- Date Hiked: May 20, 2012
- Miles Hiked: 7.0
- Elevation Gain: 3,000'
- Hiking Partner(s): Jeff Kunkle
- 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 Dave Cooper's 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 5 miles of road hiking. We met at the Blue
Lakes Trailhead at 5:00 am 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 am and made good time up the
trail to the base of the route. I felt pretty good despite having
a reasonably big day for me 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 am. 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
and couldn't quite understand why they chose that route since it had
melted out significantly and was not a continuous snow climb. Jeff
drove me back to my vehicle at the McCullough Gulch Trailhead and we
were both home by noon.
to view a
map of the area where this hike is located.