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 Peak(s):  Fletcher Mtn  -  13,951 feet
Wheeler Mtn  -  13,690 feet
"Drift Pk"  -  13,900 feet
 Post Date:  08/23/2011
 Date Climbed:   08/09/2011
 Posted By:  jesse

 Wheeler Mtn to Drift Fletcher traverse   

My friends all wanted to camp and climb Quandary. I didn't want to climb it a 6th time so I opted to camp with them and tag a couple of 13ers climb Quandary's west ridge and descend with them. Drift Pk was the planned first goal, however after the sun started to rise I began to race uphill. I climbed to the ridgeline and on my way up realized I was 2 peaks too far south.
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Quandary Sunrise

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Sunrise from 13000ish

I checked my map and quick changed plans to scramble the ridgeline and tag 3 13ers and a ranked point.
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Wheeler Mtn summit(s)

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From the Summit of Wheeler Pk

After a bit of westside downclimbing I was on the summit of Wheeler Mtn (I think) and had a new view of my goals for the day.
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Looking N towards Drift Peak and Fletcher Mtn

After a quick breakfast I was on my way back down to the saddle and interested in the unknown climbing ahead. My rock shoes, slings, 4 cams, and 30m rope in pack I figured there was a way to make it work solo. I never took any of them out all day.
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I gained the ridge here climbed Wheeler and started Traverseing

Caught up in sunrise I took this buttress as a invigorating start to the day a few hundred feet of solid rock up to the ridgeline, the snowfield was 100% solid ice and I just avoided it completely.
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class 4 buttress I climbed at sunrise

Talus below, bright sun warming me, it was time to climb, move and enjoy the am.
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Morning Tower

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Looking back to Wheeler Pk from the West side of the ridge

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Great sustained class 3 or 4 scrambling

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Bypass any class 5+ on the West side of the ridge

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Up and down what amazing rock

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Partway across the ridge

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The best way down this block was in the tight crack

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View of the scramble

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Drift and Fletcher about halfway there!

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A westside notch to avoid class 5

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More fun solid towers the rock below was loose talus

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The climb up to point (13630?)

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From pt 13630 looking at the final scramble up Drift Pks S ridge

After this high point the remaining scramble to Drift Pk was much easier and fully viewable.
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Great morning fun!

I’ve become very fond of long ridge scrambles, peak bagging along the way.
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From Drift Pk looking at the scramble to Wheeler Mtn

From the summit of Drift Pk there is a Notch to the north I had no interest in tangoing with, so I descended to the upper basin to traverse to Fletcher.
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Fletcher peak

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The Deep Notch just N of Drift Pk's summit

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The east side of the traverse from below

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Mmmmmm watermelon snow, hungry??

After a short talus hike I was on the 4th 13er of the day!
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Summit of Fletcher!!

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Great view of the entire ridge scramble!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Jon Frohlich



Hard to tell...     2011-08-23 20:12:34
But you may have been on the summit just to the north of the actual summit of Wheeler. The real summit has a small cairn and register. When we there in June we had a debate over which summit was right until we kept exploring south. That buttress must have been interesting! That gully next to it was our snow climb back in June. In your 3rd pic the actual summit is the farthest one south (far left).


jesse


Wheeler summit     2011-08-23 21:15:27
I added a picture from what I think is that further south summit (4th pic)



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