Atlantic Peak GR:030632

elevation: 4,218 m.  height gain: 875 m.
area: Fremont Pass,Colorado,USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Copper Mountain,         CO 39106D2


Mayflower Gulch trailhead and Atlantic Peak on our attempt.
Snowshoe trip: RT 6.25; 3.5 up. After two weeks of climbing hard, I was getting tired. Tim was also feeling it, he had developed a really bad cold that he wasn't recovering from. We had previously tried Atlantic Peak, a centennial 13er, and had been turned away by strong wind and poor visibility; we figured we should get redemption before I head back home. This trip was also appropriately short given our physical state. We got a casual start following a delicious breakfast. The drive and approach was familiar, this time the sun was out and the snow was consolidated. We made good time onto ridge where we had turned around before. Although it was sunny, the wind was as strong as it was on our previous trip, if not stronger. As we proceeded ahead along the aesthetically pleasing snowy ridge, we had the wind in our back. We made our way towards the summit crossing a couple of groups; the Mayflower Gulch area is very popular with hikers and skiers mainly due to good access and close proximity to fabulous terrain. We carried on to the top with no hitch and enjoyed the view briefly before backtracking. On our way down, travel got tricky; the wind was now facing us and seemed to be increasing. Now I'm not new to strong wind, I've hiked in the Canadian Front Ranges where wind knocks you down on your knees and picks up shale rock right off the ground but here, it got a bit crazy. We braced ourselves relentlessly waiting for lulls that never came... it was clear we had to proceed in the given conditions. Hiking the narrow ridge on mixed terrain with snowshoes wasn't the easiest. To my biggest surprise, I actually got picked up right off the ground and slammed back down. Tim witnessed the whole thing; this was a first for me, I was really lucky not to have sustained an injury (like Alan Arnette just a few weeks previous). A bit shaken and in disbelief, I got back up to continue the descent. We joked I should start carrying extra weight in my pack! At treeline, the wind diminished and we resumed a casual descent to the trailhead. Despite redeeming ourselves and summiting this beautiful mountain, for me, this trip was bitter sweet; it was my last trip with my good friend Tim before heading back home...

leaving the trail

Leaving the trail behind and aiming for the ascent ridge, the weather is deteriorating faster than anticipated.

trenchin' the freshies

Trenchin' the freshies.

turn around point

This was our turn around point, we had no more visibility and had to battle strong wind.

atlantic take 2

Atlantic Peak take II.

nicer day

Nicer day and the snow is consolidated.

making our way to the ridge

Making our way to the ascent ridge on firm snow.

there's people ahead

There's some people ahead of us.

today we see the ridge

This was the turn around point on our attempt but today we can see the ridge clearly.

drift peak

Drift Peak south-west of us.

the ridge is esthetically pleasing

The snowy ridge is aesthetically pleasing.

pacific peak

Pacific Peak to the north.

pleasant ridge hike

Pleasant ridge hike but the wind is picking up!

gnarly traverse

Tim and I will attempt the difficult traverse from Drift Peak to Fletcher  Mountain to Atlantic and Pacific Peaks this summer, can't wait!

tim checks on me

Click, ya I'm coming!

wind's picking up

The wind is transporting the snow and making us plod like drunk hikers.
Picture courtesy of Tim Best.

at the top

At the top with Quandary Peak (left) and Mount Lincoln on the right with North Star Mountain in front of it.

north-eastern view

Pacific Peak, Crystal Peak (right center) and Father Dyer Peak (far right).

heading back

Heading back after a brief stay on the summit.

view south

Fletcher Mountain and Drift Peak to the south.

northern view

Northern view over the Atlantic-Pacific Bowl.

insane wind

The wind was hellacious by that time, we braced ourselves relentlessly.

picked off the ground

Wind so strong I got litterally picked off the ridge and slammed back down in the rocks....

wind shadow

Respite in a wind shadow.
Picture courtesy of Tim Best.

mountain bandit

Mountain babe, eh, I mean bandit!!
Picture courtesy of Tim Best.
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