Tim and Carrie Cooney as of 2017 have not climbed Drift Peak since it is a "soft-ranked" summit. It's one we hope to get to in the near future. The following account is provided by our son, Shaun, who climbed it in 2016 with one other companion. The following is his account of a traverse from Fletcher to Drift, staying on the ridge.
We climbed "Drift Peak" as part of a late afternoon climb with Fletcher Peak. If conditions are favorable and you're feeling up for an interesting ridge traverse, the combination of Fletcher Mountain and "Drift Peak" makes for a quick, half-day climb from the Monte Cristo/Blue Lakes Trailhead.
From the summit of Fletcher Mountain, follow the easy ridge down to the Fletcher/Drift saddle. Ascend the ridge crest over enjoyable class 2+ terrain to reach a prominent point on the ridge. Pick your line over or around this point, downclimb a bit, and regain the ridge crest. Continue along the ridge through a slight notch-like saddle and head toward the next (large) high point along the ridge. At this point, if you continue up to the next high point, you'll be headed toward the large notch & a 5th class downclimb/rappel. If you prefer to avoid the extremely exposed 5th class downclimb, follow Bill Middlebrook's route on 14ers.com and look for an outcropping of rust colored rock, which is the key to bypassing the notch and keeping the traverse at Class 3. Because Bill's route takes you on the north side of the ridge, you may find conditions less than favorable for traversing the recommended gully in early summer (or even fall, after fresh snows) as the gully will easily hold pockets of snow that may complicate the traverse. This was the case when we climbed the peak, so we opted to go straight through the notch, rather than attempt to descend, traverse, then re-ascend continuous 3rd class terrain with several inches of soft, fresh snow.
To approach the notch, locate a surprisingly strong climber's trail on the SE (left) side of the ridge crest. It makes a few small switchbacks while gaining the next high point. Scramble up to this point, then down a bit before being confronted with the obvious gash. If you stay right near the ridge crest, the downclimb offers excellent hand and foot holds, with the last several feet being the most difficult due to an elongated reach as you work your feet down to a small bench. If you are a confident climber, this short section (20' at most) can be downclimbed without protection, but the exposure is severe and the consequence of a fall could easily be fatal. If opting to set up a rappel, select your anchor carefully as many rocks on this section of ridge are not 100% secure. We were able to locate a good anchor that was just to the left of the start of the downclimb, but because the downclimb took a slightly diagonal line, it ended up being directly above when finished. Proceed down this section with care to a small bench, just above the last drop to the low point of the notch. Downclimb the last few feet into the notch. A rope is not needed here. A partner assist is adequate for anyone with a shorter reach. From the notch, breathe a sigh of relief, put away your climbing gear (except helmet), and begin clamoring up the ridge once more.
In dry conditions, there may be a possible 4th class bypass on the north (right) side of the ridge that bypasses the 5th class section by dropping you down a sloping crack just off the other side of the ridge from the rappel into the gully below, then follows a short, rubble-filled couloir up the opposite side back to the ridge crest. At the time we climbed this both sides were covered in several inches of fresh snow and recently formed drifts, so it was difficult to see if there might have been difficulties obscured under the powdery whiteness.
From the notch, the rest of the ridge goes quickly to the summit. Ascend to the south, true summit, contemplate whether your exhilarating traverse was worth the unranked status, then ponder your route down.
From the summit, we attempted to follow (in reverse) Gerry Roach's "East Couloir" route described in the Colorado Thirteeners book by descending down the ridge by what we thought was about 300 yards to the first, prominent (more or less) east-facing couloir that seemed to correspond to how the route was drawn on the topo map in his book. In hindsight, this is the WRONG couloir, and closer inspection of a full-size topo map indicated that we descended at least one couloir too early (it's nearly impossible to see the detail necessary to ascertain this using the reduced size map provided in the book with the route line drawn over the contours). To follow Roach's route, you'll want to descend the ridge past the first couloir you come to, over a small point, and then on to one of the next two couloirs you will come to. If you're feeling up for an interesting descent, we found our route went without exceeding 3rd class with an occasional 4th class move.
The route we took started out on the east shoulder of the 1st couloir you come to after leaving the summit to the south. As it became obvious that the couloir would cliff out and getting into it was no longer even an option, we began to slowly work to our left (east). Careful routefinding kept the difficulty minimal with only a few short sections of 3rd/4th class downclimbing. We generally stayed well away from the edge of the couloir, but followed it's general trajectory down into the basin and were able to aim for a small areas of interspersed tundra near the bottom of the small "ridge" we descended. Once afforded a view at the bottom, we concluded it would also likely be possible to take a descending traverse directly from the summit following an E/SE trajectory across what looks like a series of ramps. On the summit, there were indications that this route might have been taken by at least a few intrepid souls.
Once in the basin, we decided that with darkness approaching, it might make more sense to intersect the trail we'd ascended earlier in the afternoon rather than bushwhack through the terrain near the reservoir in low-light, and we would recommend this descent to other climbers as well. To intersect the trail used to access Quandary's west ridge and Fletcher's SE ridge, descend through the basin below, past a small lake on the NE side, and aim for the first band of continuous tundra you see which wraps around the large ridge to your left (east). Follow this tundra, descending slightly where the terrain leads you to do so. Your goal is to aim for the flat tundra area in the adjoining basin at about 12,300' where the topo map shows an old cabin (you would have passed this cabin if using the same trail to climb Fletcher earlier). The last portion as you round the nose of the protruding ridge may force you to lose a bit of elevation and possibly regain a bit back depending on the line you take, but no more than about 60'. Be careful not to drop too low, as you'll end up in cliffier terrain. Too high will force you up into rockier terrain. Once you've entered the inviting confines of the basin, cross the creek up near a patch of willows and regain the well-signed & easily identifiable trail. Follow this back down to the reservoir.
Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.