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fheimerd

[TR] Colchuck - North Buttress Coulior 3/26/2007

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Trip: Colchuck - North Buttress Coulior

 

Date: 3/26/2007

 

Trip Report:

Scheissami and I trudged up to Colchuck Lake on Saturday. Sometimes it drizzled, sometimes it rained and sometimes it poured. Kept the approach upbeat but talking about how much fun we were having and how the rain was making the snow so much easier to snowshoe/ski on. By the way about 1.5 miles to consistent snow cover on the road.

 

The next day dawned clear and cold :rawk:

Looked like the top 2/3 of dragontail got pretty plastered with snow. The route was lots of fun and had variable conditions including alpine ice, windbuffed powder, rotten snow and breakable crust. Great snow coverage all the way to the summit with only a few short thin sections. We spiced it up a bit by climbing the summitblock with some mixed climbing.

 

I was really happy I brought my skis as I cruised from the summit to camp in little over 15 minutes. The powder on the top 2/3 of the glacier was the icing on the cake. These feeling of happiness soon changed as I attempted to ski down the trail back to the road.:anger: The snow that was soft and shitty was now hard and shitty making for very frustrating skiing. I wonder how those little knobs of frozen snow that stick up out of the snowpack form. Kind of look like chicken heads and ski like rocks. I perfected the manuvuer of grabbing trees to slow down and initiate turns. Scheissami on snow shoes left camp at the same time and he passed me and then stayed ahead till I finally caught up wth him on the road.

 

Sheissami might post some pics as he had the camera.

 

Gear Notes:

small rack, rope, crampoons, ice tools

 

Approach Notes:

1.5 miles to snow coverage on the road

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would have been killer to ski the coulior but I havn't quite worked up the balls to manage that. Part had been wiped clean by an avi the previous day during the warm wetness and there were a few long ice runnels that would have spiced things up for sure.

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Thanks, makes me feel better about the terrible time I had getting back down with my shorty skis the weekend before. That snow is just crap for skiing down from the lake right now. I got passed by vw4ever on his slow shoes too, ended up just bailing off the skis and postholing in a couple spots cause I didn't have enough edge to ski the icy crust (which of course wouldn't support me without the skis). Nice job on the couloir though. :-)

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Thanks for a great trip! The first day was way suck, but luckily the forecasted weather window panned out for us. Here's a few pics from the trip:

 

Colchuck from the north:

Colchuck_North.jpg

 

At the base of the North Buttress Couloir:

Colchuck_NBC.jpg

 

Stuart was looking pretty fantastic; this is the view from the col at the top of the initial couloir:

Stuart_North.jpg

 

fheimerd on the summit, with Dragonatail ridge in the background:

Summit_Colchuck.jpg

 

Sweet turns down to the lake:

Colchuck_Glacier_Descent.jpg

 

Very fun route; I think the most interesting climbing began after topping the initial couloir and traversing onto the NW face. fheimerd pulled off some heady mixed climbing just below the summit which made the climb seem much more technical. I'd be interested to try the NE buttress couloir next time around...seemed a little narrower from the base with maybe more predeliction to mixed climbing? I dunno but in any case had a great day out.

 

Descent notes:

Fantastic German beer and food at Uli's basement restaraunt (below Mozart's Cafe) in Leavenworth; decent, authentic Kraut food is not to be missed (mmm, Spaten on tap :brew:) though I was falling asleep during the meal.

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:cry: :cry: :cry: I suck, my back sucks. Getting better. Problem will be fixed. Nice trip. I was so pissed all weekend. At least it rained on you ;). Glad summit day was good. Looks like a sweet route and a good time. On the tick list forsure.

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Dude, Spaten is the worst beer we have in Munich. Try Paulaner or Ayinger next time. Augustiner is very good also, but you won't get it here.

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I suppose I should thank you for making the approach easier on a friend and I. We headed up to climb the same route on the 26th, planning to climb early the next day. Someone’s snowshoe tracks kept us from post holing every step of the way. I hope it wasn’t you who had the wack ass boot track that lead way down mountaineer’s creek to a funky tree crossing from Colchuck lake. Great job by the way!

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