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[TR] Alpine Lakes - NBC - Colchuck Peak 01/28/2019

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Trip: Alpine Lakes - NBC - Colchuck Peak

Trip Date: 01/28/2019

Trip Report:


Returned to Colchuck region for seconds on the NBC today.


Awesome skinning to trailhead, up to lake. Bit slick in places on lower trail but better than breaking trail. Encountered group who tackled Triple Couloir, do not recall if they were successful but kudos for attempt if not. Cruised up to lake in around 3.2 hours from gate, smooth moving.

Lake crossing was solid this time, was just a wimp about it the first time. 

Route: Encountered similar problems from my 12.1.19 attempt - loose snow that cannot hold a tool for anything. So bad, in fact plunging anything into snow will still be removed on a moderate-strong pull - does not make up for bomber steps IMO. Realized this sooner this time and bailed within first 20m of the route from top of the small bowl (looker's right). 

Ski down in the bowl was good although cornices on right to skiers' right and slight Wet Loose debris down low warranted me to push wide right. 

IMO - worth it to ski out, can do it in around 3 transitions if you time it correctly. Last, the road it is super fast, this was the only time when I opted to wear my helmet and often pizza-ing as chunky snow surrounding ice-rink middle of the road makes for bad falls. 

All in all, awesome day to be out but discontent with another failed summit. 



Update: Word from friend who attempted Chair Peak recently if not today, experienced similar conditions of loose snow not complimentary to tools.

Gear Notes:
Two tools, crampons

Approach Notes:
Fast and easy - 70min to trailhead

Edited by Noveric
added chair peak update

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12 hours ago, Wildearth said:

We had to switch to snow shoes as the trail was too narrow for our skis.

Whoah.  Belt and suspenders!

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5 hours ago, aikidjoe said:

Nice effort. Did you get any photos on the north faces on Dtail and Colchuck? Thanks!

 Heres some photos. Was in the party attempting trip c's. Very thin ice in runnels and bypass, not really a huge shocker this time of year I suppose. The snow coverage for this area seemed less than previous years around the same time also. Wanted to see if the bypass or variation via the NW face would go this time of year at a moderate difficulty. Ice down low was good and the snow was mostly firm enough to be securely climbed. Some really interesting mixed steps to get to the NW face were encountered. I'll probably be back in the spring but most of the point of this trip was to try and sneak it in before everyone and there mom climbs it.



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