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John Frieh

[TR] Dragontail - NE Couloir 11/24/2008

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I'm thinking of heading in to this route with my skis.

 

Was the route skied with one rappel or was it two several years ago?

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OW, ya, sadly I hate to admit it but I am semi serious about a rap route and fixed gear on this climb. It was that much fun and worth multiple repeats while ion season if you could do it as a "chamonix sport" route.

 

And there was me thinking you were joking. My semi serious thoughts on this would be.

 

1) It's in a wilderness area. There may be implications to adding a lot of fixed gear.

 

2) You're prepared to hike 3-4 hours to the route but not spend an additional hour or so on the descent?

 

3) Multiple parties rapping down on each other would be a mess. It would really only be a reasonable option for the last party.

 

4) This is a very late year for snow. In a more typical year this route may not freeze up before it gets buried. Hardly anything in the Cascades gets hordes of ascents in winter because conditions are so variable. Contrast conditions on your ascent with ours only a few days later - primo vs. less so.

 

5) Last and definitely not least... One of the great things about the Cascades in winter conditions is the sense of big commitment even when you're only a few hours from the trailhead. Do you really want to detract from that?

 

Accept my apologies in advance if you are just kidding around.

 

Cheers,

 

Ade

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Can you image the typical traffic jams you'd have when the route is in on a weekend?

 

The approach will keep the crowds somewhat at bay. And the nature of the route will change with several months of significant snowfall. Ross skied this line without raps, so it fills in in the Spring.

 

Was the route skied with one rappel or was it two several years ago?

 

Triple Couloirs was skied with raps. I don't think this route was.

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You say 3 blades and 1 Pin? Is this Pin a crucial piece? If so what sort of pin are we talking about in addition to the 3 blades?

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Craig said:

Those last two pitches are a little spicey, don't you say? We brought 5 cams (.4 to 3, used em all), 3 blades (used), 2 baby angles (didnt use), 5 nuts (I placed one), and two shorty screws (completly pointless). Lots of fun, very good route.

 

You won't need much if anything in the gully. We climbed a good bit of the headwall together with little pro looking for a decent belay. A 70 meter rope would help that. There was at least one fixed blade, a bug, high on the route.

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On Saturday we placed exactly two cams on lead.

A few other cams were nice for the two belays we set up.

Took blades, didn't use. Not enough ice for screws.

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Haven't been up there for a couple months, but in September the glacier had receded so far up the couloir that it would have been more than half the way up on scree before getting to the toe. I'd be surprised if there is enough coverage now to make up for what was lost this summer, but I could certainly be mistaken.

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