Peak(s):  Square Top Mtn A  -  13,794 feet
Post Date:  02/13/2011
Date Climbed:   11/14/2010
Posted By:  Matt Lemke

 Square Top Mountain from Guanella Pass   

Back in November it was awhile since my last time in the mountains so I decided since it was such a nice Sunday that I should head out for a climb. Square Top Mountain looked fun and pretty close.
On our way out of Golden I just had to shoot the sunrise since the clouds looked so colorful. This was taken from the Lookout Mountain Road.
Sunrise over Golden

Got to Guanella Pass at 12,200 feet elevation and parked. There wasn't much snow around but enough to make things pretty.
The sun was out and we started on the short trail to Square Top Lakes. I even had to undress since it was so warm.
Here is a photo of the peaks east of Guanella Pass. Mt. Bierstadt and the Sawtooth Ridge are easily seen on this beautiful day.
Mt. Bierstadt from Guanella Pass

The plan for the day was to climb Square Top Peak (elevation 13, 600). We left the trail when we got to the lakes and started the easy climb.
Here's a photo looking back towards Guanella Pass as we ascended.
Mt. Bierstadt from the slopes of Square Top

When we got our first views to the west we saw something bad. A fast approaching blizzard was already hitting the mountains only a few miles to the west and we saw the snow falling.
We got about 75 percent up and turned around. Right when we got back to the lakes the clouds rolled over us and I shot this photo of Square Top Peak reflecting in the lake minutes before it started blizzarding.
Square Top Lake right before the blizzard

Too bad we didn't quite make it but at least I got a good photo of it.
We hiked back to the car as the snow and wind pounded us and the temperature dropped 40 degrees in a matter of minutes and believe it or not, when we got back to the car, the sun came back out and we were HOT again.
Boy the weather changes fast here!!!
Here's another panorama taken at Guanella Pass after it cleared up again.
Guanella Pass Panorama

All in all a beautiful day hike and complete solitude at an otherwise popular place in the summer.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Nice Pictures!     07/27/2011 16:19
Beautiful pictures! We're heading up there tomorrow.

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