Stats: From Federal Gulch CG; approx 6 miles, 3,500ft to summit elevation 11,027ft and 6hr round trip. Route; south slope/south ridge. 50 degree snow climb.
Gear notes: Ice ax and crampons.
Links: Summitpost. Idahosummits trip report. Idaho Alpine Zone trip report. Idaho: A Climbing Guide.
|A cold, clear morning.|
I was looking for a spring snow climb with some elevation and I found Jacqueline Peak. This can also be done without snow and is rated class 3. The route can be shortened by driving farther up the East Fork Road with a high clearance vehicle, or riding a mountain bike from Federal Gulch campground. I spent the night at the campground and got an alpine start to get the best snow conditions.
|Jacqueline Peak south slopes.|
It was totally dark when I left on foot and my timing worked out well. I reached the base of the peak just as the sun was coming up.
I had to stop for a while to get some pictures of this beautiful alpenglow. It did take some time to get the best pictures, but it was worth totally it.
The route is very straight forward and it gains elevation quickly.
|Looking down the south slopes.|
This would be a great ski descent.
|Looking up the south slope.|
Climbing on snow was cruiser. Instead of dealing with the talus, it was an easy uphill hike.
The upper part of the route I did was a mix of large talus, firm snow and a couple chutes that made for really fun climbing, both up and down.
I kept to the upper edge of the talus to avoid any cornices. Looking back on the ridge I could see that it was in fact corniced. I proceeded with caution below the snow.
|Looking down the ridge.|
|Near the summit.|
I would totally go back and do it as a class 3 climb. I bet the view would be better too since you could follow the spine of the ridge instead of being ten feet below it.
I got a great aerial view of Johnstone Peak.
|Near the summit.|
The ridge to the summit was funky with the cornices. I removed my crampons and stuck to the rock.
Whoa mama! Now that's a cornice!
|Grays Peak from the summit.|
There was enough of a snow cap/cornice on the top that I stopped at the edge of the rocks. GPS indicated my altitude was consistent with the summit elevation. I didn't find any markers or a register among the rock. I didn't dig or venture out onto the cornice.
|Looking SE at a sea of peaks.|
The summit was sunny and windless, but cold. I soaked in the views for a while before starting down.
|A few feet below the summit selfie.|
A few feet below the summit, I had to stop and take that all important summit shot that I forgot on top.
The south slopes are wide open and many lines are possible.
|Looking back up one of the chutes.|
The snow was now noticeably softer, so that meant I had to get moving.
|Red = ascent. Yellow = descent.|
|Walking back to the car.|
The day had heated up and I wished I had packed some sorts for the hike back to the car.