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[TR] Colchuck Lake - Sunchips 5.8 - FA 7/26/2008


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Trip: Colchuck Lake - Sunchips 5.8 - FA


Date: 7/26/2008


Trip Report:

A while back, Evan and I headed in for four days of climbing in the Enchantments. On the first day, we searched around for potential new lines in the area. On day two, we climbed the west face of CBR (which is a fantastic line, no TR for this one since I think the subject has been covered pretty well). On Saturday, we headed over to look at one of the potential new lines we found right near the south side of Colchuck Lake. After a short hike up the hill, we found what looked like a nice 3 pitch line following a series of cracks and ledges. The route appeared to be a new line (that or it hasn’t been climbed in at least a decade or two). The climbing was excellent, easily protectable, and made up of mostly 5.6 moves. Each pitch contains a short 5.8 crux, but is well protected. Each pitch is ~25m long ending with a large ledge and a good-sized tree. On the descent, we started cleaning, brushing, and removing some branches from a tree that blocked the route.


The next day, we climbed the route again; switching leads around to make sure we agreed with the gear suggestions and ratings. We also spent a descent amount of time cleaning the route, trundling rocks, removing vegetation, brushing off the moss, and establishing three belays around the trees.


This route should be a nice day out for new alpine climbers, for a rest day, or people looking for something short to do as a warm up for the longer routes on Dragontail and Colchuck. Enjoy! :)


The appraoch:




Building carins on the way up:




Looking up at the approach, Sunchips in the background:




Where the route goes roughly:




Looking up from the base:




Evan on P1:




Matt on P2:




Evan on P3:




Sunchips always taste great after a day of route cleaning:




Topo (I have a much larger one, but cannot get it to post that way, PM me if you would like a copy):




Gear Notes:

Rack to 4", Single 60m rope, a few longrunners


Approach Notes:

Hike to the south side of Colchuck lake then see pictures and map above

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I climbed this with Natalie and Cat a couple weeks after Matt put it up. It made a really fun evening climb after the hike in to the lake, the day before we climbed the Backbone and Fin on Dragontail. The route, although short, is fun and the approach from the boulder field end of the lake is super short and easy. If you have an hour or two to kill near the lake, go check it out! Oh and watch your rope on the 2nd rappel, ours got stuck in a groove and I had to scramble out a ledge to climbers left to free it with a more sideways pull. Thanks for putting in the work Matt and Evan. :-)

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About how far away would you say this is from the serpentine ridge bivouac spot?

I am not sure what the serpentine ridge bivy spot is since there are many places to camp right around there. Do you mean the one right at the south end of the lake near the large boulders and a couple of trees? If so, you are ~5-10 minutes from the base of the route.


As you hike the main trail around the lake, the main trail cuts east to go towards Asgard pass (over boulders, then into the trees). If I understand you correctly, the bivy site is almost right at this intersection. If you continue hiking south on the trail (instead of going east), you will eventually come to the small rock band where you head west to the base of the route (see the map above). Its actually surprisingly close to the lake.

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trundling, extensive destruction of natural vegetation on an ALPINE route. are you sure you are not developing a boulder problem, did you learn this technique from the pad people or perhaps crag development... do you work for the U.S. government?


You know what, you need to go away. All you've done since creating that avatar is shit on people's TR's.

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trundling, extensive destruction of natural vegetation on an ALPINE route. are you sure you are not developing a boulder problem, did you learn this technique from the pad people or perhaps crag development... do you work for the U.S. government?


This (to our knowledge) is the first time the route has ever been done. Since the route was just discovered, there were loose boulders (that eventually would have fallen out naturally) that would have made the route very dangerous to future parties. Additionally, we removed some moss and tree branches to allow the route to go cleanly. We did not add any bolts to the route and tried to leave it in as near as "alpine" conditions as possible. I would not say there was "extensive damage" done by any stretch of the imagination.


If you are still concerned, please PM me, or better yet, go climb the route yourself and see exactly what we did. I think you will find that the "damage" is similar to the other alpine routes in the enchantment region.

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This was a fun route. Totally worth doing while you're up in that area. Easy to find with good pro. The first two pitches are more like 15m each and it appears people are rapping from the p2 anchor to the ground. The p1 anchor no longer exists but its not necessary with a 60m or longer. The fixed slings are a bit crispy so I added some tat, it'd be best to redo them. We finished on the unprotected 5.4 slab to the top of p3, a great spot to watch the ants crawl up Aasgard Pass!

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