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scottgg

[TR] Dragontail - NE Couloir 4/29/2007

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Trip: Dragontail - NE Couloir

 

Date: 4/29/2007

 

Trip Report:

Upon arriving at Colchuck Lake Saturday morning and scoping out our options, Dave Conlin (dbconlin), Luke Gullberg, and I decided to check out Dragontail's NE Couloir. I have wondered about this route in the past, and so I imagine others may benefit from this description.

 

The couloir starts about 500ft uphill from the first TC couloir.

IMGP2153.JPG

 

We encountered a handful of interesting, easy mixed steps and the couloir gradually steppened.

 

IMGP2156.JPG

northeast_couloir_058.jpg

 

It was neat because you could never see more than a few hundred feet ahead before the couloir turned one way or the other. Near the end the coulior narrowed down and steepened to maybe 55deg until the snow ended about a pitch below the east ridge.

We broke out the rope and Luke and Dave began dodging falling ice while I inched my way up towards the ridge. The pitch was very engaging, and took the better part of two hours.

 

If this dude's head was not in the way, you could see more of the fun stuff.

northeast_couloir_073.jpg

 

Dave on belay.

northeast_couloir_070.jpg

 

This brought us to the east ridge proper, and Dave led us on a simul-block over a notch and onto the south side of Dragontail, where we scrambled up to the summit.

 

northeast_couloir_101.jpg

IMGP2160.JPG

 

Fun route, but probably not destined to be a classic. Lots of easy ground, but the hard upper pitch will probably keep steep snow climbers off this one. And the ratio of step kicking to challenging climbing will not entice technical mixed climbers. But a good adventure none-the-less.

 

 

 

Great partners, like always! (this is them near the top of the NE Couloir on D-Tail)

northeast_couloir_087.jpg

Enjoyed the NBC on Colchuck Sunday before hiking out.

northeast_couloir_148.jpg

Edited by scottgg

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well played gents. :tup:

after you soloed the ne couloir, i'm surprised to see any gear in the NBC photos!

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There was no gear on the NBC. We didn't bring rope, rack, harnesses, nothing. The only photo from NBC was the very last one, near the summit.

 

Cheers to Scott for leading that mixed pitch at the top of the NE Couloir on D-tail. It would definitely be a 'character-building' pitch to lead!

 

Good times...

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good work guys. I'd wondered about it as well. Scurlock has a nice picture of it:

 

57591368.StuartEnchantments020906124adj.jpg

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This TR brings back bad memories....if it's the route I'm thinking of (starts ~1/2 way up Aasgard, obscure mention in Beckey with 1-2 pitches of 5.7 and "considerable loose rock late season"), I almost took what would have been a sure-fatal fall on this route Memorial Day weekend ~ 6 years ago. Later in the season, a section of the upper couloir, surely snow covered when you did it was a dripping wet open book with breakaway flakes for holds. We soloed up the snow and continue up the book, hoping to get to a reasonable belay anchor - never happened. There was no pro, and we hit an impasse - nothing solid to hold onto, no pro, and nothing level in site. My boots slipped down slab, and fortunately my partner was directly behind me and jammed the heels of his hands under the heels of my boots to arrest my slide. Had he not the both of us might not be here today. We gingerly downclimbed the shitty rock and then the steep snow - not fun. That was the last time I embarked on a Beckey route without a secondary source of information.

 

FWIW/FYI - Memorial Day Weekend is apparently "late season" for this route.

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Nice!

Yeah, might not make it as a classic climb, but it is already a classic Stuart Range ski! :tup:

 

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I just wanted to add this photo, of Scott at the summit of Colchuck, and say thanks to AlpineDave for his Gu recipe (here), which I tested on this trip (it turned out great, BTW, although some of it ended up all over my clothes):

 

482095765_b39d002c0e.jpg

 

 

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Wow -- I know it's always condition dependent, but what you climbed sounds quite a bit harder and more technical (a two hour lead!) than what Beckey describes...

 

Good to know -- I always kinda thought of this as a mellow route to go check out sometime...

 

 

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Speaking of GU recipies, the brew store is not the best place to get maltodextrin, assuming you plan on using lots of it. Get it at Honeyville Grain online. About $1 per pound, including shipping. w00t!

 

http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=485

 

You can get Fructose for a dollar a pound too at www.azurestandard.com but it's not worth the trouble buying online unless you're going for the 50 lb bag.

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