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[TR] Dragontail Peak Das Nordwand - Backbone Ridge 9/27/2015

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Trip: Dragontail Peak Das Nordwand - Backbone Ridge


Date: 9/27/2015


Trip Report:

Bryce ran out of partners in his contact list, so he got a hold of me this last weekend and told me he wanted to do Backbone Ridge. I suggested Castle Rock or some pebbling instead. So we compromised and woke at 3am and started trudging towards Colchuck Lake at 4:15. We arrived at the base of the route in 3 hours just as the sun started to shine.




We soloed the broken 4th class up to the first real pitch which lead to a nice belay ledge with a solid tree anchor. We then bumped the belay up to the base of the OW. Bryce was happy to take this pitch. I feel about halfway up he had some regrets. He clipped his pack off just as things started to really get awkward. After a few grunts and a whole lot of hard work he was bringing me up on belay. We hauled packs halfway through the pitch.


1st pitch 5.6



Bryce halfway through the offwidth where he slung his pack to a chockstone.



After the OW you get to pick a series of crack systems in order to get yourself to the base of the fin. 3 or 4 pitches brought us to the large right leaning ramp. Nothing harder than 5.8.



The Fin



Bryce fired off the first 2 pitches of The Fin. And I got the last 2 pitches. These were the 4 best pitches on the route. Perfect hand and finger jams the whole way and just as things seem to be getting harder a new crack system appears. The Fin is a little dirty but the lichen has been cleaned just enough to have good feet.


Bryce pitch 1 The Fin



The perfect layback corner on the top of pitch 1 The Fin



Pitch 3 The Fin



Hanging Belay Pitch 3



To top out we scrambled up a loose gully and then started to walk off. We got to the the glacier and quickly realized that there was no way we could get down safely since we did not bring crampons or an ax. The glacier has no snow left on it and is just bare ice. We slid down into the bowl to check it out anyways but quickly turned around and had to do some easy 5.5 splitter ice crack climbing to get back up onto the plateau. We decided to traverse to the southeast and look to see if any of the gullies would go. We ended up having to go all the way to the end of the plateau in order to start descending loose slopes. A rappel then led us to Isolation Lake where we then headed back to Aasgard Pass and started our long knee bashing descent. We were back to the car at 9pm and made it out in time to reward ourselves with some well earned Mcdonalds.


The edge of the plateau where we finally were able to start descending to the rappel above Isolation Lake.



Snow Creek Glaciers. Quite impossible without crampons.



The start of good ol Aasgard pass, probably every ones favorite part.



The Larches are beautiful right now up there.



Gear Notes:

Medium rack to 2"

1 #3, #5, #6

Ice ax


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