Fletcher Mountain  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-20, By: psa954hiker
Info: Dry conditions all the way to the summit. Some old snowfields in the steep sections that are easily avoided. Winds not too strong. Followed a large mountain goat down the upper basin. 
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Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-27, By: dhagan
Info: The trail that branches right off the initial lake trail comes very quickly in probably 50-100 yards. I missed it on the way in and ended up scrambling up the hillside to rejoin the ascending trail along the south of Quandary. There was No cairn marking the right branching trail as suggested in the 14ers.com Fletcher Mountain Southeast Ridge report. On the way out, I built up a reasonable sized cairn to help mark the turnoff. Otherwise, route dry. There are permanent snow fields in the rust-colored gully and the upper large rock slab section. These presented no problems and are easily bypassed as needed. 
 
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-19, By: tcphoto87
Info: Perfect conditions. Didn't touch snow until the upper basin above the gully (the snowy area in the 2nd photo) On the way up I followed a good looking trail with cairns that branched off to the left before the gully thinking that was it but then it turned and not sure where it went so i had to rock hop over to get to the area above the gully. It was pretty easy to avoid the snow up there except for a few steps here and there if you follow the rockiest looking path. The summit ridge only had snow up near the summit, had to stay a little low from the ridge itself cause the ridge looked like it cliffed out. Then there were a couple snowy sections on the top of the ridge, I had to stay right of the snow up to the top. Started around 7:20, summited at 9:30 and was back to my car around 10:45, taking my time for the most part. 
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Route: Fletcher+Drift Traverse
Posted On: 2020-07-20, By: craftymatt
Info: Snow is 99% avoidable, even gaining the Quandary-Fletcher saddle. The traverse over to Drift was completely dry. 
 
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-06, By: semitrueskerm
Info: Pics show snow situation. Crossed about six snowfields. Microspikes, but no crampons necessary. I love that a peak is named after Irwin M. Fletcher. Left at 6:30 AM and strolled up and down in about 4.5 hours. There were six snowfields I had to cross, but the snow is melting quickly. Harder snow in the early AM, and then slushy by 10ish. Microspikes were needed, but if I had brought my crampons, I'd have used them. Much more snow than I expected, so hopefully the pics help. Perfect weather. 10 out of 10. I enjoyed the snow "knife" edge near the top, and was careful not to be climbing on the corniced side. Enjoy! Great 13er! (Skipped Drift) 
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Route: Fletcher+Drift Traverse
Posted On: 2020-06-30, By: FoxintheForest
Info: Headed up Fletcher to Drift via Blue Lakes. Still plenty of snow on the approach (mostly the steep bits) and got away with an ax and spikes just fine. Certainly a few sections of snow along the ridge/face up Fletcher. Tractions is pretty necessary to reach the peak, but no need for crampons. Once you're on the ridge, it's snow-free. The snow was solid early in the morning, but by mid-morning it was slushy and punchy at times (although not as bad as it could be, we only truly post-holed a couple of times). We went looking for the class 5 section in the reverse direction of Roach's guide. I had done the Drift traverse before and really wasn't looking to repeat the chossy slog, esp. with gear on our backs. We couldn't find anything that looked inspiring and the rap into the notch had verglas/ice/snow and was quite wet. It just doesn't get much sun and hasn't thawed out yet. However, the standard traverse to Drift is snow-free. Just the usual loose Tenmile rock pile. Descended the saddle between Drift/Fletcher. A good amount snow and a little steep for microspikes on slippery snow, but doable if you know how to walk on snow and take your time. As far as we could tell the W ridge of Quandary also looked snow-free minus the approach to the saddle. 
 
