For safety reasons, it is best to stick to lower elevation trails once icy shoulder season conditions appear on higher summits. Ice traction devices, such as Microspikes, are helpful in these situations, but thin ice can still be dangerous, so exploring lower elevations is a great idea during this time.
If you decide to hike higher, please make sure to stick to bare rock surfaces and avoid stepping on alpine vegetation to get around icy spots. Alpine vegetation is sensitive to trampling year-round, but it is even more susceptible to damage during transitional seasons like fall and spring.
It’s okay to turn back
Sometimes conditions turn out differently than expected. Sometimes gear doesn’t work as well as planned. That is okay. If you find yourself in a situation where conditions have turned for the worse or you feel that someone could get injured, it is okay to turn back. As we like to say, the mountains aren’t going anywhere. Your safety comes first.