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telemarker

[TR] Dragontail Peak TC Ski - Triple Couloirs: Option #3 3/21/2010

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Trip: Dragontail Peak TC Ski - Triple Couloirs: Option #3

 

Date: 3/21/2010

 

Trip Report:

I've had my eye on the N. Face of Dragontail all season as it relates to Triple Couloirs. Not wanting to commit to the three 60m raps down the un-ice runnels between the 2nd and Hidden couloirs, I discovered the following option for the ascent and descent.

tcprog.jpg

 

The north face of Dragontail, a decent looking, steep snowfield capped with a short rock headwall.

 

Unfortunately, on Saturday Kyle Flick, Will Terrano and I weren't the only ones with TC on our agenda. By 8:00am, we joined the conga line up the Hidden Couloir, having been bested by no fewer than 8 other climbers. But whatever, it's not like waiting in line on Outer Space. We passed when we needed to, and everyone was cordial and having a great time. Besides, it was nice to draft for once this season.

 

We climbed to the top of the Hidden Couloir, and broke out onto the North Face. At the headwall, Kyle had to sack up and earn his keep by leading the small rock headwall, a 20 meter pitch protected by one in-situ piton in the first 10'. After that, it was insecure mixed of snow over slab. Kyle was able to get solid sticks in the duff (great lead Kyle!), and the party below us (Geoff Georges and Jeessica Todd) told us later they were able to get a solid ice-screw in the turf.

 

With this out of the way, we sprinted to the top, surprised to find ourselves on the summit after 4 hours, 20 minutes of work. This variation was fast.

 

Kyle turned and beat it down the backside, as Will and I discussed our strategy for the descent. At this time, Dan Helmstadtler popped up on the summit with intentions to ski TC's as well. He was approaching it Teleross style, by hiking up the backside, and planned to do the raps. Will and I convinced him to join us for the Option #3 variation, replacing the three raps with one short one. He was in.

 

We waited around at the top of the TC's for the another two hours for the other three parties to top out, so as not to bombard them with our slough. Incredibly enough, there were yet another two climber/skiers intending to ski the TC's too, but later bailed down the backside.

 

The 3rd couloir was incredible skiing, with the powder compact but soft, and the pitch steep but not extremely so. It inspired confidence all the way down to our North Face topout. From here, we set up our 40m rap onto the north face with a couple pins and a couple cams (booty!). They were my "bail cams" anyway, so no big deal. If you're a dirtbag and need the gear, it's there for ya! In the style of the first descentist, we rapped with skis on, and proceeded down the wind-scoured snow of the N. Face to the top of the Hidden Couloir.

 

The Hidden starts off steep and remains so, all the way to the exit. We all made tentative turns as it was quite icy from the get-go. There is one section that constricts to the length of my skis, and a self-beloay with axe was handy to sideslip this short, steep section of snow over rock. From there, it was more steepness over hardpacked crud. However, we were able to find small pockets of softer stuff. A few hop turns and we were below the entrance cliff to TC's.

 

I finally got this ski off my chest, having thought about it all season. It was strange to see others with the same intent on the same day, conincidentally.

 

Kyle Flick at the entrance.

tc1.jpg

 

Will at the top of the hidden couloir.

tc2.jpg

 

Will working his way up the North Face.

tc3.jpg

 

 

Kyle leading the short mixed section, looking for that turf!

tc6.jpg

 

Will at the top of the N. Face.

tc7.jpg

 

Summit scramble.

tc12.jpg

 

Climbers 1 & 2 descending.

tc11.jpg

 

Dan descending the 3rd Couloir.

tc14.jpg

 

Dan rapping onto the N. Face.

tc16.jpg

 

Will's turn.

tc18.jpg

 

Dan tearing up the N. Face.

tc19.jpg

 

Dan getting ready to drop into the Hidden.

tc21.jpg

 

Will descending the variable snow of the Hidden.

SDC11941.JPG

 

Exiting the stress...

tc22.jpg

Edited by telemarker

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Oh yeah! Way to make it happen! It was great watching you guys drop in (and then see you each in one piece coming out of the hidden couloir). Who said skiing is faster than walking?... Way to hit it under perfect conditions. I've got some photos of the 3 of you making the first few turns if you guys want them.

