Peak:  Pacific Peak (13er)
 Route:  West Ridge, Atlantic West Ridge descent
 Range:  Tenmile
 Posted By:  Voodoo302
 Date of Info:  03/06/2011
 Date Posted:  03/08/2011

Pacific Peak's West Ridge is in great shape for a winter ascent; varying degrees of snow and minimal ice. We generally stayed on the south side of the ridge proper and encountered very little deep snow or large snowy areas.

The saddles between Pacific and Atlantic, and Atlantic and Fletcher Peak are both relatively clear of snow.

The descent via Atlantic's West Ridge was much less appealing. Approximately 1/3-1/2 of the way down we were stopped by 6-10ft thick, visibly layered, wind-loaded slabs on the ridge (sorry no pictures, my camera's battery had succumbed to the cold). This ridge is just waiting to slide, I strongly advise against travelling Atlantic's West Ridge until conditions improve.

Because of dangerous conditions on the ridge, we descended into the Atlantic/Fletcher cirque via the (relatively) safest path we could find and met up with our approach path down Mayflower Gulch. Due to this changed descent we were unable to return to the shoulder at the base of Atlantic where we stashed our hiking poles on the approach, if anyone is planning on going that way I posted in the lost and found section here:

Pacific is in really good shape for a winter climb but just plan for a safe descent accordingly.

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