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 Peak(s):  Jacque Pk  -  13,205 feet
 Post Date:  07/25/2010
 Date Climbed:   07/22/2010
 Posted By:  kaiman

 Jacque Peak via Copper Creek   

Located east of Vail Pass near the Copper Mountain Ski Area and Fremont Pass, Jacque Peak (13,205 feet) sits stoically by itself, isolated from the rest of the Gore Range. Easy to climb, humble Jacque is often overlooked by hikers as they travel through the area en route to the Sawatch and Tenmile Ranges. What Jacque Peak lacks in size, however, it makes up for in views. The tallest peaks in 4 ranges can be seen from its summit.

Jacque Peak is a mountain for all ages and seasons. I first climbed it with my family at age 7 and it gave me one of my first introductions to mountain climbing. Since then I have gone on to summit many other peaks, but Jacque has remained a favorite to look at and reminisce about. Recently I decided it was time to climb it again, so I figured I would post information about the climb here for others to enjoy.

The shortest and easiest way to climb Jacque Peak is from the Copper Creek drainage which can be reached by taking I-70 to the Copper Mountain exit and driving 4.1 miles south on Highway 91 towards Fremont Pass. Just before the highway begins to ascend towards Fremont Pass, you will come to a large pull-off on the right hand side. This is the trailhead.

From here we followed a road towards the huge tailing ponds. After passing through a gate we continued about 200 yards south on the road past a series of small beaver ponds. Here we crossed a small ditch along the road and climbed up a slope into the trees.

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The gated road we hiked to get to the start of the Copper Creek drainage


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Another shot of the lower Copper Creek drainage. Our route ascended through the trees to the left of Copper Creek.


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The slope we ascended just to the south of the true Copper Creek drainage


This is not the actual Copper Creek drainage but a small slope just to the south of it. By ascending this slope we were able to bypass the steep and narrow lower portion of Copper Creek.

After hiking about a quarter of a mile through the trees up this slope, generally keeping to the right (but staying well above the creek), we began to see a faint use trail and pink and blue ribbons on the trees left by the Copper Mountain Ski Patrol and decided to follow them.

This proved to be a good idea and soon we emerged in upper Copper Creek near the base of the Blackjack lift. After crossing the creek on a log bridge (to reach the base of the first lift) we followed a dirt access road as it headed southwest across the ski slopes towards a second ski lift.

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Hiking through the trees into lower Copper Creek


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A ribbon marks the way through the trees


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Looking back on down the lower Copper Creek drainage (Highway 91 can be seen in the background)


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The bottom of the Blackjack lift with Peak 10/Crystal in the background


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Hiking across Copper's lower ski slopes towards the bottom of the Mountain Chief chairlift


Just before reaching the second lift (Mountain Chief), we left the road near an avalanche control tower and began to head southeast toward a boulder field and some willows. Following the path of least resistance, we zigzagged our way through the willows on a faint use trail (only having to bash our way through a couple of spots) and crossed several small springs and boggy areas to reach the upper part of the grassy basin below the northeast ridge of Jacque.

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Jacque Peak comes into view above the base of the Mountain Chief chairlift


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Our remaining route from where we left the ski area access road


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A faun pops its head up to look at us


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Skirting a section of the willows in upper Copper Creek


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A look back at our route up Copper Creek


From here we angled our way up the grassy slopes to reach the southern end of the ridge between the ski area and Jacque Peak.

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Crossing the upper slopes to reach Jacque Peak's summit ridge


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Copper Mountain's backside


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Reaching the summit ridge on Jacque Peak


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Peak 10, Crystal, Pacific, Atlantic, Fletcher, and Drift Peaks (left to right) rise above Tucker Mountain


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The Gore Range gets weather


Once on the ridge the route became rockier and steeper (but never exceeded Class 2 climbing) as we ascended somewhat loose talus.

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The ridge to the summit of Jacque Peak (as seen from the saddle)


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Elk graze in the upper Tucker Creek basin


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The final pitch to the summit of Jacque Peak


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A look back at Jacque's summit ridge


In about 20 minutes we had reached Jacque Peak's windy summit. After snapping some summit photos we quickly donned our jackets and retreated to Jacque's east side to get out of the wind and eat an early lunch before beginning our descent.

Some summit photos:

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West Partner, Grand Traverse, East Partner, and Red Peak in the Gore Range


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Mount Powell covered in clouds


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The Tenmile/Mosquito Range above the Climax mine


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Front Range peaks Grays and Torres to the north


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Fletcher and Drift peaks rise above Mayflower Gulch


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Pacific and Atlantic do their East Coast/West Coast thing


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The Tucker Creek drainage taken on our descent


All in all it was a great day on Jacque Peak. Despite the wind and a little rain on our descent, I was glad to visit this mountain again and bring back some memories.

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Jacque Peak taken from Shrine Pass Road later that day


Important Note: Authorities from the Climax Industrial Complex have recently put up barricades and no parking/private property signs all over this area to prevent trespassing on the mine property. To avoid being harrassed by officials, we chose to park in a smaller pull-out on the north side of Highway 91. While it is somewhat difficult to determine where the Forest Service/Copper Mountain Ski Area boundary begins, hikers should be careful to avoid crossing the private property in lower Copper Creek en route to Jacque's northeastern slopes.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (5)
iluv80sgirl


Great views!     2010-07-26 12:06:25
Thank you for the report Kaiman. I am glad to have some beta on it since I am interested in doing it sometime. What great views!


Matt


Second on the thanks     2011-01-18 20:38:48
Jacque Peak was one of those I put on my 2010 list, and this makes putting it off that much harder...
Thanks for a great, informational writeup addressing a peak with little online info (until now).
First, Crystal, etc., now this. You seem to have a gift for anticipating what I'm looking at this year.


kaiman

Thanks for the comments so far...     2010-07-26 12:43:55
@iluv80sgirl - Yes the views from Jacque are excellent. The only peaks we couldn't really see from the summit were those in the Sawatch Range because of heavy clouds/rain...

@del_sur - Thanks, I'm telepathetic like that
I hope you don't have to put off climbing Jacque Peak for too long, but on a positive note, at least it's not going anywhere...


Derek


Very nice     2010-07-26 13:33:26
This peak has caught my eye from ”across the road” multiple times, usually when I'm ascending something from Mayflower Gulch. Like del_sur stated, its nice to see some information on it, may need to add it to ”The List”.
Thanks for the report


13ers


Thanks for posting     2010-07-27 12:23:44
Snowboarded the North Face of this last season. Good memories.



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