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kmfoerster

[TR] Dragontail Peak - Triple couloirs 03/31/2019

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Dragontail Peak - Triple couloirs

Trip Date: 03/31/2019

Trip Report:

 

 

 

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This last weekend a friend and I climbed TC's on Dragontail peak over two days. Ski'd in to and out of Colchuck Lake on the approach, continuous snow coverage on the road in the first day but on the way out on the second day there were several patches of bare road about 20-30' long. The trail was very firm, packed snow. got to the lake around 1pm the first day and just hung out as we were going to get an early start the next day. There was another group of two coming in about the same time we were to climb TC's as well. We got up at 2am the next day and did the morning routine and started to head up to the base of the route. The ice on the step up to the hidden couloir is in good shape and was very enjoyable. We made our way up to the base of the runnels in the dark and the first pitch had great coverage. Not super thick ice but enough to be secure climbing, couldn't put a screw in it or anything though. We ended up bailing off the runnels as the following options proved to be too thin for us. We then rapped down and opted for the runnels bypass, which was a mix of snice and sugar snow on slab requiring some excavating for dry tooling in spots.

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Rapped into just below the second couloir from there and climbed up the mixed chimney which I thought was really fun. Good sticks in thin ice and stemming.

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The pitch between the second and third couloir was in not great shape as it was sugar snow over slab. I chose to keep to climbers left as it offered more placements for dry tooling and protection. This turned out to be quite loose in places (very sorry to the party below us!) and steep. The third couloir was very straightforward with no complications.

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We either simul soloed or simul'ed the couloirs as they were very wind firmed dry snow and made for solid steps. The way back down through Asgard was pockets of loose dry over wind firmed snow. I was told by another friend who met us there on the second day (he was skiing) that the Colchuck Glacier was about the same.

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Glad we got a decent weather window that actually turned out to be better than expected. Just intermittent clouds the whole time. This was a really fun climb!

Gear Notes:
-Cams .3 to 1 -Half set of nuts -4 tri cams -2x 10cm and 2x 13cm screws (didn't use any) -A bunch of pins, mostly knife blades and one small angle, as I knew the snow wouldn't take a picket. Definitely proved the most useful along with small stoppers.

Approach Notes:
Still a bunch of snow on the road but it feels like its melting out fast. Was surprised how much bare road there was on the way out. The trail is packed and bootable in the morning but in the later part of the day post holing is pretty common. Same goes for the road too. I was glad to have skis as it expedites a lot of the travel on the way out.

Edited by kmfoerster
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Update on the road as of Wednesday.  Continuous snow from a little bit before the eightmile TH.  But before that most of the road was bare and I carried my skis 90% of the way out.

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Did it yesterday. The approach is endless. Potholing is devastating. Solid snow in couloirs. Much less snow in between then on photos above. Oh boy, the mountain is shitting rock non stop.

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Overall was there much ice on the face?  It seems like it took awhile to warm up this year and then suddenly freezing levels are super high.  I am curious whether there will be enough freeze thaw to actually get good ice conditions on the north face of Dragontail this year.

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If it cools down as forecast this upcoming weekend....it's possible.  Often late April brings pretty good conditions.

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