Jasper Peak is not even named on the official USGS quadrangle, and yet this shapely mountain is quite prominent when viewed from the east side of the divide. It offers some of the most enjoyable spring hiking, skiing, or climbing in the area.
Starting from the Fourth of July trailhead, one follows first Arapahoe Pass trail to its intersection with Diamond Lake trail. Diamond Lake is on the other side of the valley, and is reached after a short ascent. It is a gentle uphill to Upper Diamond Lake through a nice quiet valley. Upper Diamond Lake carries ice into the early summer, and you can pick a route from there to the summit depending on your disposition from steep couloirs topped off by cornices to a steep snowslope followed by an easy finish to the summit.
There are nice views from the summit of other peaks in the area - Mt. Neva and Aparahoe Peaks to name a couple of the closest ones. You can descend through the same valley you came up, or, as I did, into a valley north of the east ridge. There is a plane wreck in the valley and an unnamed lake. You are likely to find some solitude there and the reason becomes clear after passing the lake. It is a steep hike downhill through a dense forest with no trail back to Diamond Lake Trail.
|Jasper Peak||Diamond Lake||South Arapahoe Peak||Jasper Peak from Upper Diamond Lake||Upper Diamond Lake||Mt. Neva|
|Myself on the summit||Upper Diamond Lake from above||East ridge||Spots||Clouds||Corniced ridge|
|Division||Crashed plane||Unnamed lake||Serenity||South Arapahoe Peak|