W Peak of Fletcher (13800): East Face and South Face, and Fletcher, main summit (13951).

Fletcher, just W of Quandary, is a popular ski ascent, but when Jonathan Kriegel and I went for it on May 25, 2005, we found that the snow on the final face was not continuous. So instead we went for a prominent snow peak (13800') on the W Ridge, about halfway between Fletcher and Drift. This offered a fine ski descent, and the subsequent drop to the Quandary-Fletcher valley was also very good. This tour provided super views of the peaks surrounding the Monte Cristo valley, and also of Pacific, Atlantic, and Mayflower Gulch.

The next photo shows Jonathan skinning up to the top. The background is remarkable, as it shows Democrat in the rear, the double summit of Clinton at right, Wheeler in front of Democrat, and an unnamed summit with a great face infront of and right of Wheeler. The lower picture shows our approach to the nice snow face; the main peak of Fletcher is to our right. The best line of approach used the right-hand ridge, which towers over Mayflower Gulch on the other side.

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And here is a shot taken on June 1, 2005, when I went into the Monte Cristo drainage solo. Drift is on far left, "W Fletcher" on far right. The slope Jonathan and I skied is the farthest face to the right. But note that continuing over the top of W Fletcher brings one to a nice south facing line down into the valley. Next time!

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Here is a view of Fletcher's face on a day (May 25, 2007) when Elke Dratch and I ran into strong winds and poor post-storm snow conditions at the high elevations. We just skied to the Fletcher-West Fletcher saddle. The descent in the Fletcher-Quandary valley was fine.

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On June 4, 2009, Elke Dratch, Jonathan Kriegel, and I headed up here on a beautiful morning thinking we'd try Jews for Jesus, but there were lots of avalanches in the slopes of the valley. So we continued upvalley and climbed and skied the face that descends just west of West Fletcher. Could call this "Virgin Mary" since it is the source of Cristo. We returend by crossing under Fletcher so as to make a loop in the opposite direction to the way I have usually done this. Some pictures: First a view of the head of the valley: the face we skied goes to the prominent saddle at right (just west of a peak I call West Fletcher. Drift is on the left.

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The view to the south: Jews for Jesus is the peak and face in the foreground. Democrat and Clinton are prominent behind.

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Elke skis the surprisingly firm surface. Elbert in the rear.

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On May 28, 2013, I finally got to Fletcher’s summit with skis, accompanied by Elke and Starr Jamison. Ski crampons were useful on ascent. For the descent, the rock band got in the way so we avoided it. Back below the face we did a second lap up to W Fletcher, which provided perfect corn. And the descent in the lower valley near Quandary was superb.


Here is the first view of the summit as we rounded the reservoir. The prominent gully was a great way to end the day. On the climb we went around well to the W of this valley.

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Here is the face. To climb we went well left and then back right to finish on the W ridge of the peak. On descent we stayed far to skier’s right. The bump on left is W Fletcher, which had much better snow.

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Elke on the descent of W Fletcher.

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Starr on the descent into the Quandary-Fletcher valley. The W Ridge of Quandary forms the background.

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