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Paco

Triple Couloirs

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Uh, search and ye shall find in this very forum (see Dragontail - Triple Couloirs thread).

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yeah, ivan and i were up there earlier this month. it's snowed a bunch since then, however. conditions might still be fine, considering we did it a week after a large snowfall and we found it deep but stable and consolidated. it still made for fun climbing.

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Yeah, I read the TR. Nice job guys. That info is four weeks old now and the weather has definitly changed the conditions since then. The weather reports and avy reports seem to indicate that the route would not be in good condition this weekend. I was looking to see if anyone had been in the area within the last week.

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Yeah, probably not the best weekend for it. That plateau isn't the most fun place to be in stormy weather. Also, if nobody has gone up there since the most recent snowfall and you have to break trail the entire way, that will really slow things down as well. I think the trail up to the lake gets used fairly frequently in the winter, so even if nobody has tried the route in a while, you can generally find a moderately packed trail up to the north end of the lake

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A number of parties were up at Colchuck Lake this weekend, climbing the Colchuck Glacier, the NE Couloir on Colchuck, and Triple Couloirs. Triple Couloirs is in good shape, meaning that ice is well formed on the "first couloir." There was a fair amount of wallowing in Triple Couloirs and in the NE Couloir on Colchuck.

 

I would currently NOT reccomend taking skis or snowshoes, as there is a boot-pack up to the lake. You might consider leaving the car in tennis shoes, as the first half of 8-Mile Road is snow free.

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How did asgard pass look? I've never been back there in winter, so I've only seen it covered in scree- is there much of an avi danger on it this time of year? How far is it from the closed gate to the trailhead? I'm thinking of hiking the loop sometime this week, for the hell of it... cheeburga_ron.gif...

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Asgard Pass is snow covered, but, as usual, quite icy in spots. If you plan to go over it, you should consider taking crampons. I think it's because of the wind, but Asgard Pass is often icy in winter/spring when the snow nearby is soft.

 

From the gate (in Icicle Canyon) to the trailhead is about 3 miles I think. If you're planning to do the whole loop you might want skis or snowshoes.

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Ahh, good to hear the boot pack is back. That makes for a much nicer time of it. How was the weather Colin? It sucked ass on the west side of the crest... hellno3d.gif

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Weather was for the most part ok. thin cloud cover with sun breaks ever so often on saturday. Sunday started off with a cloud cover(kinda warm in the morning) and in and out of sun breaks and snow showers until about 5pm when everything started to clear up and it got nice and sunny.

 

Aidan

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Enjoy the shoveled off bridge. Me and a couple of guys from California cleaned off the bridge 2 weeks ago.

The boot pack is in, but skiing made the trip out much more enjoyable and in half the time.

 

Erick

 

 

 

 

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I excavated about half the snow depth off the bridge last year. It's a good way to stay warm while waiting for a partner smile.gif

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one more note on the condition of TC's as of the 5th

 

the runnels are in and the neve took picks beautifully but the pro was kinda sketchy so keep that in mind.

 

Aidan

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So . . . how long was it taking folks to reach the lake with the boot back in and the road in good walking shape? Not that I'm planning on going or anything . . . Sounds like it is in real bad shape right now grin.gif

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I actually had to wear snowshoes the whole way- I'm a fatty(220#) and punch through the tracks made by all you lean hardmen. Put some meat on your bones, boys!

cheeburga_ron.gif

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As of Thursday 10th...

 

The trail to Colchuck is fine, started at 3.30 and was at the lake by 7.10. All hard packed snow and an easy trail to follow. The approach to the route is fine too, lake frozen solid and hard snow to the base of the first couloir, on the route by 8.

 

The route has a lot of new snow on it, 4-12". This seemed pretty stable, it wasn't slabbing off but didn't investigate further, just tried to keep to the sides of the couloirs. The snow made for hard going; step kicking the whole way. The ice on the crux sections is steep, but pretty short with bomber styrofoam placements. Summited at noon.

 

It snowed most of the time, with a lot of spindrift pouring down the route which made the steeper sections entertaining. There was this sort of river of snow running down the middle of the couloirs and off the side walls, so not a place to be if it really was dumping but very cool to watch.

 

The descent is tricky in a whiteout, the cloudbase was at 7000' all day so you couldn't see anything up high. Lost too much height before turning East and took a while to get back on track. Make sure you have a good map and compass, you'd be completely screwed without them in bad visibility, it was bad enough with them. There's only one place cross the SE ridge line to Asgard pass from the summit. The S side of the mountain and the top of Asgard pass also had at least a foot of new snow on them.

 

On the descent it was still snowing at Asgard pass but raining at the base of the route and off and on for the rest of the afternoon. The weather in general was a lot better East of the crest on the drive back.

 

BTW: The last 3.5 miles down the road on the way out really suck... and they just go on forever.

 

This TR was brought to you by; Orbital, Bjork, New Order, Perry Farrell and Skinny Puppy.

 

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Thanks for the info, Ade. Hope to go up there next week.

 

Here's a place where one of those Segway's would come in handy: that 3.5 miles of closed logging road. Not something I'd feel willing to stash in the woods. Of course, a mountain bike would do too.

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I wasn't really going to post, because I didn't really believe myself (does that make sense?) but here goes...

 

SmilingWhiteKnuckles and I woke up at 2 am this morning at the gate on Eight Mile Road. The temp there was 50 degrees (yup, at 2 am).

 

We started hiking 2:40 and reached the trailhead after 90 minutes of nice dry road followed by nasty postholing madgo_ron.gif

 

The temp there was 45 degrees (mm-hmm, at ~4:15).

 

I was using a small thermometer attached to my pack strap. The pack was sitting on the ground ca. 5 yards from the car for a half hour before I took the 50 degree reading, the 45 degree reading I took while hiking.

 

I checked with Wayne who has the same kind of meter and uses it the same way, he has had no trouble with it and neither have I. I'm inclined to think the readings were accurate, the air felt that warm.

 

We eventually decided to turn around - neither of us wanted to start climbing at 8-9 am following a night this warm. Oh well.

 

I heard today that the Colchuck Lake area can warm up like this, for short periods of time, so maybe this warm air will dissipate tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully all you guys that are headed up there this weekend have better luck than we did!

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it is true that warm air is often most serious problem in american alpine. i am having this problem more than once even in canadien rockies as they are some warmer than Russia today. i am finding it best to perhaps have one or more other route in mind for if warm air is in area and even ski or other possibility to not waste day. perhaps you will have better luck this weekend young clown thumbs_up.gif!

 

-milosh k

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Ya for sure that's some excellent advice... normally something I've learned to live and breathe but this time we were so psyched about TC that we completely fixated on it. All we had was full-shank boots, no rock shoes. Driving past the Icicle crags as the sun came up to a clear blue sky truly sucked. But hey, at least we both salvaged a full workday, and hopefully we can take a day off midweek next week instead evils3d.gif

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