I almost lost it crossing Sugarloaf Crossing a couple of days before July 4 of 1983, a giant snow year. I was heading to Roaring River to meet up with the Roaring River Ranger and we were going to climb Brewer.
Anyhow that was about 20 years before I started using trekking poles. Luckily I did have an ice ax. About half way across the ford I started to lose it and pivited downstream and holding the head of the ax with both hands plunged the pointed end into the water to stabilize myself. I was still up to my elbows in water and gradually worked my way across the the stream. A few days later when I returned to Rowell Meadow (which was my ranger station) that year I kept on the s side of the Creek until Crowley Canyon and crossed the creek there then the outlet stream from Seville Lake. In my subsequent years I had a downed tree that I used about a half mile downstream from Sugarloaf Crossing when I had to Cross sugarloaf creek early in the season.
By the way markskor and I have a trip planned starting just before Memorial day weekend. We have a plan A, plan B, and a plan C. Plan A involves a 12,000 ft. pass, Plan B goes almost to 11,000 feet but in a s. facing basin, Plan C starts at 8000 ft. and goes down then up to about 7,500 feet. Which we choose will be a game day decision!
Personally, knowing the area well I would plan on doing Elizabeth Pass at that time but would give my self a couple more days given the uncertainty of the conditions.
Oh yeah in 83 to get to Rowell I hiked to Pear Lake then Cross country skied up over the tablelands and down to Crescent lake at the head of Crowley Canyon. Then did a miserable day of postholing through the forest between Crescent and Rowell Meadow. I didn't have to, just thought it would be fun. The Roaring River Ranger got flown in by Helicopter. They never flew me in at the beginning of the season when I was the RRR.