north on awful, loose talus from the Vermilion/Fuller saddle. 
Route: Ice Lake Basin
Posted On: 2020-08-02, By: CaptCO
Info: Summer conditions 
8
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-29, By: Flyingfish
Info: Dry except for some snow right below the Fuller saddle and along the traverse to Golden Horn 
Route: Ice Lake
Posted On: 2020-07-18, By: dwoodward13
Info: Avoidable snow leading up to the Fuller-Vermillion saddle. There is remnants of a a cornice that can be bypassed climbers right. Headed to Fuller first, then back to Vermilion. Pretty well marked route. Headed down the saddle contouring to the shelf toward the Vermilion-Golden Horn saddle. Some snow on the shelf but no need to traction. Route up Golden is easy to find. We descended a grassy ramp below the saddle back to lower terrain. 
Route: Vermilion Dollar Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-28, By: CheapCigarMan
Info: Ice Lake Basin at sunrise is the most beautiful place on earth. Sloan Lake at sunrise moved to second place. This couloir is no longer in. There's a 50' - 100' section without snow in the couloir. Was very sketchy loose steep rock descending. You cannot see this section until you are upon it in the couloir. Most snow is avoidable navigating the rocks and cliffs below the Vermilion / Golden Horn saddle. Remaining snow was mostly soft in the couloir. Lots of snow with cornice in the bowl between Fuller and Vermilion. No snow on the saddle between Vermilion and Golden Horn. Golden Horn stands mighty and majestic. 
13 2
Route: Ice Lakes Basin
Posted On: 2019-10-14, By: angry
Info: Summer conditions. Any snow prior to gaining the saddle does not intersect the route. Scree is loose on the backside but other than that completely cruiser. 
4 1
Route: Ice Lakes
Posted On: 2019-09-05, By: Kitten
Info: Summer conditions all the way up. There is a patch of snow at the saddle, but the trail goes on the right side and it was dry. I will put a trip report soon if I have time. 
1
Route: SE ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-18, By: TravelingMatt
Info: Here's a pic from V5. The col with Fuller might melt out by September... of 2020. 
1
Route: Ice Lake basin
Posted On: 2019-08-18, By: dbolton
Info: Slight cornice at saddle with Fuller. I went right of snowfield on the scree and it was unpleasant. Wished I had a helmet along. Photo is looking down on the saddle from start of the Vermillion route. Rest of the route is snow free and quite enjoyable. I thought the series of ledges was cool 
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