Peak:  Square Top Mountain A (13er)
 Route:  Southeast Ridge
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  daway8
 Date of Info:  12/22/2020
 Date Posted:  12/22/2020

In looking for a short, avy safe route to squeeze in, Square Top came up as an option. Had seen recent images from Bierstadt being pretty dry. Same was true across the valley for Square Top. Hard packed snow on road from winter Guanella lot but road totally bare from just below the parking areas. Put on snowshoes after dropping into the valley but only because I briefly lost the trail. Once back on trail didn't really need them but left them on until base of the climb up Square Top. From there to summit and back to the trailhead just had boots - no traction/flotation needed (minor postholing here and there). There was some minor avy activity at the first swithcback above the winter parking (in the area with the warning signs). Slopes just before the lake were slightly concerning but can be avoided. Based on the map I had concerns about the ascent up beyond the lakes but that area was blown largely dry so no danger yet. Will add multiple photos of the area.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1) Long slog on the ridge - mostly blown dry.#2) By the summit#3) Path to Argentine snowy on right, largely dry on left, some small cornices forming#4) Backside of Grays and Torreys#5) Looking back down on the path up Square Top#6) Looking back up the path up Square Top#7) Path in front of the lakes#8) Looking back at the largely blown dry ridge#9) Looking over at Bierstadt/Sawtooth#10) From this angle/distance Sawtooth traverse might possibly be doable, though view from other side would be more useful#11) surprised the road/lots were dry at the top#12) Some avy activity at the first switchback above the winter parking#13) this is the bypass of the avy area, not much traffic yet, time to get a path set in

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