Pacific Peak is a magnificent mountain at the southern end of the ten-mile range just south of Breckenridge. It soars up almost to 14,000 feet. The right side of the north face has two very interesting couloirs that offer up to 70 degree ice climbing and mixed terrain. The left side of the north face seems to have interesting possibilities as well.
From the summit, catch awesome views of Quandary and the Inwood Arete to the south. Descend down the ridge to the east. Reach a low point in the ridgeline and drop back into the valley from which the approach was made. See Rock and Ice number 85 as a reference.
From Breckenridge, drive south on U.S. Highway 9. Turn right or west on Spruce Creek Road. Go up this road for a good ways. Stick to Spruce Creek Road and avoid turning onto any of the roads that fork off of it. Your goal is the Mohawk Lakes trailhead. The road gradually gets rougher and may require a high clearance vehicle. Park as high as road conditions will allow. Walk up to the road to its end and pick up the trail to Lower and Upper Mohawk Lakes.
Hike uphill past interesting abandoned mining operations. The trail eventual takes you up into a splendid alpine meadow that has several lakes in it. The lakes seem to be easiest to turn on the south end, as there is lots of marshy land to the north of each lake. At the end of the fantastic meadow, you will bump into Pacific Peak. Allow two hours of uphill grunting to achieve the bottom of the face.
From the bottom of the north face, locate a couloir that bisects the face on the right hand side, and goes up to the west ridge. Climb this couloir. The best variation is to take the left hand split, about half way up, just past a large rock tower on the right. The left hand couloir necks down and gets a little bit steeper (65 to 70 degrees) before finishing just below the summit. Alternately, climb straight up the couloir to the west ridge and scramble up to the summit. Descend as for Paci...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
The N. Face couloir is in if you get there early (we left the 2wd TH at 4AM). Lower couloir faces east so gets sun early - it has slid so it has a solid bed surface for climbing. Cornices threaten this part. N-facing section is objectively safer with consistent, though still not Spring, snowpack.