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#1056806 - 02/07/12 04:52 PM [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress FWA 2/3/2012
ColinB Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 297
TRs: 7 Photos: 79
Loc: Portland, OR
Trip: Dragontail - Northeast Buttress

Date: 2/3/2012

Trip Report:
On February 3rd and 4th, Nate Farr, Jens Holsten, and I climbed the Northeast Buttress on Dragontail. As far as we know, it hasn't been climbed in the winter before. We climbed 16 pitches total with some pitches being long simul-climbing blocks. I think it worked out to some 1200 m of climbing at something along the lines of M5 5.7 A0.

The first day we hiked in and started climbing at 2 pm. We climbed six pitches up, did the rap off the big tower and climbed one last pitch to get to a sweet bivy ledge. After some excavating, we tucked in for the night and woke up above the clouds. An airy pitch over the north face led to lots of rampy climbing. We found a few short vertical sections, but most of the climbing was moderate. We topped out around 4:30 pm and had an uneventful descent. Snowmobile approach/deproach was kickass and sure made it more fun to do in two days.


Sure beats walking in on the closed road.

Approaching the start.

Nate scratching up the 3rd pitch.

Home away from home.

Waking up above the clouds.

Myself leading off from the bivy.

Starting up the 9th pitch.

Jens working his way up some awkward climbing.

Moderate simul-climbing late in the day.

Jens enjoying the windy summit.

Gear Notes:
Doubles to #4. Extra instant coffee.

Approach Notes:
Two climbers on the sled at a time, not three... Walk across the lake. The right fork of the NE Couloir is the 1971 start.

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#1056810 - 02/07/12 05:17 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
wetslide Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 336
TRs: 4 Photos: 87
Loc: The Pain Cave
Baller. Congrats boys.

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#1056814 - 02/07/12 05:48 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
mountainmatt Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 1124
TRs: 26 Photos: 259
Loc: Bwoooston
Nice work! brew

I love the bivy ledge, hopefully you all didn't pack into that one tent smile
_________________________
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

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#1056816 - 02/07/12 05:56 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
cbcbd Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 418
TRs: 13 Photos: 259
Loc: seattle
Bad ass!

I really dig the bivy on this one.

So, who took the middle spoon?
_________________________
-Doug Seitz

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#1056823 - 02/07/12 06:33 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
rat Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 05/20/01
Posts: 570
TRs: 12 Photos: 11
very nice. hoping to see more tr's from those able to take advantage of the good weather.

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#1056829 - 02/07/12 07:12 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
ColinB Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 297
TRs: 7 Photos: 79
Loc: Portland, OR
Doug,

I'm too tall for a firstlight so I took the bivy sack outside. Three in a firstlight would not have been pretty...

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#1056841 - 02/07/12 07:52 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
Marko Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 12/09/00
Posts: 514
TRs: 4 Photos: 67
Loc: Ren. Ton.
Sweet climb lads. Did it a bunch of summers ago and remember thinking it'd be a great climb in winter.

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#1056861 - 02/07/12 09:31 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
el jefe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 753
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: pdx
nice work you guys. way to take advantage of the good weather!

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#1056899 - 02/08/12 08:46 AM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: el jefe]
Sol Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 1618
TRs: 29 Photos: 397
Loc: leavenworth
Great job guys!

Nice to see Jens get to utilize some sno-mo access, he's done that hike in from the icicle way too many times.

Up next...DOE?

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#1056901 - 02/08/12 08:49 AM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
stevetimetravlr Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/29/08
Posts: 1541
TRs: 2 Photos: 211
Loc: Washington
Superduper climb! Had to be more excitement then you mention?

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#1057152 - 02/09/12 12:56 PM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
montypiton Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 07/04/06
Posts: 607
TRs: 4 Photos: 0
Loc: central Washington
A sweet route, and undertraveled. Is the exit pitch any better when it's frozen?

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#1057547 - 02/12/12 09:49 AM Re: [TR] Dragontail - Northeast Buttress 2/3/2012 [Re: ColinB]
JensHolsten Offline
member

Registered: 12/17/03
Posts: 185
TRs: 2 Photos: 8
That exit pitch sucks! That's why I always avoid it by actually climbing to the NE summit of Dragontail via a solid and fun pitch of 5.7. Two raps get you off the back no problem. I've always wondered why people (I've done it too...)go this way. No high point, no feeling of a summit, and the worst climbing on the entire mountain to boot! If anyone ever wants beta on an awesome and satisfying way to finish any of the routes coming up that way let me know!

Thanks Colin and Nate for heading up on this one...so awesome to summit a cool route in winter. Of course, I got a proper beatdown a few days later with Dan Hilden up on Colchuck Peak. Ahhh, back to the realities of winter climbing.

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