Went up to Lambert lake, then onto Gunsight pass, up Square Top and over to Henry Mountain. Reversed it back.
Nice sunny october day.
Nice loop in the Fossil Creek Wilderness, took the Mill Lake trail then up Fossil and ran the ridge over Square Top to Henry, back over Square Top and down the ridge to Gunsight Pass which was fun - mostly class 2+ with some short class 3 parts. Then ascended Broncho's steep west slopes and down its South Ridge and dropped to the Lattis trail and back to the parking area. Great introduction to this cool area!
The Gold Creek Road was plowed to 1.3 miles before the campground so this was our starting point. The area is still covered in a ton of snow. We followed the approximate route the trail takes to Lamphier Lake. A heavy snowpack coupled with a new foot of snow up high made options for safely getting up to the ridge very limited. From the lake, we climbed south up a steep, windblown, horribly loose scree slope to gain Fossil Mountains's NE ridge. We followed the heavily corniced ridge over Fossil Mountain, Square Top Mountain and on to Henry Mountain. We then reversed the route to Fossil Mountain, continued on to Sheep Mountain, and descended its SE ridge directly back to the car. This was my 1st visit to the area and I really enjoyed it.
Terrific climb via the east ridge from
Gunsight Pass. The ridge is solid and surprisingly friendly, and I found it easiest to stay right on the crest almost all the way. Also climbed Broncho on the other side of Gunsight: recommended! Snow was virtually all gone south of the pass.
Erin and I climbed Square Top's east ridge as part of a nice day in the Fossil Ridge Wilderness. The east ridge looks really exciting when you first see it. Snow conditions dictated that we stayed on or near the ridge crest (we were at the height of wet slab season, and were concerned about climbing snow with a southeastern exposure) for our ascent and descent. Fortunately, we found that the scrambling was very straightforward and fun; the routefinding is minimal, in my opinion. We also climbed Henry Mountain and Broncho Mountain (Broncho requires some light scrambling near Gunsight Pass... a fun addition!) before returning to the Gold Creek Campground. A trip report is available here.