Route: Fletchers NW Face - Drifts East Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-19, By: mountainman102
Info: Climbed Fletcher and "Drift" from Mayflower Gulch TH on a loop route. Road was dry all the way to 4WD parking lot, but we parked at lower lot anyway. Climbed Fletcher's Northwest Face which had snow part of the way up (used crampons and an axe: Photo 2), but the snow got thin near the top and we transitioned to rock. There was a skier climbing below us so I am guessing that person skied part of the face. Summited Fletcher (Photo 3 is looking in the direction of "Drift"), went back to the Fletcher-"Drift" saddle, glissaded to the "Drift"-Point 13,515 saddle, then crossed mixed snow and rock to just below (Southeast) of "Drift's" summit. I knew the East Couloir was below us and further West, but we went up the couloir in front of us as it looked reasonable (Photo 4). Used crampons and axes again as we ascended the couloir above us (did some mixed climbing to exit the Couloir to avoid the cornice - Class 3 and a few 4/4+ moves: Photo 5 looks down what we ascended). At top of "Drift", we met some split-boarders who ascended the actual East Couloir route from Blue Lake TH so I am guessing you can still ski it. Descended the top of "Drift's" Villa Ridge Route which only had sections of snow and glissaded "Drift's" Northwest bowl which was still full of snow (Photo 7). I measured 7.85 miles and 3,645 feet of gain. Was a great loop route, but I would go all the way to the East Couloir route when traversing, everything before it is more difficult. The standard traverse on this website looked a bit nasty in these conditions. 
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Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-11-02, By: dwoodward13
Info: At least 7 people in the basin today. There is a good track up to the Quandary West Ridge turnoff now. No flotation needed currently in the basin. Route from the saddle up to the summit is straightforward and has a good track in now. Large sections of snow that were supportive. Minimal wind today, so track should be in good shape. We did not use any traction or flotation. 
 
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-23, By: supranihilest
Info: I only descended the Southeast Ridge, having ascended the Southwest Ridge after doing "Drift". The Southwest Ridge had a little bit of a trail on it but it wasn't necessary. From the saddle it's only a couple hundred vert and a few tenths of a mile on Class 2 terrain, most of which is fairly solid. Descending the Southeast Ridge towards Quandary (I climbed Quandary's West Ridge next) was steep but mostly didn't move much. That said, be careful as a large block shifting unexpectedly could hurt you pretty badly. Take your time descending the face/ridge and you'll be back on flat ground soon enough. 
 
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-08, By: Tornadoman
Info: Summer conditions. A couple steps on snow can be avoided by a small jump. 
 
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-17, By: Danger_D
Info: Pretty much summer conditions. There is only a stretch of about 100 feet of snow, but its mildly steep (see pic 1). I didn't have traction (only poles) and I was fine in the afternoon. If you go early it might be a little slick. The trail on the route is pretty hard to follow, but the route finding is easy and it was no problem finding my way. One note is that you are supposed to turn uphill quickly after leaving the dam/trailhead, probably around 30-40 years after the dam (see pic 2). I kept on going near the water and ended up having to do a terrible uphill climb up a scree to get back to the trail. 
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Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-21, By: ma1919
Info: This route is not safe without an axe right now, and I would recommend traction as well, specifically for the headwall section between 12,800 and 13,200. Microspikes are probably fine if you start from the trailhead after sunrise, but crampons might be necessary early in the day given how firm the snow was this morning. That being said, I did without traction (unintentionally, since I accidentally left my microspikes in the car) thanks to a good bootpack that was already in place from earlier climbers. In my opinion, this route is very dangerous without an axe right now. Another hiker today who wasn't carrying one was unable to arrest his slide on the headwall section and ended up in the rocks (fortunately appeared ok). There is virtually no safe runout anywhere, and any unarrested fall probably would put you straight into rocks no matter where it is. In some places, there was still a fairly hard layer of snow only an inch or two deep even in late morning, which meant that you could gain speed on a slide fairly quickly. As other reports mention, the snow on the rest of the route is low-consequence or easily avoidable. Postholing is annoying but generally only lasts for a step or two as long as you stay away from bare rock. 
 
Route: Fletcher+Drift Traverse
Posted On: 2019-07-21, By: CreekRunner
Info: Only minimal snow on the route, and the snow that is there is either avoidable or stable for now 
 
Route: Fletcher+Drift Traverse
Posted On: 2019-07-21, By: Flyingfish
Info: Trail is very snowy from 12,400' to 13,200' an ice axe would make both the climb and decent easier and safer. Micro spikes were okay but crampons are probably better. Also, since the snow if east facing try and hit it very early on decent. We were descending at 9am and were still postholling in places. The traverse to drift is essentially dry with one annoying patch of snow just after the notch but it can be avoided and will probably be melted out by next week. 
 
