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MoonMountainMan

[TR] Dragontail Peak - Triple Couloirs 2/21/2015

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Trip: Dragontail Peak - Triple Couloirs

 

Date: 2/21/2015

 

Trip Report:

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At 12:10 pm my buddies and I left our car at the closed gate (~2050) and started our hike up the Dragontail Peak to climb Triple Couloirs. The road had small patches of snow and ice up until about ~2800 feet. From there the road was completely covered in snow the rest of the was. The snow was hard and easy to walk on. At about 1:45pm we reached the trail head and started up the trail proper. The trail was very icy, especially once the trail got steeper after the first bridge and all the way to the lake. Micro Spikes are HIGHLY recommended. Crampons would have been too much and snowshoes would have been difficult to navigate over and between the exposed rocks. We Reached the lake at 5:15pm and set up camp right on the lake. The lake ice was VERY thick. IMG_08883.jpg

Although the lake ice was very thick it provided to be a very exciting night. At around 11pm we woke up to a loud popping sound. The lake was alive as the ice expanded and moved in the cold night air. As we laid in the tent listening, it sounded like a very active wet belly grumping and groaning. Cracking sound from across the lake would echo through the water beneath us and everyone once in awhile the cracking noise would be right outside the tent as loud as a gun shot. One movement in the ice even was felt pushing up the mattress just a hair. We knew it was safe to be sleeping out there but the sounds keep up awake and our hearts racing until about 1pm when we fell back asleep. IMG_09173.jpg

In the morning we took it easy. Made breakfast and left camp about 8 am. We walked straight across the ice towards the base of the route IMG_0983-3.jpg

As we approach the route we saw a party of 2 starting up the left side to gain the 1 couloir and there was a party of 3 waiting behind them IMG_10653.jpg

We got up there, roped up and started up the right side where no one was climbing. It was really good soft ice and we were able to make quick work of the first pitch of climbing in order to gain the 1st snow couloir. Once in the Couloir our party of 3 simul climb all the way up to the end of the 1st couloir passing the party of 3 and the party of 2 that were ahead of us and were the first ones to the start of the ice pitches between the first and second couloirs. IMG_10861.jpgIMG_11292.jpg

Thee Ice pitches were in fantastic condtions. We did 3 pitches total

Pitch 1:

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Pitch 2 wasn't all that exciting and had some good ice coming out of the 1st belay but turned to snow just before the third pitch which made building an anchor a little challenging. We ended up using ice axes and snow pickets which felt pretty secure but was the most dicey belay on the climb. Here is a poor picture of our belay while my buddy was belaying my other friend up the 3rd pitch. IMG_12012.jpg

Pitch 3: This pitch was in very good condition. The ice was thick and took screws fairly well. Here is a shot looking up itIMG_12121.jpg

and looking down it

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and then looking over at our belay and the beginning of the Second couloir IMG_13263.jpg

After Reaching the start of the Second Couloir was again simul'd the rest of the way up to the top of the route. There was a second of ice in the second couloir where I placed a screw or 2 but for the most part I placed rock gear as I worked my way up. Here is a picture of what I believe was the top of the second couloir. IMG_13856.jpg

And the here is a shot looking down the Third

> pg

and topping out the Third and the route

 

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From there we climbed to the summit of Dragontail

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Enjoyed the view

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And walked of the other side to the saddle

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across the back side of Dragontail

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over to Aasgard Pass

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and down

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back to camp. From there we broke camp and hiked out.

Edited by MoonMountainMan

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Nice job and great pics!

 

I also attempted to climb TC the same day. We attempted it as a one day push from the road and were climbing at the base of the route by about 10am. It looked like there was two parties total that made it and my party of 2 joined ropes with a party of 3 to rap and downclimb from the base of the runnels.

 

Did you anyone see a 2nd party summit this day or was it only your group of 3?

 

In the pic below you can see three parties ahead of us.

 

IMG_31532.JPG

Edited by GerritD

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