Peak:  Argentine Peak (13er)
 Route:  Naylor Lake loop
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  CarpeDM
 Date of Info:  03/24/2012
 Date Posted:  03/25/2012

Looped Mt Wilcox (13,408 ), Argentine Peak (13,738 ), and Square Top Mtn (13,794) from the Naylor Lake/Guanella Pass closure. At the start, there were large numbers of downed trees covering the start of the trail, but it’s still fairly well packed and easy to find your way up. Bushwhacked north from the Naylor Lake area to the east slopes of Wilcox – which were practically bare. The ridge from Wilcox to the saddle with Argentine was more interesting than I had expected. The lee side of Argentine and its ridge to the saddle with Square Top held the only snow of consequence on this day (above treeline, that is), and the descent to that saddle was the least fun part of the day – even with microspikes and axe out (and dog on leash). It will still be very do-able for most. The descent down the ridge off of Square Top was fun – only one little spot with seemingly sketchy snow to cross that went better than expected. There were also other descent options that looked easy as well. The expected post-hole finish to the road was mercifully short. Beautiful, warm day (too warm for March). But as we rounded Argentine, winds picked up on occasion and were higher than the forecast – maybe 20-30mph.

Although it is clearly marked on the NatGeo Trails Illustrated map (104), I totally missed the fact that the Naylor Lake area is private property.

Snowshoes from car to lower slopes of Wilcox
Microspikes and ice axe for part of descent off Argentine
Snowshoes for lower slopes of Square Top to the Pass and most of the road

Mileage: about 11.3
Gain: about 4,400

1) Bare upper east slopes of Mt Wilcox
2) The non-fun part of the day - ridge down to Argentine/Square Top saddle
3) Route

More pics here:

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3

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