#8 Pacific Peak – 13,950 ft.

Date: April 30, 2013
Team: Dav, Pete Gaston, Max Taam
Route: Fletcher to Atlantic to Pacific to Crystal

It’s best summed up by the Trimble map.

In short, we skied the east side of Fletcher Mountain, then traversed up and over towards Atlantic Peak. From Atlantic we descended north towards Pacific Peak, climbing to its summit and skiing the steep NE Couloir. From there, a fourth skin put us atop Crystal Peak, where we skied the East Face down towards Francie’s Cabin and down to the road where we caught a ride back to the car at McCullough Gulch, the start of our day.

Four Centennial 13ers in one push– this was a great day in the mountains.

fletcher mountain, ski 13ers

Looking down from the summit at the upper East Face of Fletcher. The line descends through the small couloir at center.

Max Taam, mount fletcher

Max Taam lower on Fletcher’s East Face.

pete gaston, max taam, ski 13ers, fletcher mountain

Max and Pete Gaston using their rando gear for something other than racing.

NE Couloir Pacific Peak, max taam, pacific peak

The NE Couloir on Pacific Peak. Max Taam skiing.

pete gaston, pacific peak

Pete Gaston lower down in the couloir on Pacific.

Pacific peak NE couloir

Pacific Peak and the NE Couloir.

Chris Davenport, ski 13ers, fletcher mountain

A closing POV shot from a GoPro skiing through the tight spot on Fletcher.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Date: April 6, 2013
Team: Christy, Ted
Route: Southeast Face

ski 13ers, atlantic pacific peak,

Skinning up to Pacific’s summit.

We started off the spring 2013 Centennial Skiing season with a trip to Atlantic and Pacific peaks. These two high 13ers, just south of Breckenridge, are part of the Tenmile Range and are easily seen from I-70 as it nears Copper Mountain. Access for peaks in this range is very good, with multiple trailheads and somewhat short approaches. And since these two peaks are connected by a high ridge, they’re a good pair to do together.

The map shows our approach to the two peaks. We opted to come in from the east, starting from the popular Quandary Peak trailhead and following the snow-covered road and the trail up McCullough Gulch. This part of the state is often windy, and as far as ski routes go, the wind-scoured west side of these mountains is often thin on snow and the east aspects can fill in nicely.

mccullough gulch

The approach up McCullough Gulch. Atlantic Peak and its couloirs can be seen out ahead. Pacific is a little farther, out of sight, to the right.

It was straightforward skinning up to a high bench between the Pacific and Atlantic, and then up the South Ridge of Pacific to the summit. About four inches of new snow the night before made for some pretty fun skiing down the Southeast Face. We made a short skin up over a little ridge and then continued skiing down towards Atlantic. The weather was in-and-out at this point (there was a small storm forecasted to arrive), and we often found ourselves in mini squalls and high winds.

ski 13ers, pacific peak

Christy skis the Southeast Face of Pacific. Atlantic is the big wind-scoured peak out to the right, and Quandary is the larger mountain to the left.

We’d recommend Pacific (& Atlantic) to others in the future. The access is really good here, the approach is reasonable in effort, and the terrain is fairly moderate for what ski mountaineering can involve. Give these peaks a visit.

Here are some more photos:

ski 13ers, atlantic pacific peak,

Off the top of Pacific.

ski 13ers, atlantic pacific peak,

Christy, heading down to the snow-covered “Pacific Tarn”, one of the highest lakes in Colorado.

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Stacking the turns off Pacific.

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Climbing up over the little ridge before skiing down towards Atlantic.

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