|Peak:||Atlantic Peak (13er)|
|Date of Info:||01/16/2021|
I'd consider it still "early" winter conditions. The road up to the gate by the mine cabins is hard packed, we walked it with just boots. Flotation is needed just beyond the cabins through the willows and up to the base of Atlantic's west ridge. We stashed our snowshoes there and continued up the ridge proper on very thin, windblown snow only partially covering the scree and grass underneath. We booted it up, although I threw on my microspikes and thought it helped a little.
The snow was a bit deeper along the narrower sections of the ridge higher up. No big cornices, but definitely a few wind slabs in some spots. We didn't need any flotation along the ridge. There was one slightly dicey section crossing angled, hard-packed snow, about 50 ft long, just below the "crux" of the route at 13,300' that is described in Bill's route description. Going up that section, I only used my spikes, but on the descent I put on my crampons and felt much more secure. We all had our ice axes and agreed an axe was helpful to have for that one section as well. A fall there off either side would probably require a self arrest. Too windy to spend much time on the summit. There really isn't anywhere up there right now to seek shelter.
Again, still not a ton of snow at this point, but definitely enough to warrant bringing all the necessary winter mountaineering tools for a few spots. Also had good views of Pacific and Fletcher, both of which looked quite bare on the west side. We didn't get a good view of the east side due to clouds.
Photos (click for slideshow):