|Peak:||Spread Eagle Peak (13er)|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Date of Info:||03/09/2012|
Took a buddy back up here to follow a trench put in by a group a week prior, with Spread Eagle and Cloud as our objectives. Left the truck .3 miles below TH at 4:20am. There was a dusting of new snow that progressively got deeper as we climbed. In the Gibson Creek drainage around 9000' there was 6" of fresh powder. Getting nervous about following multiple trenches in the bottom of a giant terrain trap we made the decision to leave the bottom and bushwacked straight up the North facing side to gain the East ridge. 4 brutal hours, 1000' later we gained the ridge to find that the snow was still 36-42" of faceted "sugar". 8 hours from the truck we found ourselves still in the trees at 11700' and determined that this was not an appropriate summit route. We stopped here, I dug a snow pit and ran the basic snowpack field tests on an East facing aspect, 30 degree slope and found the pack to be fairly stable (happy staying where it was). Compression tests produced no failures, same with shovel shear. The warm days, cold nights with a little wind could change this though. Overall it was an absolutely beautiful day with zero wind (a drastic change from 6 days prior). On the way down my buddy and I determined that we needed to get out of the Sangre 13ers, head up to some Sawatch or F.R. 14ers for a break, and to actually gain a summit.
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