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 Peak(s):  Square Top Mtn A  -  13,794 feet
 Post Date:  05/23/2010
 Date Climbed:   05/22/2010
 Posted By:  avs88fan

 Solitude on Square Top   

Party: myself (solo)
Mileage: Approx. 9 miles
VF: Approx. 3000 VF
Climb Time: 7 hours

One of my goals this summer is to climb as many front range 13ers as I can to get in shape for my push to finish off some of the tougher 14ers that I have left to climb. I think from climbing G@T, Evans, and Bierstadt so many times, I wanted to get a taste for some other mountains in the area. After sending out a forum topic on Sante Fe, Geneva, and Landslide I didn't feel confident doing this Solo due to snow conditions and being unfamiliar the area. I decided on Square Top due to its easy access and its relatively easy ascent. I left my house in Centennial at 445am and made it to the gate at Guennela Pass at 6am. I was the first one to pull in. I'm not sure why the road is gated as I started hiking the road. The road is pretty much bone dry all the way to the top of the pass.

Here is a look at the road from just above the gate.
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I had a great glimpse of Square Top as I was hiking on the road. The view from the road showed a lot more snow on the mountain than what I actually encountered on the ascent.
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As I made to the top of the pass, I found the South Park trail and headed into the meadows. Very similar to the meadows on the Bierstadt trail.
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The South park trail was snow covered in spots but and dry in others. The trail continues in a southerly direction to Square top Lakes. At the lakes there a few cairns showing the route up Square Top. Here is one of the few snow fields along the route.
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I made it to ridge in just over two hours from the gate. I was rather surprised with the lack of snow along the ridge.
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Here is a shot of about 13,200 with the final 500-600 feet. Snow is easy to avoid and there is even a faints talus trail, which disappears in the snow.
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I made it to the summit around 9:45, and was again surprised to see no snow on the top.
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Looking northwest- Great views of G@T, Argentine, Edwards, Ruby.
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Once on the summit, the winds became pretty much unbearable as I texted the fiancé, I made it back down the lakes as fast as I could.

Took a quick shot of the Tenmile Range, Breck. And Quandry in view.
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At the Lakes, I took a much-needed break from Galloping down the ridge and I soaked in the view. It kind of reminded me of Ice Lake Basin when I hiked last summer. You can't compare the two places, but the view was pretty sweet.
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For all of you inquiring about Bierstadt and the sawtooth, here is shot of the route. Still a ton of snow.
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I made it back to the road around 1230, some minor post holing on the south park trail. Once on the road, I was greeted to some 50-60mph wind, which while annoying was a great way for my boots to dry off.
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I highly recommend this mountain to any beginner looking to avoid the crowds on the neighboring 14ers. A great expanse of tundra with very little scree and talus.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
harrise


Thanks For A Timely Report     2010-05-30 08:36:24
I headed up there on the 29th based on your report. Conditions were even easier with the road being open to the pass and all but a few yards of snow gone. Definitely a straightforward mountain.


chamonix


Here we go again....     2011-08-10 07:06:36
Based on ”Harrise's” comment, I would say ”mission accomplished”!



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