Peak(s):  Pacific Pk  -  13,950 feet
Date Posted:  08/15/2015
Date Climbed:   08/07/2015
Author:  Stone Climber
 Solitude on Pacific Peak - East Ridge  

Solitude on Pacific Peak - East Ridge

This was such an enjoyable trip compared to Mt. Antero the day before. I had Pacific Peak to myself for the day. Although I doubt many people take this route judging by the lack of trail.

Note:There are no signs for the "TH" its just a small dirt area with room for maybe 3 or 4 cars. Look across the way and find a patch of trees that are across from where you park. This will help you find your way back while above treeline.

I parked at the "TH" the night before and went to sleep. I almost didn't go for Pacific when the alarm went off and hit snooze a few times. I finally woke up and started around 6:00 am. I opted to just climb directly up the small 15ft cliff instead of looking for the line in between them. This was relatively easy and from there it was a short bushwhack through the aspens. I headed north choosing the path of least resistance, and found a short game trail. After a while I exited the trees near what appeared to be an old mining building. It was a log building that was partially collapsed and there was a dry runoff ditch that I used to get up the hill. I also planned on using this building as a landmark for my descent to know when to enter the trees. I continued ascending the hill north until I was above any trees I could see and then headed west. This helped me to avoid crossing the bushes and I did the same on my return. At this point I could see the start of the east ridge.

Image
First look at Pacific Peak below 13'000' where the ridge narrows


Sometime later after hiking up to 13,000' where the ridge narrows things began to get exciting. I had such a great time on this ridge. The rock was mostly stable except for the occasional rocks that would shift under your feet. Being that I was solo, I took my time across this ridge and had to downclimb a couple times to find a better route. I tried staying ridge proper for most of the ascent. There were a lot of options on the south side of the ridge when I didn't want to chance it. I was moving slowly so this ridge took me about 2 hours.

Image
Another shot of Pacific Peak (right) and Atlantic Peak (left)


At the beginning of the flat area I left the ridge and headed for the upper east ridge. This flat area has a lot of loose talus and its easier if you just stay on the ridge to end instead. That is how I descended and it was quite a bit easier.

Image
On the summit looking back at the rdige.


I didn't care to stay ridge proper on descent and utilized the rocks and ledges on the south side for a much faster option. I did gain and lose more elevation this way, but it was the easier route down. After taking the ridge down to the flat area below 13,000', I decided to stop for about 15 minutes and enjoy the scenery below. I got going again and made it off the ridge. I stayed north of the trees again as I headed east. I saw the general area I came from and went that way until I found the mine building. From here it was bushwhacking south until I hit the road. My truck wasn't too far away.

There wasn't much wildlife, just a few pikas but there were a ton of wildflowers and meadows without a trail. I didn't see anyone all day until I found the road and met a lady who was waiting for people at the lake. I didn't see anyone on Atlantic either. Solitude about 20 minutes drive from Breckenridge.



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