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specialed

first ascent [TR] Dragontail Peak- Puff the Inflatable Sex Dragon 8/23/2005

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Climb: Dragontail Peak-Puff the Inflatable Sex Dragon

 

Date of Climb: 8/23/2005

 

Trip Report:

775Puff_the_ISD.JPG

 

 

With Sharma and Davey G bailing on us to go on their summer European tour, our plans to burn incense and grid bolt super top-secret Renton granite were dashed. It appeared Eric (Lunger) and I would have to make other plans.

 

It was a good thing gas was cheap, because we dream big. The Bugaboos, Canadian Rockies, the Sierra, it was all within the grasp of our greasy claws and my gas slurping ’91 F150. Since our country invaded and occupies one of the world’s largest oil producers, we can afford to go anywhere we want!

Not so fast, son, said Eric. Petrol is at a record high and according to my calculations it will cost us approximately 1.2 million dollars to drive to Banff and back.

 

It’s a good thing my climbing partner has a PHD in international finance.

 

In reformulating plans, our long term goal of adding a sit start to Liberty Crack and renaming the route “Enumclaw Sex Farm,” just didn’t sound prudent as neither of us had really been bouldering much and everyone I know who owns a boulder pad sleeps on it in the back of their truck every night.

 

Eventually, after drinking way too much coffee, consulting the oracle at Delphi and slaughtering lamb or two, we settled on making another attempt at the abstruse and phantom Dragonfly route on Dragontail.

 

Eric and I had attempted the route late last year on a blustery late summer day. Unfortunately, our lazy 9 A.M. start from the trailhead didn’t prove effective as Eric repeatedly peeled off the kitty litter 5.11 funky undercling crux pitch. With the unknown still above us and only couple hours of daylight left we reluctantly fixed a couple nuts and bailed.

 

We had, on the first attempt, gone a bit left (we think) of the original ascentionists line, adding a powerful 10+ variation pitch to the lower section. This year, when we got there, Eric, intended to find an easier line by going even further left. Unfortunately, he ended having to power through not only the 10+ section from the prior year, but groveling up another dirty 10+ finger crack to finish up the pitch. In the middle of this section, Eric took the BIGGEST WHIPPER I have ever seen in the mountains. I’m talking a rolling down the windows, calling the tower up to come in for a landing whipper. Some serious air time. Good thing the wall was steep, because Eric only ended up with some minor flesh wounds on his arm from the fall. Of course, Eric got back on the horse and finished up the pitch. All in all, a burly 5.11 affair indeed.

 

Eric and I regrouped on the big ledge where the two crux pitches of Dragonfly begin. Even though the rock on the buttress is a bit dirty and flaky, some of the most beautiful splitters I’ve seen in the Cascades emanate from that ledge.

 

I noticed a choice splitter starting on the far left side of the ledge, and since Eric and I were justifiably feeling a bit worked after the burly pitch and whipper, I suggested we climb it and try to take an independent line to the ridge. Eric concurred.

 

The steep splitter would have been a four star classic at any crag if it was clean. I had to throw down a substantial amount of soil and vegetation to the belay, but I enjoyed the moves in between the plant matter. The splitter continued up a beautiful and featured steep hand crack with two roofs, but was dripping with black lichen and flaky rock, so I made some face moves and took a cool undercling around left to an easier crack with led to a small ledge and another undercling. Here I had to pull on some gear as the undercling turned into a blunt and smooth super awkward layback. Eric and I felt it would be solid .11 free. From there a 5.8 off width and some easier climbing led the ridge, where we simul-climbed on the northwest side of the ridge all the way to the notch at the top of the northwest colior. From there, we descended on some shitty kitty litter rock to the east to easy slabs and a short walk to the top off Asgard pass.

 

All or some of our route may have been climbed before, so feel free to call us on that if you know. We did decide to claim a FA and name the route though, because the route was real dirty and we didn’t see any tat or fixed gear. Also, I guess it technically is a variation to the Northeast Buttress since it shares the same finish along the ridge more or less.

 

 

Gear Notes:

Standard Rack some extra small shit, but no pins this time.

 

Approach Notes:

Easy. I didn't whine once.

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Entertaining stuff. Love hearing about the big whippers, especially when the leader is both physically sound after the fact and able to finish the pitch. Keep on rockin' in the free world. bigdrink.gif

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Nice climb, sounds burly. What kind of piece did he fall on, with that kind of a whipper?

 

Thanks for posting the TR; fun to read.

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A medium-sized nut at the base of the final corner. I had climbed above it to the next so-so stance and gear opportunity (the crack was shallow and mungy), was excavating a placement when one of my licheny foot placements betrayed me. Pete said I pushed off a bit, but I don't explicitly recall that. I do remember the flight on my nice new skinny ropes, whose stretch increased the distance but decreased the force--v. soft landing in near vertical, unobstructed terrain. I was also probably 180' up from the belay.

