Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jacqueline Peak. May 9, 2012.

Partners: N/A.

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: SummitpostIdahosummits trip reportIdaho Alpine Zone trip reportIdaho: 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.

Grays Peak.

The route is very straight forward and it gains elevation quickly.

Looking down the south slopes.

This would be a great ski descent.

Looking west.
There are many peaks in this area that can be reached from the East Fork Road.

Looking up the south slope.

Climbing on snow was cruiser. Instead of dealing with the talus, it was an easy uphill hike.

Looking down. 

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.

Summit ridge.

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.

Johnstone Peak.

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.

McIntyre Peak.

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.

Looking down.

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.

Long glissade.
For my descent, I went over to the more open slopes, east of the ridge. Down lower where the slopes were steep and had a clear run-out made for excellent seat glissading. Near the snowline was miserable post-hole hell into the brush.

Red = ascent. Yellow = descent.

There are many options for climbing this peak, including an approach from the north from Big Basin. A really neat option would be to traverse the ridge that connects to McIntyre Peak. That would get you two 11ers in one climb.

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.

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