Peak:  Mt. Spalding (13er)
 Route:  north slopes
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  AlexeyD
 Date of Info:  03/21/2015
 Date Posted:  03/22/2015

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.

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