I drove up to Guanella Pass today (5-14-04) to look for some snow slopes to try my axe and crampons out on. My boots have finally broken in and they were quite comfy. I saw snow up on the subpeak of Squaretop to the west. Before I knew it I was really close to the summit of the little 12739 bump. It's an easy hike. Lots of snow up there, but lots of exposed rock to walk on.
The snow packs I walked on consisted of what looked like six inches of powdery snow with sun crust on top of hard snow in increasing density as you go down. The layers seemed to be reasonably well consolidated, but I'm no expert so take that with a grain of salt. I saw no evidence of recent slides. Bierstadt and Sawtooth were absolutely majestic in the distance. I summited my ridge at 12:30 and got off before a snow shower came in from the northwest. While I was up there I completely forgot about the balogna down on Earth. On the way home some guy jumped in front of the truck at a crosswalk and I nearly ran him over. So why did I come home again?