Peak:  Mt. Spalding (13er)
 Route:  Guanella
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  kimo
 Date of Info:  12/05/2010
 Date Posted:  12/08/2010

As rijica mentioned in his Bierstadt report, the road to Guanella Pass is passable to the closure gate at Duck Lake, 1.5 miles from the summer trailhead. From the summer trailhead, the route across the willows is hard packed and "bootable." At Scott Gomer creek I turned left and followed a faint drifted-over track beside the creek. I was glad to have snowshoes to get through the willows. Once across the willows, I ditched the snowshoes and followed the creek up towards the saddle between Grey Wolf and Spalding. From there it was easy walking across wind scoured slopes to the gentle summit of Spalding. The streaming clouds and big snowy vistas were intoxicating to look at all day long. It was tough to leave. The sun set so I walked out in the twilight.

Image 1 - The east ridge on Squaretop looked ready for an ascent. Guanella Pass is below the mountain.
Image 2 - The gully that leads up to the Sawtooth summit and Mt. Evans west ridge.
Image 3 - The upper slopes above the gully. From left to right, Mt. Evans west ridge, the Sawtooth, and Mt. Bierstadt.
Image 4 - Crossing the willows.

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