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telemarker

[TR] Dragontail and Prusik Combo - Serpentine Arete and West Ridge 6/18/2008

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Trip: Dragontail and Prusik Combo - Serpentine Arete and West Ridge

 

Date: 6/18/2008

 

Trip Report:

Years ago I learned of a local climber who soloed these two routes, and it's been in the back of my mind ever since though as an unattainable goal. With a few more years under my belt and a few trips up both routes, I thought it was high time I give it a shot. Reading the recent thread on solo climbing stoked the fire even more.

This is Serpentine Arete:

Dragontail_Topo.jpg

 

The extent of my soloing prior to this were Givler's Crack, Midway Direct, Prusik W. Ridge and Ingalls S. Face.

 

I was hiking by 7:30am, circled the deserted Colchuck Lake and was at the base of Serpentine by 11am. The only other climbers was a solo dude slogging up NBC, and a couple climbers descending the glacier.

I love this view or Rainier:

Rainier_over_Colchuck_Col.jpg

 

At the crux, I chose the right-most crack. I've never really felt comfortable with the flaring central crack. If you've climbed this route, you know that these next few pitches are the best on the climb.

If you look closely, you can see the two climbers glissading down the glacier.

looking_down.jpg

 

It pretty much went great and in three hours I topped out, enjoying the quiet summit.

Dragontail_Summit.jpg

 

Stuart1.jpg

 

 

 

I spent about 20 minutes lounging around, then hiked over to the base of Prusik, getting there an hour and a half later. I briefly contemplated climbing Solid Gold, the only obstacle being that the climb is about 11 letter grades above my ability. I settled on the West Ridge instead. I scrambled up the flawless ridge, and popped up on the summit 30 minutes later. Looking north, I thought it would be nice to descend through Sheild and Mesa lakes, then out via the Toketie drainage to complete the loop had I had a way to get back to my own vehicle.

Prusik_Summit.jpg

 

I took in the view of The Flagpole, where Kyle and I were just four days ago.

flagpoleview.jpg

 

Four raps later I'm back at the pack and slog back across the plateau and down Aasgard. I get a burst of energy thinking of successfully pulling off this link-up on my own with time to spare, and am able to jog down the trail getting to the car right at dark.

 

Edited by telemarker

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Telemarker - great link up!!

Need a ride next time give me a call. Though Toketie can be a pain to descend in the approaching dark.

Nice pics too.

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Knarl.

Descend Rat creek instead.

You stay in the bottom of the drainage trough the meadows under the Mole.

Then stay right along the base of the cliffs on a game trail.

Cross the slide alder low andn regain a little altitude then descend talus and various mellow bushwhackings.

At the last basin above Icicle creek, vear right ad a little up to the top of the cliffs on the right ridge.

Descend left and steep down through the obvious gulley.

Swim Icicle at high water or hike to a bridge.

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:tup: Free the mind and the body will follow.

 

Swim Icicle at high water or hike to a bridge.

 

That could be interesting this time of year...

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Friggin Tight! :tup:

 

I think it was last year - you soloed Givler's right behind us (we were roped).

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Knarl.

Descend Rat creek instead.

You stay in the bottom of the drainage trough the meadows under the Mole.

Then stay right along the base of the cliffs on a game trail.

Cross the slide alder low andn regain a little altitude then descend talus and various mellow bushwhackings.

At the last basin above Icicle creek, vear right ad a little up to the top of the cliffs on the right ridge.

Descend left and steep down through the obvious gulley.

Swim Icicle at high water or hike to a bridge.

 

I've heard Rat Creek isn't is bad as people say. But looking at that exit, it wouldn't be too hard to just scramble up to Edward's Mesa then descend Hook Creek, which I'v done a few times now.

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Friggin Tight! :tup:

 

I think it was last year - you soloed Givler's right behind us (we were roped).

 

Hah! That was you guys. Cool. Thanks for the photo!

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What a day of classic alpine rock! Killer.

 

That's right...didn't you do this last year?

 

Nope, a couple years ago i did w face of balanced rock one day then south face of prusik the next, closest i've come to linking them up. I've always wanted to solo serpentine, but just haven't saddled up, nice job!

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Are Shield and Mesa melted out?

 

Nope. Not yet. There's quite a bit of snow left on and around them still. There's even a few stubborn patches around Colchuck Lake. Does it seem the snow is lingering a bit longer than usual?

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I've heard Rat Creek isn't is bad as people say. But looking at that exit, it wouldn't be too hard to just scramble up to Edward's Mesa then descend Hook Creek, which I'v done a few times now.

 

It is as bad as they say. Unless you have an affinity towards devils club.

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Rad climbing, Mr. Telemarker. Having just done the west ridge of Prusik again yesterday, I came upon a fresh and invigorated appreciation of your trip, both the hutzpah of soloing these routes and the sheer magnitude of the whole venture. Two thumbs up for you man!!! Nice going.

:rocken:

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Rad climbing, Mr. Telemarker. Having just done the west ridge of Prusik again yesterday, I came upon a fresh and invigorated appreciation of your trip, both the hutzpah of soloing these routes and the sheer magnitude of the whole venture. Two thumbs up for you man!!! Nice going.

:rocken:

 

Well thanks! Though, it pales in comparison with what a lot of climbers on this site do on a regular basis.

 

I have to admit it was a very fun day of solitude and climbing.

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