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Thanks! Yes, walking was definitely faster and saner yesterday. We were extra cautious and in no hurry to set a speed descent of TC's. Sure, email them to me: touring29@gmail.com

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Looks like fun. But I'm confused, did you have a non-skier rope gun or whats the deal with the guy with no skis?

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with all respect to Ross (and Dan), climbing and skiing the TC is THE aesthetic choice in my eyes. Nice route guys....I'm envious as all hell

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Tim and I were actually #1 and 2 ahead of Shannon and Yuri- they broke trail up to the TCs and up Couloir #1, then Tim and I took over from the bottom of #2 to the summit. Great day and perfect conditions- sounds like ~10 people climbed it and three skied it? Got to be some sort of record. Here are a few photos from yesterday:

 

The beauty herself:

 

IMG_22121.JPG

 

Tim and I took a variation at the start to bypass some congestion. The spindrift was pretty intense at a couple of points - Tim traversing in:

 

IMG_2217.JPG

 

Shannon following near the transition to the 2nd Couloir:

 

IMG_22201.JPG

 

We rapped into the top of the runnels and finished via some thin ice over slab. Tim bringing the rope up after rappel:

 

IMG_2222.JPG

 

Shannon and Yuri at the bottom of the 2nd:

 

IMG_22271.JPG

 

Tim transitioning into the 3rd Couloir:

 

IMG_22341.JPG

 

Tim midway up the 3rd, beautiful!

 

IMG_2238.JPG

 

Rime near the summit:

 

IMG_2250.JPG

 

The happy duo on the summit:

 

IMG_22551.JPG

 

 

Of course the views weren't bad either:

 

IMG_2245.JPG

 

Shannon and Yuri traversing to the summit:

 

IMG_22572.JPG

 

Tim descending Aasgard:

 

IMG_2264.JPG

 

Dragontail is impressive:

 

IMG_2269.JPG

 

The pain of not bringing skis:

 

IMG_22741.JPG

Edited by Heinrich

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Hey hey hey hey hey!!

NO skeerrrs on climerrzz rootz!!! (jOkE!) :moondance:

 

gud job, at leest Yu gav the rope gunnr kredit!

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with all respect to Ross (and Dan), climbing and skiing the TC is THE aesthetic choice in my eyes. Nice route guys....I'm envious as all hell

 

I'm too wussy to drop in blind, especially on a route like TC's. Just seems more committing.

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Like I said before, way to get up in there. You guys are killing it in the Stuart Range!

 

Thanks! The Stuart range sure holds a lot of fun for such a compact area.

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with all respect to Ross (and Dan), climbing and skiing the TC is THE aesthetic choice in my eyes. Nice route guys....I'm envious as all hell

 

I'm too wussy to drop in blind, especially on a route like TC's. Just seems more committing.

 

I don't know if it takes bigger cajones to drop a route like that blind. I just think being able to climb a classic and then ski one makes for one great day in the mountains.

 

And besides, I call "bullshit". You dropped in blind on Colchuck and that's got some commitment to it :-)

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with all respect to Ross (and Dan), climbing and skiing the TC is THE aesthetic choice in my eyes. Nice route guys....I'm envious as all hell

 

I'm too wussy to drop in blind, especially on a route like TC's. Just seems more committing.

 

I don't know if it takes bigger cajones to drop a route like that blind. I just think being able to climb a classic and then ski one makes for one great day in the mountains.

 

And besides, I call "bullshit". You dropped in blind on Colchuck and that's got some commitment to it :-)

 

Oh yeah, forgot about that one...

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Thanks for the pix guys. Here is (Tim?) coming up the runnel:

 

IMG_2432.JPG

 

What you cant see in this resized pic directly below this climber, is the head and skis of another climber well below him, possibly climbing the right most side of the runnels instead of the traditional left side?

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As I've said before...you guys are animals! Sweet pictures and great TR. Some of us had to work this weekend, so thanks for the vicarious dose of alpine life. I'm hoping to get back out there again in the next couple weekends (weather permitting) and I'll PM you to make good on the beer offer. Cheers!

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Sweet! Nice ski guys

good to see more skiers being drawn to that classic route. Hopefully one day someone will be able to ski continuously through the runnels section that would fuk'n :rawk::rocken:

 

one note: You guys missed the best, and most exhilarating skiing of the route however, which the transition between the third and middle couloirs, and the middle couloir itself! yeeeehaawwwww

 

....although, that bit out on the north face looks pretty cool too :brew:

 

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