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coldiron

Colchuck/Dragontail conditions

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The road to the TH is open, with packed snow and decent conditions as of Saturday night. The trail is snow-covered but fast up to the lake. Travel above the lake is slow; it's at that intermediate stage where the rocks are somewhat covered, but lots of slippery rock underneath and big holes to step in. Skis will not help you anywhere, unless you're going up just to ski the glacier.

Watch out for windslab in the couloirs. We observed whoomphing and fracture propagation in the Colchuck NBC yesterday. It was scary enough that we pushed a couple mixed pitches up the side to avoid the snow and eventually bailed. Lots of wind-loading looks to have occurred over the week- some extreme wallowing was endured!

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How filled in was the NBC? Would it still involve mixed climbing or is it just a snow climb at this point? Did you get a decent look at the triple couloirs on dragontail?

 

Thanks!

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Yes, still lots of mixed steps and ice is forming nicely. Also, I ran up the trail today to below the lake and it was quite warm- lots of melting going on. I'm not sure how warm it was up high, but I think there's a good chance it may have settled out that wind slab. I couldn't tell much about TC conditions yesterday, but the Cotter-Bebie route on D-tail right across from me had lots of early ice forming up.

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Yes Riley. Hiked up to the lake Tuesday. At the lake there's probably 2-3 inches of snow, more higher naturally. Might head up there and check out Colchuck NBC. I'll update.

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Colchuck_2013-119.jpg

Cotter Bebie line. Looks better photographed than in reality

 

Colchuck_2013-118.jpg

The Wasson Wilson smear start

 

Colchuck_2013-200.jpg

Lump of rock without much ice

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Woodcutter

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Copy that. So is the road skinable? Trying to talk myself into bad decisions when I'm back next week.

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Probably mostly. It is for sure down low, and I'd bet that it's a little patchy on the open hillside part, then it will be snowy once it levels off. I was told today that the trail has very little coverage (though I'm sure it's skinable). I have a theory that the best/most accessible skiing around will be somewhere up high in those parts.

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It's December and it's been very dry, so you should just go and not worry about it :)

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To those wondering:

 

You can walk from Icicle creek road to colchuck lake in tennis shoes. No more 1" of snow on the trail. Lots of ice to slip on. Aasgard pass and colchuck glacier look like october with a fresh dusting. Travel is fast right now, took us under three hours to go from the rd to colchuck lake.

 

All in all, a nice 14 mile hike with skis on my back!

Edited by kevino

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