Fletcher Mountain (2)


Statistics

  • Date - 05/20/2012
  • Elevation - 13,951'
  • Route - East Couloir
  • Miles - 7.0
  • Elevation Gain - 3,000'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Jeff Kunkle

Description

Jeff wasn't going to be able to get out in a while, so when he sent out an email looking for a Sunday partner I made a withdrawal from the marriage bank and decided to join him.  He's been ticking off snow climbs in a guide book and thought the east face of Fletcher Mountain had a cool route on it that would only take half a day.  Since we were coming from different directions and had to drive separate, this route worked out well because we could use a car shuttle to avoid approximately five miles of road hiking.  We met at the Blue Lakes Trailhead at 5:00 on the south side of Quandary Peak and left his vehicle before driving around to the north side of the mountain to the McCullough Gulch Trailhead.

We started hiking up the basin at 5:10 and made good time up the trail to the base of the route.  I felt pretty good despite having a reasonably big day on Friday.  We geared up and Jeff led us up the east face couloir.  He opted for the steeper left branch which topped out only a hundred feet below the summit.  The couloir had generally moderate snow steepness until the final 30' where it steepened before the exit.  The climb and entire east face of Fletcher Mountain reminded us of the east face of James Peak with regard to how the couloirs split the mountainside.

We descended to the southeast and were back at the Blue Lakes Trailhead at 9:30.  Jeff pulled out a growler of Red Rocket Pale Ale from the Bristol Brewing Company.  We had a couple beers and talked to some Canadians, one of which was getting married the following day.  We watched two people climb the Cristo Couloir for a while.  Jeff drove me back to my vehicle at the McCullough Gulch Trailhead and we were both home by noon.

Photos

Fletcher MountainRouteApproachStarting up the couloir.JeffSnow ClimbKicking StepsJeff putting in the staircase for me.Topping OutJeff finishing the climb.Jeff and the top of the couloir.Jeff with Quandary Peak in the background.JamesJamesJamesJames after finishing the snow climb.Looking down the couloir.James making the final steps to the summit.Mount Lincoln, Mount Cameron, and Mount DemocratJeff on the summit.Summit PhotoThe real reason we climb.