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Colchuck Lake Trail

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Has anyone been up to Colchuck Lake in the last two weeks? I imagine there's a pretty good trail by now, but wonder whether snowshoes are needed. They weren't last year in late April. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

John Sharp

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My advice would be to take snowshoes and then ditch them if you find they aren’t necessary. Last year on the weekend of 4/15, we went into the lake with out them based on some beta that they weren’t necessary (I think the beta was posted on Rock and Ice) we ended up post holing for 8-9 miles. The approach was so hard and took so long that it ruined our climbing plans. I think the need for them can vary from day to day.

I hope you don't mind a response that isn't related to current conditions, but I think our experience is relevant to your question.

Rgds

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Mark: This is relevant, and I appreciate your comments. When my friend and I went in late last April, we ditched our snow shoes just after the first bridge, and got lucky that we didn't need them all day. If I go this weekend, we'll probably take them because it's no fun to get caught without them. But maybe we'll get lucky and someone will come forward who has been up there very recently and can give us an idea.

Thanks,

John Sharp

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Juan,

What ya wanna know? All I can say is tongue.gif

I just got back from helping some crazy dude launch his paraglider off a previously unflown launch site. It was a killer ski launch too! When are you gonna buy one of those Juan?

Mike

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Nyah..this suits me fine.

Seriously though I have to go back in the morning to find something I lost up there last weekend. Is it just the approach you wanna know about or are you eyeballing that no ice wonder sitting up there?

You can email me offline too if you prefer.

Mike

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Is the road open to the Stuart Lake trailhead or is it still gated at the Icicle? If the road is open, do you need a 4x4 to get very far up it?

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John,

I went up to Colchuck Lake on March 21st. The road was ungated when we left on Wednesday. I was really upset due to the fact my truck was sitting in Seattle; I could have driven to the trailhead. I made it all the way to the lake without using snowshoes. However, they were necessary the next morning approaching Dragontail. The lake was still frozen solid at that time and it made for a nice highway. It's integrity was more questionable later in the day. I'm sure it is dangerous to cross now unless one is skilled at walking on water.

For anyone else who is interested (jrwclimbs), the middle couloir of Triple Couloirs has a large amount of exposed rock. I am curious if it has been climbed this year.

When we hiked out two days later the road had melted substantially due to BOB. It is so great having sunshine. When we came to the bottom of the road we were greeted with a closed gate. I guess it was a good thing I didn't drive up there.

I was in Leavenworth this last weekend doing some rock climbing and yes the gate was still closed as of Sunday April 1st.

To answer your question, snowshoes should not be necessary on the approach to the lake and from there it depends on where you are going.

I hope this is helpful,

Jonathan

[This message has been edited by jjantz (edited 04-05-2001).]

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This is very helpful and I appreciate your taking the time to report. I called Der Ranger in Leavenworth yesterday, and she fairly bristled when I asked about the gate. She said it's closed until they decide to open it. So there.

I think I'll take snow shoes in the car then probably leave them.

Thanks much!

John Sharp

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