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-21, By: Tim A
Info: Tried Fletcher yesterday. 47 degrees at the gate at 530am. Made it to the mine and called it a day, lots of postholing. Returned this morning at 4am. It rained most of yesterday in summit county and cleared up after dark and really cooled things off so the snow was much better. 35 degrees at the gate at 345. I took a snow detour from the route on this site and followed trail segments and a bootpack across snowfields to nearly the western end of the reservoir. There's an obvious gully that dumps out over there and it has continuous snow to the mining ruins up at 12,300. From there, some dry trail segments visible but stayed on snow to the upper basin and up the ‘rust-colored gully' which is still buried in snow. I opted to avoid the ridge direct and stayed about 5' below the ridge crest on the summit pyramid. Very nasty wind today as the front drifts in, had several instances of dropping to the snow on both knees and clinging to the axe waiting for a gust to subside. Summit at 8, up to that point snow was fairly pleasant styrafoam. Descended the west ridge towards drift, and by 830 I was postholing to my hips trying to downclimb the summit block. It's rotten bottomless facets under a really thin crust. Once back in the basin, postholed occasionally all the way back to the lake, where I realized I left my trekking poles back up at the bottom of the rust gully. Reascended to there from 10-11am and snow was punchy but not terrible for postholing. By then it was much colder than earlier that morning as the front moved in, and it graupeled consistently during my (second) descent of the day.m Pic1: the reservoir by moonlight Pic2: first gully Pic3: coverage near the top of first gully Pic4: coverage between the mining ruins and the ridge Pic5: Fletcher's SE ridge and south face Pic6: the summit pyramid Pic7: the traverse to drift (didnt investigate conditions, the wind was absolutely energy-sapping) 
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Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-04-25, By: angry
Info: Parked at winter closure, approximately 1.8 miles below TH. Brought snowshoes, but never wore them. Avy slides visible along standard route. Used crampons/axe to gain ridge on climbers left. Small roller balls from 500ft to summit. Poor visibility and unconsolidated snow. The forecast called for sunshine, but we never saw it above 13K. Be mindful of the cornice and warm spring temps. Pic 1 & 2 are gaining summit, last 3 are the descent. 
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Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-04-05, By: Scary_Canary
Info: Absolutely gorgeous day out. Sunny and a little breezy. Dead calm on the summit. Started at the winter closure, and hiked up the road. Quick and easy walk to the dam. Didnt really need snowshoes on the walk up, but you will definitely want them on the walk back down the road, it was a sloppy slushy mess after the sun got to it. That was the only time I needed mine the whole day. Once I got to to the upper blue lake I donned my crampons and axe, and I would recommend you carry them too. Spikes would have been useless for me, in the morning most of the snow was pretty hard, and once the sun came up they wouldve just balled with snow. Going up I took a variation of the summer route and climbed up the ridge to climbers left. It was a bit of a thigh burner, but a fun little snow climb. Saw no signs of instability anywhere! There are some cornices once on the plateau, but very easily avoidable. Once on the final summit push, I stayed pretty far to the left from the ridge. There were some big cornices and a bit of exposure. The last 300 ft or so was kind of sketchy, do NOT walk on the ridge proper. It gave me pause for a second. The actual summit doesnt come into view until you are almost on it, its hard to tell where you're at, and you could trigger a huge cornice break if you are too close to the ridge. But the summit is nice and rocky, with some bare spots too; as well offers some seriously incredible views. The weather was so nice on the summit I stayed up there the better part of an hour. Saw about a dozen people near the summit of quandry. I think someone was on drift possibly too? This was a seriously fun and rewarding hike. I have been wanting to do this one for months, and conditions were finally perfect! Thank you spring. 
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Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-02-25, By: druid2112
Info: Plenty of snow, and plenty of loading. Stepped through two sections of avy debris below the dam. Plenty of snow from there on, some patches scoured, others nearly-wallowable. The headwall(s) in the upper gully were pretty loaded. Snow aside, the temps and wind on this particular day made any summit attempt out of the question (for me, anyway) 
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Route: Fletcher+Drift Traverse
Posted On: 2018-09-10, By: Dan_Suitor
Info: The route over Fletcher was free of snow. The traverse was as well, until you switch over to the North side. Here, snow is pretty much everywhere the sun was not. It was anywhere from a dusting, to a few inches deep. This made for some extremely sketchy areas, especially the upper part of the class 3 section. The light colored rock was super slick, and the foot/hand holds had slick snow and mud in it. In reality, I should have turned around here but risked it and made it up. It made for some tense moments as my feet kept slipping because of the mud. The return trip was equally as scary, but that's a different story. Hopefully the snow will melt with the warmer weather, but the north side of the traverse does not look like it will be getting any more sun for the season. So my guess is that it might be there for the duration. 
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Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2018-08-07, By: BoulderBarb
Info: Gully still holding snow but can be bypassed by going up the left side. 

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