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Skatan

Dragontail TC Conditions

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On the way to Colchuck on Saturday 3C did not look in. Too bad I don't have pictures. Additionally, the NBC and NE Couloirs on Colchuck are not inviting right now due to low snow levels. If you're going to attempt these routes this season you had better be a proficient mixed climber and carry a less-than-anemic rack.

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bbuckingham- How much snow was on the road/trail up to colchuck? Can skis be used the entire time in the woods, or would we probaly be carrying them a lot this coming weekend?

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kevino-we had an assortment of cams, nuts, hexes, ice screws and two pickets--gear to 1" and two larger hexes. we used a good deal of the rock gear but no screws--I made great use of my helmet. soloed up the snow and small mixed steps of the couloir but encountered some sketchy mixed pitches that were not described in any trip reports and did not take gear well. the snow levels are really low this year exposing a lot of exfoliating rock with neve and fluff on top.

 

skibum1087-the road is bare for a mile or so then skiiable for the last ~two. the woods did not look fun to ski and I would recommend slowshoes--my partners did a lot of postholing without them. NBC is a better bet than NE couloir on Colchuck but still more challenging than in high snow levels.

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skibum: the road was bare for the first mile or so, and spotty coverage for the next 3/4 or 1 mile. From there on it was continuous coverage but often resembled more of a luge track than a trail. On the way in it was mostly super slick walkable crust but on the way out it was almost entirely shitty breakable crust. I probably would've felt comfortable skiing it with ski boots and shorter skis but definitely wouldn't have on my 404/leather climbing boots approach setup.

 

kevino: the bottom 2/3rds of the NE couloir was easy steep snow with very short steps of AI which we soloed. We ran into difficulties at the constriction along the side of the first rock step, trying to get to the exit runnels. All we found was rotten/dinner plating/unbonded AI, overhanging snice and knee to waist deep wallowing through sugar snow. So we took a variation up and to the right which topped out almost directly on the summit. In the conditions we found this variation went at ~M6, X. An extra .5 camalot (used ours for the belay), sawed off angle or short/thin blade might have made it more R than X but the quality of the rock is highly questionable.

 

TC's was very definitely not in (unless you like discontinuous rotten snow that looks like it could fall out of the couloirs at any minute).

Edited by Maxtrax

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Haha, looks like I'm a slow typer compared to Brittany, her post wasn't there when I started my reply.

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