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[TR] Dragontail Peak- F.A.- Der DieHedral 6/27/2004


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Climb: Dragontail Peak-F.A.- Der DieHedral


Date of Climb: 6/27/2004


Trip Report:

1st Ascent: Der DieHedral, 6p var to NE Arete on Dragontail Peak. 14 pitches. IV 5.10b ®. 6/27/04 Eric Wolf and Mike Layton.


You gotta love the weather forecasting that's been going on these days. N.Cascades 60%, Der Leavenworthen 40%. Next day it's 0%. Then back up to 20%. Well MisterE and I figured it would be nice so we drove up to Der WorthLeaven and managed to get 3 full hours of sleep before our 3am wakeup call.


We were going to try a new route up a major dihedral system on the NE face of Dragontail peak I had noticed on a photo someone posted on this site. 4 hours later we are finishing our final step-kick to the base of the NE face.

Turns out that original dihedral (looks mid 5.10 and 5-6 pitches) is really really wide the whole way up. Definately doesn't look fun. Although it would be an interesting ascent. Bring you and you're friends #5 cams and big bros.


Anyway, above us loomed another shorter diehedral, but WAY lower down Asguard Pass which was nice b/c it mean the route would be longer. Age before beauty, so Eric got the 1st lead, the luck bastard. It looked like crap but a hidden LONG 5.8 fingertip undercling flake (amazing) led to a 2 inch splitter (also amazing) back to the fingertip flake. As I follwed I was really hoping the whole route would be this good. This was a 120 meter lead.

My pitches were in the dihedral itself and were both 70meter rope stretchers. The lower dihedral was tenous, but not too hard. The upper pitch I led, known as the "Belayer Slayer" required precise footwork and careful hold selection. It went at 10b ® and was the crux of the route.


Eric got a couple leads after this and one went up a steep slabby face with splitter 1-2" cracks and went at 5.8

Now we were on the N.E. Arete which is the 1972 route in the beckey guide.


We swapped leads up the ridge which was kinda easy, but required careful climbing and the exposure was wild. After about 1500' of ridgeclimbg we got to the N.E. tower summits which marked the end of the N.E. arete and the end of some awesome climbing.


One rappel and some scrambling got us to the snow basin below dragonail and the Witches towers. There we ran into Kenford and Paco coming down from the Backbone ridge. Kenford was limping badly so we knew something was awry.

Turns out he fell onto his heel and did something very bad to it. Maybe broke his calcaneus. Anyway, it was a really shitty place to have something like that happen. Luckilly he slid on his ass all the way down Asguard Pass IN SHORTS!!! Hardcore! MisterE had his 1st glissading experience and he was really psyched about that. What an amazing 1st glissade. 2000' of rocket power feet skiing.

I hope Kenford didn't injure himself too badly on the hike out. I can only imagine how much pain he was in by the time they got to their car and how long the hike out must've taken. Hope you guys got some beer before the hospital!


I am going to attach some photos MisterE took in a sec so hold your horses. You gotta wait for me to finish my roll before I post my photos.




Gear Notes:

Standard Rack up to 4 inches

We used a 70m rope and used ever inch of it.


Approach Notes:

No crampons needed

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I'm offended that this has been moved to the Alpine Lakes area.


Kudos to MisterE for being a great partner and putting up with my shit. It threatened to rain on us all day long so we were lucky. I gotta climb some dinky little thing w/some loser the next couple days, then I'll develop my film.

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Nice job guys. That's a cool looking line. Good talking with you in the parking lot. We passed a couple of young guys sitting on the side of the trail just below the lake. Was that Kenford and Paco? We zipped past and didn't realize one was injured. We would have offered to carry some of his load down to the lot. frown.gif


Anyway, congratulations!

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Dru is correct, it's not visible in the photo, though I think the upper part comes in on the skyline from the right.


Here's a crappy photo that still doesn't quite show it, but it's closer. Dragonfly is over on the extreme right edge, mostly facing further right. The white rock up high on the right edge is part of Dragonfly. 351048-ne%20buttress%20sm.jpg

Edited by Off_White
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it'd be just outta sight on the far right; from L to R it's their route on NE Arete, NE coulouir, then NE Butt. as Dru indicated, the start is (likely) just on the N side of the buttress toe.


edit: I see Off beat me to the punch. apologies for the redundancy...

Edited by lunger
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Hey nice job you guys on that new route. MisterE thanks so much for the use of the poles for the hike out. Luckily no damage except for a some major bruising all over my foot, including my toes. Could have been way worse. Maybe that will have to be the next Dragontail route to add to my list of climb to do.

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