 

ha ha specialed, funny-ass TR. I still prefer Puff the Chronic, Draggin', but it's your world--thanks for shouldering the load and finishing strong. bigdrink.gif

 

A fun line and time! There are a lot of nice cracks off that big ledge. I made some specific notes on the route, if anybody wants to check it, send me a msg.

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That fall sounded pretty nervewracking, thumbs_up.gif for saddling back up. I think you'd have to do a bit of buffing up of the route if you want to inspire any repeats, it sounds impressive, but horrible. yellaf.gif

 

Did I mis-read your TR? It sounds like a difficult three pitch variation to Dragonfly, which shares the upper moderate ridge with the Cauthorn NE Butt direct variation, all of which share the regular NE Butt completion on the (much easier) upper half of the mountain. If it were at Index or Careno Crag it would get it's own name for sure. But hey, naming things is fun, knock yourself out.

 

That whole bit of Dragontail is rife with cracklines. If it weren't an effort to get to and a pain to get off (did you feel a bit of a disconnect between your start and the long easy bit to get to the top?) that buttress would be a very popular , not to mention cleaner, crag.

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That fall sounded pretty nervewracking, thumbs_up.gif for saddling back up. I think you'd have to do a bit of buffing up of the route if you want to inspire any repeats, it sounds impressive, but horrible. yellaf.gif

 

Did I mis-read your TR? It sounds like a difficult three pitch variation to Dragonfly, which shares the upper moderate ridge with the Cauthorn NE Butt direct variation, all of which share the regular NE Butt completion on the (much easier) upper half of the mountain. If it were at Index or Careno Crag it would get it's own name for sure. But hey, naming things is fun, knock yourself out.

 

That whole bit of Dragontail is rife with cracklines. If it weren't an effort to get to and a pain to get off (did you feel a bit of a disconnect between your start and the long easy bit to get to the top?) that buttress would be a very popular , not to mention cleaner, crag.

 

I actually don't think we shared one pitch with Dragonfly, as we were climber's left of D-Fly from the start. As there is little beta on D-Fly, this is just what we've pieced together from a couple attempts and a lot of scoping of the buttress.

 

D-Fly is technically a variation to the NE Butt Direct, and like I said, so is our route.

 

It was actually a lot easier and quicker than I thought to get from where we hit the ridge to where we finished climbing - mostly class 4. Would also have been pretty easy to get over to the east side and off the peak sooner and on good rock. I'm suprised that wall hasn't seen more ascents as the rock, while dirty, has killer cracks, and getting up and off really isn't bad at all.

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Yeah, who knows, I don't know of anyone else who's gone looking for that route. The closest I've been (aside from climbing an easy route elsewhere on the NE Butt) was having Yoder and McGowan stumble into my camp at Colchuck on their way down from the FA. From the spewing and handwaving, I'd have expected to encounter little angels with trumpets hovering about the route. It was sort of like having travelling minstrels crash your party. We just applied intoxicants as payment for the entertainment and sent 'em down the trail.

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It was sort of like having travelling minstrels crash your party. We just applied intoxicants as payment for the entertainment and sent 'em down the trail.

 

This goes for any lost people on mazes in the woods too. Offer help, give intoxicants and send them away.

 

Anyrate, Way to send the shit- Ateam.

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Well, it helped that we were both up and awake, and not engaged in any amorous activities, but I agree, its generally better for all involved to be amused rather than offended.

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You crossed over Dragons of Eden near the middle of your route, Looks like a fun line even with the kitty litter, Topo coming?

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Yeah, we weren't sure exactly where the lower pitches of Dragons of Eden were. We just knew it went up that crazy splitter through the roof off the big ledge. Sick.

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Nice job you guys! Eric glad to hear it was only flight time that you clocked. Where's the photos of the airtime? I guess the camera crew went with Sharma and Graham? I also have to agree with Eric on Puff da Chronic, Draggin', it seems more fitting, unless there is a part of the story you aren't tellin' about some inflatable sex toy?

 

BTW when are you guys going to get around doing that sit start on Lib Crack? Shit you been talkin' smack about that for a while now.

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You guys know about Puff the Magik Dragon in Rat Creek?

Kind of contrived since the route was climbed already. Since it was climbed by Doorish I guess the name has no merit huh. 2012puff.jpg

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Climbed first by Pete Doorish, yes. But it was rated much easier as there apparently was more rubble in the crack or he went around the hard part of the dihedral (looked feasible). Regardless, this is a fun route, just a very long approach. I always referred to it as the Doorish Dihedral but who cares anyways....

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