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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-03-21||Route: north slopes
Info: Originally intended to climb Evans via the W ridge, but ended up following a boot track that took us onto the wrong (i.e. north) side of Mt. Spalding. We figured this out pretty quickly, but decided to just continue on that way - we‘d been thinking about tagging Spalding as a detour anyway. Boot track ended at the Spalding-Gray Wolf saddle - where we ran into the party that had created it, who were also trying to summit Evans, but had gotten lost. They turned around. From there (~13,000‘) we pretty much just beelined it to the summit up the north face. Lots of deep, unconsolidated snow and big rocks. The south side, which we descended, also has a fair amount of snow, but of a very different variety, i.e. a gloppy mess. Fortunately, that side is much shorter. After a brief foray up the W. ridge of Evans, we decided to call it a day and descended the normal route, which had not been traveled since the last snowfall on Wed night/Thurs. All in a all a much bigger than expected effort to reach a mere subpeak of Evans! But quite the summit view. Equipment: Flotation mandatory for much of the route. We skinned up to about 11,700‘, then switched to snowshoes, which we used for nearly the rest of the day save for a few hundred feet of tundra on the S-facing slopes around 12,000‘ on the W rib of Spalding. Traction beyond snowshoes was not required. In retrospect, had we followed the L side of the N branch of Scott Garner Creek up to the Spalding-Gray Wolf saddle, we could have skinned all the way to the saddle; however, this was not apparent from down in the willows. The N face of Spalding is not skiable due to the multitude of big boulders, despite the abundant snow cover. Gray Wolf looked like it offered a continuous, moderate skiable line all the way from the summit down the SE slope, and back down the creek drainage.
|2014-06-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: trail to the top has a mixture of snow/ice/mud along with dry ground - no traction devices needed as long as you‘re careful about your footing.
|2012-06-17||Route: Sunrise Couloir
Info: We skied Sunrise Couloir today and as much as I love being on the snow I‘d say the couloir is about done for the year. The top half of the couloir is in decent shape, but the lower half is littered with rockfall. The rocks can be avoided but the overall snow quality is pretty poor. If your desperate to make some turns it can be done, but it‘s melting out quick.
Info: As rijica mentioned in his Bierstadt report, the road to Guanella Pass is passable to the closure gate at Duck Lake, 1.5 miles from the summer trailhead. From the summer trailhead, the route across the willows is hard packed and "bootable." At Scott Gomer creek I turned left and followed a faint drifted-over track beside the creek. I was glad to have snowshoes to get through the willows. Once across the willows, I ditched the snowshoes and followed the creek up towards the saddle between Grey Wolf and Spalding. From there it was easy walking across wind scoured slopes to the gentle summit of Spalding. The streaming clouds and big snowy vistas were intoxicating to look at all day long. It was tough to leave. The sun set so I walked out in the twilight. Image 1 - The east ridge on Squaretop looked ready for an ascent. Guanella Pass is below the mountain. Image 2 - The gully that leads up to the Sawtooth summit and Mt. Evans west ridge. Image 3 - The upper slopes above the gully. From left to right, Mt. Evans west ridge, the Sawtooth, and Mt. Bierstadt. Image 4 - Crossing the willows.