Peak(s):  Atlantic Pk  -  13,841 feet
Pacific Pk  -  13,950 feet
Crystal Pk A  -  13,852 feet
Father Dyer Pk  -  13,615 feet
Date Posted:  06/27/2016
Modified:  06/28/2016
Date Climbed:   06/25/2016
Author:  michaelgrundy
Additional Members:   rohit
 No one on the coasts  



Mountain(s) : Atlantic Peak, Pacific Peak, Crystal Peak A, and Father Dyer
Time : 2hrs 10 min up to Atlantic, 40 min to Pacific, 1 hr to Crystal, 20 min to Father Dyer, 7hrs 51 minutes total
Party : Rohit and Michael

To kick off the 2016 summer season, Rohit and I wanted to get a few centennials under our belts. It has been 2 months since our last adventure (and almost a year since my last trip report), so we decided to give it a go and hike a few centennials. Today's objective was to climb up Atlantic Peak via the west ridge, traverse to Pacific, continue traversing to Crystal, and then decide if we wanted to go for extra credit. Turns out, we did, and so we added Father Dyer.

On Friday, Rohit and I left the Denver area and drove to Officers Gulch to catch some sleep before continuing on to the Mayflower Gulch Trail-head. I don't sleep very well at high elevation so I figured that Officers Gulch was close enough to the trail-head, but low enough in elevation to get some sleep. We pulled in around 8:30 and were laying down by 9 PM. Unfortunately, we were not able to get very much sleep and by 3:30, we decided to just get up and start our trip an hour earlier than planned. After a short drive, we were pulling in to the 4wd trail-head, and getting our gear ready for the hike.

At 4:45 am, we left the truck and started heading northeast through the tundra / willows. There was no trail to follow, so we had to bash our way through the mud and willows to reach the shoulder of the west ridge. Fortunately, we were able to get through this area without getting our feet too wet, despite thick willows and a running stream. Once past the willows, we ended up starting up the ridge a tad early and had some fun scrambling to get on the ridge proper.

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Sunrise from the West Ridge


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Selfie!


The west ridge is pretty self-explanatory and we never got off route. The only difficulty that we had to negotiate was a snowy knife edge that laid in our path. The knife edge wasn't very long, maybe 50 feet, and the snow was firm, so we were able to cross it without any problems.

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Snowy knife edge. (Photo by Rohit)


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Rohit on the knife edge.


The rest of the ridge was spent traversing along the slope below the ridge proper. There was a large snowfield that we didn't feel like dealing with, so we opted to cross underneath.

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Traversing under a snowfield.


We topped out on Atlantic Peak around 6:50 AM and had the summit to ourselves. From the summit, we could see people standing on top of nearby Quandary peak and we were glad that we were not part of the crowd!

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Rohit on top of Atlantic Peak. (Photo by Rohit)


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Me on top of Atlantic Peak.


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Quandary from the summit of Atlantic.


After we spent 20 - 30 minutes on the summit of Atlantic, we departed and started along the ridge to Pacific Peak.

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Heading over to Pacific Peak.


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Looking up the ridge toward Pacific Peak. (Photo by Rohit)


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Smile! (Photo by Rohit)


There wasn't a lot to say about the traverse and it went by quickly! We took our time and made it over to Pacific Peak in 40 minutes! Once on top, we were inspired to take a few photos dedicated to our friend Marc Strawser, who is currently on the mend after a serious car accident. Marc, whom we have hiked with on several occasions, used to hike shirtless, whenever he could. This picture is dedicated to him!

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This photo is for Marc!


We goofed around on the for another half hour or so and then departed for the journey to Crystal Peak.

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Ridge toward Crystal Peak.


The descent off of Pacific was steeper than I had imagined but it went by smoothly.

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Descending off of Pacific Peak. (Photo by Rohit)


After that, we had to climb up a pretty steep bump on the ridge. Still, progress was quick, and after climbing over the bump and continuing on to Crystal Peak, we were on the summit a mere hour after leaving Pacific Peak. At this point, we finally ran into another person (3 to be exact). We chatted for a bit and they were nice enough to snap a picture of us on our 3rd mountain of the day.

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Summit of Crystal Peak.


We decided that we were feeling good and ahead of schedule, so we continued on to Father Dyer.

The ridge connecting Father Dyer to Crystal is pretty easy and there is not a ton of elevation change. We were topping out on the 4th mountain of the day in 20 minutes! The views were great and the weather was cooperating!

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Ridge connecting Father Dyer to Crystal Peak.


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Summit of Father Dyer.


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Me on the summit of Father Dyer.


All that we had left to do was make it back to the truck. We began crossing the ridge and then decided to traverse the slope under Crystal Peak to try and save some elevation change.

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Traversing under Crystal Peak


Once we made it over to the saddle between Crystal Peak and Pacific Peak, we dropped down into the basin and started skirting along the side of Pacific Peak. Here we encountered a few snow fields that we had to cross (and post-hole) through.

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Scrambling through the basin below Pacific Peak.


Overall, it wasn't too bad, and with a little bit more climbing, we crossed over into the Mayflower Gulch area, and descended down towards the truck.

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Looking down Pacific Creek towards Mayflower Gulch.


This was a nice and mellow hike and it was good to get back out into the mountains with a good friend. The area was very pretty, there weren't any crowds,
the weather was awesome, and we were hiking again! Nothing like getting back into the swing of things!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
JasonKline
Nice Terrible Towel!
06/27/2016 19:31
Atlantic/Pacific is a nice hike. I look forward to doing Helen/Dyer/Crystal some day.



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