For what it is worth, I found the stock geolanders just fine in the snow on my 2010 Forester XT.
Ditto for the Uniroyal Tiger Paws that replaced them.
More often than not, Wolf Creek Pass is hardpack/ice from the base of the pass to the Summit. More often than not, there is a flatlander/rental/CMV stuck on the upgrade just past the overlook hairpin on the West side, from where they slowed down to negotiate the hairpin and lacked momentum to carry themselves up the steeper portion just past the turn.
"Just fine" also includes the performance of these tires living in our house at 7500 feet that normally gets 100-150" of snow a year. Our driveway is 15' below the road, is quite steep, and the first winter in the house we did not have a snowblower. Our method of clearing the driveway was charging the drifts with the family Subarus (2005 Forester is my wife's car). The AWD and no season tires would keep the car moving forward in snow deep enough where the front bumper was acting as a plow.
Are snow tires better? Yep. But I wouldn't be "plowing" my driveway with a FWD car equipped with snows. AWD offers an enormous advantage as long as one drives with a brain (not exceeding the capability of your tires to stop the car/negotiate the turn).