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first ascent [TR] Dragontail Peak - North Buttress Direct "Iceline Bling" WI5+ M4 (FA) 4/3/2016

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Trip: Dragontail Peak - Direct North Buttress "Iceline Bling" WI5+ M4 (FA)


Date: 4/3/2016


Trip Report:


Priti Wright-led 1st pitch (WI4)

Jeff Wright-led 2nd pitch (WI4) (scribe/photos)

Craig Pope-led crux 4th pitch (WI5+ M4) (photos)


Went up to Dragontail Peak looking for some new ice! Camped at Colchuck Lake and got the bino's out. We spotted a nice-looking line just climber's left of Dragontail's toe. Ended up being 5 pitches (most were 60m) with 2 sustained pitches of WI4 and one thin crux pitch of WI5+ M4. After the crux pitch, easy snow leads to the first couloir of Triple Couloirs just below The Runnels. Super fun route! We've done lots of research and found no evidence that this line has been climbed. If anybody *knows* that this line has in fact been climbed before, please *respectfully* leave a note (with evidence, if possible), and we will definitely correct this TR. Thanks!









Priti leading up the first pitch (WI4)



Following, higher up on the first pitch



Jeff leading up the second pitch (WI4)



Craig and Priti following the second pitch



Craig moving the belay on easy snow (P3) to the base of the crux pitch



Happy Jeff



Priti following the gnar on the crux pitch (P4, WI5+ M4)



Craig on an outcrop where "Iceline Bling" meets Triple Couloirs



Gear Notes:

Took rock pro and pitons pretty well. 6 screws (10cm, 13cm), small alpine rock rack, KBs, Spectre


Approach Notes:

No snow on Eightmile Rd 3/4 of the way

Edited by JeffreyW

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Bold! We were looking at that line when we did GS the other day. It's a beauty. Great work. Was the crux that mixed section after the right trending ice line (pitch 3 or 4 or something)? Good pro?

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That is a great looking line up an awesome peak. Good job on seeking out the new-new and getting something done as ephemeral and technical looking as that.






I have seen Craig Pope's photos and he is obviously a very talented climber and has way more mileage on ice climbs than I do, and compared to him I should not judge what grade he has put on the pitch, and the photos may not show the entire pitch...


Shouldn't WI5 be a sustained vertical pitch that runs for a long distance?


Not trying to be a hater, I swear, this mostly comes from my winter spent out ice climbing in NH this season, I witnessed many climbs on WI5 and 6 terrain that were truly mind blowing, only to be told by locals that it barely qualified.



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Nice work Jeff and crew! You've been crushing this year. Nice pics and nice line.

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That looks like the real deal right there. Stout!

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Shouldn't WI5 be a sustained vertical pitch that runs for a long distance?

Depends on how one grades it, if one grades it strictly based on steepness then yes WI5's must be almost completely vertical. But in many cases the quality of ice, and strenuous natural of the climb Is factored into the grading. This climb would definitely fall into this category , if it doesn't meet the vertical requirement.

Edited by cakeo48

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