Peak(s):  Square Top Mountain A  -  13,794 feet
Argentine Peak  -  13,738 feet
Mt. Edwards  -  13,850 feet
Grays Peak  -  14,275 feet
Torreys Peak  -  14,272 feet
Grizzly Peak D  -  13,427 feet
Date Posted:  09/16/2022
Date Climbed:   09/11/2022
Author:  frigidridge
 Guanella-Loveland Pass Traverse   

From the Square Tops Lakes Trailhead at Guanella Pass to the top of Loveland Pass.

6.9K vert, 15.6 miles

Time: 10hrs; 4AM to 2PM

I was inspired to do this traverse after meeting a through hiker on Mt. Edwards a year or two ago. In retrospect he was maybe taking the Colorado trail, but after seeing I could do pass to pass in only 14 miles I've wanted to give it a go. The only new summit on my trek was Grizzly, which happened to be my 100th unique 13er!

I did have to coordinate a ride from Loveland Pass back to my car at Guanella Pass. To my surprise I almost never had cell service. Not sure if my phone was just being weird, but I knew my pickup was tracking me via my InReach. I ended up meeting up with him on the last little summit of Cupid. It felt kind of romantic!

This route was generally a long stroll through rolling peaks with a spunky ridgeline and well-travelled high summits in the middle.

All in all a lovely day, and another personal megatraverse goal accomplished.

South ridge of Argentine in the early morning light.

I started Square Top from the trailhead that takes you to its lakes under full moonlight. That area is very open and beautiful. I'd love to come back in the daylight although it's probably quite popular.

First glimpse of Greys and Torreys. Those power lines were buzzing quite loudly - they were a small thrill to walk under.
Up to Edwards.
Edward's west ridge to Grays is class 2/3. A tad loose. I'd advise staying on the ridgeline or just south of it at times for the most solid terrain. You'll eventually join the slog of Grey-goers on the less popular NE ridgeline trail.
Encountered a goat limping on what appeared to be a healed, but obviously broken ankle on the ridgeline.
A small bushwack to tag the summit of Grays.
The charming Kelso.
I briefly considered my future at Torrey's summit. Time to lose a lot of vert before re-gaining it up Grizzly to the left. I am looking here directly towards my exit - Loveland Pass.

Torrey's west ridge is neat until you hit the west face. Bring a sled.

Pretty lake from the Torrey's-Grizzly saddle.
A final scramble up Grizzly.
Looking back at Torrey's West face. Doesn't really look fun to go up from this approach, but I made good time scree-surfing down it. It did get old.
A look back from Grizzly Peak. You can see Square Top in the distance where I started the day.

After summiting Grizzly I knew the hard parts were over. Time to take it easy.

Great views of A Basin Ski area naked.
Looking back up the steeper section on the initial descent off of Grizzly.
The stroll to Loveland Pass.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
09/17/2022 21:55
I'm always amazed when I see the numbers for this route that it's *only* that much mileage and vert - seems like it would be a lot more...

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