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denalidevo

[TR] Dragontail Peak - Serpentine Arete 8/27/2015

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Trip: Dragontail Peak - Serpentine Arete

 

Date: 8/27/2015

 

Trip Report:

My friend Michael was practicing for his AMGA alpine exam and needed some "clients" so Nick & I signed up. Initially we were going to climb Mount Triumph in a two day push, but the widespread fires nixed that option. Instead we switched to a single day assault on Dragontail Peak.

 

I worked until 9:30pm Wednesday evening, packed at the last minute, getting to bed at 11pm and was up at 2:30am - ouch! I left Lynnwod at 3am, arriving at the trailhead at 5:30am. Nick pulled up at 5:45am. We discovered fellow guides Danny and Patrick were there too and planning on climbing the same route - small world.

 

Timeline:

Hiking at 6:05am

Climbing at 9:45am

Black Pillar 11:40am

At 2:11pm we'd reached a comfy ledge at 8,000 feet and took a short break

We mitigated much of the loose groveling by staying on the ridge proper at all times, we even avoided the 3rd class walk up to the summit by taking a direct 5.7(?) variation up the summit block - super fun!

Summited at 3:40pm in just under six hours, 10 minute break on top

Two rappels to ground - it wasn't necessary and might have been quicker (and safer?) to walk down the snowfield

6:55pm we were at the north end of Colchuck Lake where Nick & Horst took a dip

8:43pm we reached the trailhead in the dark, 14 hrs, 38 min car-to-car; Danny & Patrick arrived minutes later

 

View from Colchuck Lake

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_08-05-57.jpg

 

Approaching the base of Serpentine Arete

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_09-19-58.jpg

 

Danny & Patrick

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_09-33-02.jpg

 

Michael gets us started

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_09-47-01.jpg

 

Nick: I like being guided!

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_10-06-53.jpg

 

Colchuck from Serpentine Arete

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_11-23-26.jpg

 

Michael on the first 5.8 pitch

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_11-24-30.jpg

 

Lookout - guides everywhere!

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_12-25-04.jpg

 

Summit in sight

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_15-14-35.jpg

 

Michael leading our direct 5.7 variation to the summit

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_15-33-46.jpg

 

Summit goodness

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_15-45-42.jpg

 

Obligatory goat shot on Aasgard Pass

Dragontail-Serpentine_Arete_2015-08-27_at_17-54-50.jpg

 

Dragontail: Serpentine Arete photo albom on Flickr

 

Gear Notes:

Single rack to 3", AMGA guide leading everything.

 

Approach Notes:

No snow at base, didn't bring axe or 'pons.

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Great pictures! I'm curious about the rappels you made to complete your descent. Several weeks ago I climbed up the Backbone and ended up making the descent in the dark. We were expecting a heinous, snowy slide fest but we stumbled upon some rap anchors complete with a 70 meter rope. We pulled up the rope, it looks fine and we ended up rapping off it. Was it still there for your descent?

 

Does anyone know who might have left it or why?

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There was a rope there when we descended. We rapp'ed on our own line, pulled the other and hiked it out. Don't have a clue why it was there, but it looked like it had seen some weather. Wouldn't climb on it.

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