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mountainsloth

[TR] Enchantment lakes - Colchuck, Prussik, Dragontail & E. Dragontail 6/29/2009

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Trip: Enchantment lakes - Colchuck, Prussik, Dragontail & E. Dragontail

 

Date: 6/29/2009

 

Trip Report:

My buddy Salz and I have been having enchanted dreams for a while now. Having yet to venture out in this neck of the mountains we only thought it was proper to spend a week wandering these peaks.

 

We had a lofty goal of pretty much sending half a dozen of the moderate classic rock routes out there, but as usual, our eyes were bigger than our physical stamina could dish out. Either way, we sent some great climbs on our list, and enjoyed the splendor that is the Enchantments.

 

Day 1 Saturday: hike in to colchuck lake with nearly 70lb packs, and wave goodbye to the masses descending.

 

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Day 2: get our feet wet (literally) with a slog up the colchuck glacier to scope out serpentine and summit colchuck via the east ridge route.

 

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Salz descending

 

Day 3: wake up at 5 am to snow covering dragontail and all around the lake... bummer.

 

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It did not look like the weather was going to clear anytime soon, and considering dragontail was our only objective in the colchuck lake vicinity, we opted to pack up and move camp over asgard pass to set up for prussik.

 

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We were engulfed in clouds until we reached inspiration lake. The sun came out to bless our camp site on the ridge between perfection lake and lake viviane.

 

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Day 4: The Beckey route on the South face of Prussik. What a gem! We opted for the 5.8 crack start avoiding the unprotectable chimney.

 

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Salz working the first pitch

 

Every pitch had something fun and interesting, all on some of the most immaculate alpine granite these hands have caressed.

 

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Summit shots

 

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Day 5: We awoke to a family of goats. The one I named Sagwa looked thirsty so I pissed in an empty bowl of the granite slabs we were camping on and the sweet old nag slurped it up! Yummy!

 

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The rest of the day involved moving camp... again... down to Colchuck lake to set up for another stab at Serpentine.

 

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rainbow above little annapurna

 

Near the pass we stopped for a rest, feeling the burden of our heavy packs. To brighten our spirits we decided to add a sweet little scramble to the day summitting what we later figured out to be East Dragontail peak.

 

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E. Dragontail is the peak to the left and behind the center spire(Witches Tower).

 

Colchuck lake, mosquito-free two days prior greeted us with an army of hungry vampires... not exactly the welcome I had hoped for. Having set our sites, again on the serpentine arete, we packed for the climb and crawled into the tent.

 

Day 6: After a long night of very strong wind and rain, we woke up at 5 am with little change in the conditions. With our bodies screaming for a rest day, we let the lousy climbing weather lull us back to sleep. We awoke hours later to low clouds, some rain, and still more wind.

 

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Thankful for not dragging ourselves out of bed, we planned for a day of doing nothing, but by noon the weather started to improve. By 2 it was sunny and we were restless. Knowing a long route was out of the question I recommended a little Colchuck lake cragging. Someone on this site did some hard work on a fun 2 pitch 5.7ish climb just west of the talus field at the base of the colchuck glacier. I forget who it was, but nice work, and thanks, it was the perfect answer to an antsy rest day.

 

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Salz rapping the route

 

Day 7: We woke up to perfect blue skies at 5 am. Thank you weather Gods! Serpentine went off without a hitch. We climbed along side a fine group of three from Seattle, and enjoyed fun climbing in perfect weather. Third time is the charm I guess!

The 2 5.8 pitches were fantastic and certainly the highlights of the route.

 

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Salz leading the first 5.8 pitch

 

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Exposure!

 

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starting the long 4th class section

 

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summit shot!

 

Day 8: An uneventful hike back out as we greeted about 40 people coming up the trail on another beautiful day in the Enchantments.

 

Gear Notes:

nuts, doubles to 2 and 1 #3

two very heavy packs

Chiropractor and Massage for after the trip

 

Approach Notes:

Colchuck lake trail

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Nice, we must have just missed, or talked to you. We were on Prussik the 27th. What at amazing area, can't wait to go back.

 

 

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Wow, nice week in the enchantments for sure!

 

The chimney pitch on the south face of Prussik can be protected using the small crack on the face to the left, but the start you did is way more fun for sure!

 

Nice to see that you got on Sunchips as well (we called it 3 short pitches at 5.8, but pitches definitely could be linked and the 5.8 cruxes are really short). Is the route pretty clean? Are the tree anchors still there?

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Sounds like a grand tour of the Enchantments. Since you took the crack to the left of the chimneys on the South Face of Prusik, you did the Burgner-Stanley Route (I swear that the hole below the chockstone is getting smaller--harder to fit through nowadays). The Beckey Route stays in the chimneys to the right of your start. You should go back for that one too.

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kyle_flick - we may have started up the Burg/Stan, but definitely followed the Beckey route, traversing on knobby slab, 2 pitches of gully, snafflehound ledge, etc. Either way it was a fantastic route, especially the pitch off of snafflehound ledge.

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Mountainmatt - sunchips! that's right! the rock is still quite clean, trees are still anchors, and the route deserves more travel for those looking for something to do around camp colchuck in an hour.

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Cool trip! Isn't that top out on the Beckey route a nice finish? I can't remember how Jeff H. protected that chimney, but I think I pulled out 2 pieces following the whole rope length for the first pitch. :laf:

 

Thanks for the stoke.

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Right on guys - a great week for you in the Enchantments. Perfect weather for Serpentine, indeed. Thanks for the pics, too. But we - the Seattle climbers - were only 2 people...

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actually, we had 3 peeps that were climbing right with us the entire time. Todd, Chico, and another who I cannot remember his name.

Sisu, were you behind all of us that day?

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