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DrApnea

[TR] Dragontail Peak - Backbone Ridge 7/3/2016

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Trip: Dragontail Peak - Backbone Ridge

 

Date: 7/3/2016

 

Trip Report:

Jonathan and I set out to do the Backbone Ridge on Dragontail Peak with the Fin Direct on a car-to-car single push since neither of us had permits for camping in the Enchantments. From what information we gathered, it would take us 4+ hours to reach the base of the climb, and somewhere between 16-24 hours total. I snuck into my girls' bedroom after they were asleep to kiss them goodbye, and steal a toy from each before taking off to Leavenworth. This way they could see all the fun their toys have while they are asleep. So at 11:30pm I met Jonathan in Leavenworth and we were on the road by midnight. Ideally this would place us at the base of the route at dawn. The approach went faster than anticipated and we ended up sitting around on the morane of the Colchuck Glacier awaiting dawn. When the morning light finally shone on the north face of Dragontail Peak it revealed the route to us. It was now 4:30am. We traversed the glacier and cruised up the approach pitches. Eight hours of climbing later, including lots of simul-climbing on the 5.6-5.8 sections, we topped out and saw a few hikers on the summit. These were the first people we had seen since leaving Leavenworth. We enjoyed the summit and took some pictures before starting the trek back down Asgard Pass to the lake. By the time we reached Lake Colchuck, it was blazing hot so we both jumped into the glacial fed turquoise blue frigid waters before hiking the last 5 miles to the car. Car-to-Car took us 17hrs including quite a few leisurely breaks (glacier, summit, swim, etc).

 

Route was in great shape. Not required to walk through snow at all during the climbing. There was a backpack and crampons down low, pretty much after the approach pitch. It was located right next to an obvious bivy site. We were not sure if this was from last night or from the party that got rescued a few weeks back so we left it.

 

A lot more pictures including photospheres (awesome) and full resolution ones are listed below.

Oh ya, and here are some pictures of "Giraffey" and "Jessie" tagging along for the adventure...

 

 

More pictures & photospheres

Blog with TR

 

 

IMG_20160702_153013.jpgIMG_20160702_134844-PANO.jpgIMG_20160702_125452.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

Nuts, double cams blue metolius to BD#2. A single #3 and a single #6. This was a perfect rack for us. We did need anything else and used everything we brought multiple times (except the #6 only was used on the offwidth pitch). The double rack was also helpful for simul climbing 200m in a single block.

 

Approach Notes:

Crampons not required. Brought an ax and enjoyed the security when traversing to the start of the route. Asgard is almost all snow free below the top hundred feet.

Edited by DrApnea

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Nice TR for a fine route which would probably be more popular if not for the off-width gatekeeper pitch.

 

Nicely done Stephan and Jonathan! A midnight start is so hard core. I could never do that.

 

Midnight is the alpine climber's happy hour for long one day efforts. And a fine way to circumvent the permit system for fit people with freedom flowing in their veins.

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Nice TR for a fine route which would probably be more popular if not for the off-width gatekeeper pitch.

 

sounds like a offwidth bypass variation is desired! that would be a good project.

 

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17 hours car to car, that's awesome. I won't mention our times...

 

For anyone reading this -- Joe and I climbed Dragontail via Backbone Ridge on Thursday, June 30th. It was his #6's maiden crack voyage, and it got stuck about halfway up the route. If you return it, you will be GENEROUSLY COMPENSATED and REWARDED!

 

I know it's a long shot, but if you have it, please let me know. Thank you very very very much in advance.

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Nice TR for a fine route which would probably be more popular if not for the off-width gatekeeper pitch.

 

Gatekeeper pitch!? That pitch is great! Even wearing my pack and trailing my partners bag off my haul loop. Then again my mother always told me I was special.

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. It was his #6's maiden crack voyage, and it got stuck about halfway up the route. If you return it, you will be GENEROUSLY COMPENSATED and REWARDED!

 

I know it's a long shot, but if you have it, please let me know. Thank you very very very much in advance.

 

if we get more stuck cams in that pitch, it won't a gatekeeper anymore! :)

 

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Nice TR for a fine route which would probably be more popular if not for the off-width gatekeeper pitch.

 

Gatekeeper pitch!? That pitch is great! Even wearing my pack and trailing my partners bag off my haul loop. Then again my mother always told me I was special.

 

Nobody said gatekeeper doesn't mean great. I will bet your partner also thinks you are special for taking his stuff and yours on lead. True hard man.

 

When first interested in that route years ago, I couldn't find much info on it. Just rumors about an offwidth.....

Edited by matt_warfield

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if we get more stuck cams in that pitch, it won't a gatekeeper anymore! :)

 

Kind of like that one above gendarme on N. Ridge Stuart a few years back.

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Don't worry, we didn't get it stuck in the OW pitch....

 

Ahh that's too bad, did you get it back? or is it still floating around there somewhere?

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We did not get it back. I'm pretty sure someone was exceptionally stoked to booty it. Fair 'nough!

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