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 Peak(s):  Atlantic Pk  -  13,841 feet
 Post Date:  12/08/2008 Modified: 12/11/2008
 Date Climbed:   12/06/2008
 Posted By:  uwe

 Centennial - Peak 13,841 - West Ridge Route   

Monique, Greg, Nate, Dean, Uwe

Trip Date:

West Ridge
David Cooper – Colorado Snow Climbs
Gerry and Jennifer Roach – Colorado's Thirteeners
Both contained excellent descriptions of the route and potential conditions.

Trek Segments and Times:
Mayflower Gulch Trailhead, (10,980'), - 13,400' @ 4 hr 45 min
13,400' to TH - @ 3 hr 15 min
Pace – moderate to slow.

Socked in with clouds and soupy fog like conditions. Visibility less than 75 yards after 12,000'.
Some light snow showers. Temps in mid to upper 20's. Winds at our back, 5-8 mph. On the
ridge above 12,500', a little gust here and there. Mid-afternoon, some clearing and warmer
temps in the low 30's heading back to the TH.

Ground Conditions:
Trailhead to 12,500' – Jeep road, easy slog with snowshoes. Once off the jeep road,
bushwacked through willows and snow. Snow depth averaged calf to knee deep, with a
few hip wading spots up through 11,800'. Slow going. From 11,800' to 12,500', fairly scoured
and wind blown, so pretty much on rock and alpine ground cover, with snowpockets throughout.
12,500' – 13,400' – At 12,500', we dumped the snowshoes and pulled out our ice axes for our
ascent up the ridge. Gingerly climbed up hoarfrost covered rock. Postholed through semi-loose,
moderate to deep snow. Had to be careful and do a lot of poking with the ice axe to avoid small,
weak cornices scattered throughout the ridge. Blue bad, black good. Tended to stay on the right
side of the ridge most of the time. Coming down off the ridge – as tough as going up. Avalanche
conditions on the slope approaching the ridge – low.

Started at 08:30, and back at the TH by 16:30. Should have started around 05:30.
Add a couple of more hours, and you have a fair estimate of RT time for a moderate to slow pace.
Note: moving up the jeep trail, you can pick a number of places to cross once you have hiked
1 mile. We wound up a little high, say 300 yards from the designated turn, but it allowed
us to get our best view of the approach. We had a fairly steep hike through the trees and up
the slope towards the ridge. At 13:15, we were at 13,400'. Did a sanity check and called it due
to time and conditions.

Broke in a pair of MSR Denali Evo's and work the legs. Smiles all day long. Ended the day with
food and beer at Tommyknockers in Georgetown.

Photo Journal:


(L-R) Nate, Monique, Dean, Greg - We left the jeep trail here. We were up a little high. With
the visibility, it was tough to judge our turn-off.

Looking back W-NW. Where the treeline starts is about where we should have turned off the
jeep road. You can't see it, but Mayflower Hill is at the top right, (NW).

Approaching 12,400'. Moving up this gentle slope was a relief after some 1,000' or so of steep
snowshoe climbing.

At about 12,400', you will see a carin. Good time for a compass reading, especially if you can't
see anything past 75 yards. Down lower were some additional markers in the form of tall
wooden stakes.


Foggy, frosty cold and forlorn.

Hoarfrost crystals covered everything. Made for slick rock scrambling.


13,400' - our turnaround point.

Heading back.

Looking S-SW. As we descended, the weather began to improve.


Back on the jeep trail in time to enjoy some gorgeous weather.

Mayflower Hill.

A break in the clouds revealed some of the west ridge.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions (4)
Kevin Baker

Nice     2011-02-04 17:22:15
I‘m surprised at how much snow there was for you guys! I don‘t think I could have turned around that close to the summit after all that work! I really enjoyed that west ridge route. Looking forward to hitting a couple centennials soon with you as long as the weather cooperates.


Shiver me timbers     2010-11-30 10:28:45
Just two weekends till calendar winter, and the *official* start of the winter climbing season! It sure is nice to get a head start on weathering the cold, and the snow, and the wind, and – wow, those are some cute guys, Uwe! No wonder Monique's smiling so much. What was I talking about? Oh never mind. More pictures please. Nice… boys. Views. What?


Great Report     2008-12-10 17:01:18
Looks like you guys had a great day. So were you guys camping? You‘ve got some big packs there.


That is Funny About The Packs     2008-12-11 12:28:41
Those are all day packs weighing in around 20-25 lbs, containing everything one needs to build a house.

Susan - I will troll for more M and make sure they are colorfully geared to the hilt.

Kevin - always tough turning back, that is a for sure. Look forward to climbing with you as well

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