Peak(s):  Quandary Peak  -  14,265 feet
Atlantic Pk  -  13,841 feet
Fletcher Mtn  -  13,951 feet
Date Posted:  06/19/2011
Modified:  05/14/2012
Date Climbed:   06/18/2011
Author:  doumall
 Tenmile Trio   

Finally got to go play in the mountains again. I have been on skins maybe 10 times this year? Too much traveling for work and a torn MCL have kept me on the sidelines. Particularly frustrating was missing out on skiing the North Face of Capitol a few weeks back. Man, I have been thinking about that line for 2 years, the invite came and Jordan even waited to do it on a weekend! Oh well, stoked he got that done.

Saturday I blew off some steam in McCullough Gulch. The trailhead is accessible with low clearance 2WD. The approach is very soggy. A mild freeze didn't help. The snow flying up high did though, giving me time to stretch out a few different lines this day.

Fletcher was first. I intended to climb the East Face direct but with low-vis just punched steps upward and found myself in a nice couloir which meets the SE ridge a hundred feet below the summit.

Good Climbing on Fletcher

Steep snow through here. The finish was great fun, here it is. You can see my boot tracks. No angle modification. An interesting ski entrance on the trip back down.

Top out on Couloir

The summit ridgeline held snow which reminded me of a day of resort skiing on Mt Bachelor this spring.

Summit Ridgeline

I couldn't quite make out the exit of the East Face direct from the snowcapped summit. It looked like it didn't go through so I headed back down my ascent route. It turns out it barely did go through, maybe one ski length wide for 20 feet. The descent I got was great though, full value steepness up top and powder through the middle and bottom. Next I headed over to Atlantic via Atlantis Couloir.

Looking at Atlantic and Atlantis

Neat Area

Climbing Atlantis

I was astonished by all the snow on the summit ridgeline of Atlantic. Neat to see what everyone has been talking about all year. The summit cairn was actually well below and 150 feet west of the highest summit snow.

Summit of Atlantic

I was ready to pop! Four to six inches of dry fresh coated the upper slopes of my ski descent. These turns were worth every step. After a dozen fast pow turns, I came over a roll into the Y couloir. Great conditions. Smooth snow, fresh pow. June... thank you Colorado.

Atlantic East Face Y Coulior

Next was what I really came out this day to ski. The North Face direct on Quandary. Why is it this doesn't get skied more often I wonder? More dangerous snow pack or harder access? Whatever it is, I think this is the primo line off this popular peak.

Booting Quandary North Face

The skiing began 30 feet below the summit cairn and the choke goes through.

Top of Line with Hikers on Summit

Best Line on Quandary?

North Direct Tracks

Always a good feeling when the plan comes together. I have Debbie's banana bread and my brother's tamarind candy to thank for getting me through all the booting this day.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice, Joe!
06/20/2011 14:25
Looks like a pretty big day. About time we got some fresh snow around here...


06/20/2011 20:10
Looks like a fun day.

Those are some fine lines aren't they?


06/21/2011 05:20
to see a TR from you man! I feel like it's been awhile. I was actually eyeing the north line on Quandary just the other day thinking, ”that looks like the best way to ski it”. Way to go getting the other two as well. Banana bread from the wife makes for an excellent trail snack doesn't it?


Thanks for the comments guys
06/21/2011 14:56
Hey Matt, ya hope that new snow smoothes out the Sawatch for this weekend.

Fritz, you picked a nice range for your book. There are a ton of really good lines in there all smashed next to each other with easy access. If only they were 1000-2000 vert longer, eh? Then we would be (even more) spoiled.

Ben, been a while is right. Kind of took a year off, voluntarily and not so voluntarily. You had a good year, nice push. Love the wife's banana bread. Mountain Power!


05/14/2012 18:48
Seems this couloir on the SE side of Atlantic may or may not be Atlantis. This couloir I climbed has a small tower/boulder in the middle near the bottom and chokes out a bit 3/4 way up. Good climb. Y is a better ski.


Always enjoy your reports, Joe
06/21/2011 18:52
What brought you out to Bachelor? I moved to Oregon last fall, so give me a shout if you are in the northwest and want to do some skiing.


Sup Derek
06/22/2011 14:01
Hey man, thanks for stopping by. I was out in Bend visiting some old friends. Brought the stuff to ski Hood but the weather stunk it up. Did get the closing day at Bachelor, which was a powder day! Nice mountain. Thanks for the ski offer, I will definitely hit you up to get some of that stuff in Oregon, looks fun (Hood and Jefferson, the sisters?). Will have to wait till next year though, MTBing the Colo trail in July and my training is behind. Where are you living?


Nice work!
06/22/2011 22:06
Looks like you got a pretty good workout that day. I'm really liking pic #2.

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