NE Couloir, Fletcher Mountain
Group: Greg Dumas and Cody Pipkin
July 22nd. Is it summer yet? A day off from work yields another chance to go and slide some snow. I call up Greg and Cody to join and we meet at Greg's house in Blue River at 6am. We pass by the hordes of people at the Quandary TH to find solitude further down the road at McCullough Gulch. We gather our gear and are on trail by 6:30. No matter what you are doing up McCullough Gulch it is sure to not disappoint as this area is just spectacular. Ahh the high alpine. We enjoy our surroundings as we pass by the base of Quandary and make our way up to the Fletcher-Pacific cirque.
We crested the last major bench and got our first good view of Fletcher and Atlantic. Looking great for July 22nd! We initially wanted to ski the Y couloir but after seeing how melted out the choke was we opted to head for the NE couloir which looked pretty prime. Atlantic still looked skiable as well.
Once we reached the base our our climb we transitioned into our boots and pon's, enjoyed a snack, and then started our way up the East face of Fletcher. The lake at the bottom of the face was still frozen for the most part and radiated with an awesome turquoise color.
Then we started to enter into the couloir. I hadn't really looked into any beta on the line so I was surprised to find that it was steeper than I had thought. The whole climb up I could not keep a smile off of my face.
And about 1hour and 20 minutes later we topped out on our line. We stashed our packs and made the quick scramble up to the almost 14er summit at 13,951ft. No wind, blue skies, and solitude. These are the summit days that we cherish (as we look at the mass of people on Quandary's summit).
While it seemed as if we could have stayed on the summit for hours, the snow was warming fast and it was time to go have some fun sliding some snow!
With over 1000ft of skiing in the end of July there is no way you can complain! As we made our way back to the truck we started to pass all the day hikers that had been flowing in throughout the day, all looking at us in awe. Yes, we are skiing in July. Welcome to the Colorado high country!!