Peak 13698 Between Wheeler and Drift: Jews for Jesus

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I spotted this route while ascending Fletcher in late May, 2005. The line from the summit looks to be very high quality. This is an unnamed peak a mile or so NW of Wheeler. On June 1, 2005, I went into this valley again and was utterly confused as I had thought this peak was Wheeler. Wheeler too has some fine lines: the photo in the Wish List section shows its N Face. To clarify the situation look at the photo of Jonathan in the Fletcher group just above. I see now that the face above would be one that would be visible after one skis up the Monte Cristo valley quite a ways. After an hour or so it will still be hidden. In short, I think it is the first peak south along the ridge from Drift.

On June 5, 2005, Bob Portmann, Jonathan Kriegel, Jeanmarie Mendesh, and I climbed to the top of this beautiful unnamed peak with our skis. This was a stiff mountaineering ascent. Ice axes were essential, but somehow our group of 4 had only 3. There had been a big storm on the previous day, but the new snow held steps well. Our line of ascent was up the left side of the face, kicking steps to the flat ledge on the left shoulder. From there we could climb snow near rocks (not easy, but not too bad) to the summit. Skiing down such new snow in June is less than ideal, and only Bob skied from the very summit. The rest of us downclimbed to the prominent flat spot on the left, and then skied down. The face is not huge, but it is steep and beautiful, and we were pleased with our day of ski mountaineering. The only sad note was that, descending the valley, we found a pile of abandoned camping stuff (tent, propane tank, radio, sled, and lots more). A pretty disgusting pile.

As for the name for the ski route: This peak, with Drift, dominates the valley of Monte Cristo (Mountain of Christ). Given the Hebraic persuasion of half of our group, the name seems perfect. As for a name on the peak, Pharaon is a possibility, as that was the ship captained by the Count of Monte Cristo.

Here is a shot of Jeanmarie approaching the ridge after the steep climb of the face.

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