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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    686

    TR: Corn to the West Pow to the East, From Kaleetan to Dragontail

    After looking at the weather forecast it seemed we had a two day break in between unstable weather patterns so John (Jcocci on splitboard.com) and I decided to take advantage of blue skies and corn in the Snoqualmie pass area. We passed a few ideas back and forth “I have always wanted to do Kaleetan but I have never done Granite either” then we came up with the idea of doing them both. We were inspired by a trip Monika and Dave Perkins did last year in which you started off at the Alpental parking lot then do a long traverse to the Granite mountain parking lot while hitting Chair peak col, Kaleetan and Granite along the way. It was over 12 miles but well worth the effort.

    Thursday April 30th

    Hiking the Alpy B.C. to source lake, Chair Peak in the background.

    (Photo by John)
    Traversing into the Pineapple basin

    (Photo by John)
    John Skinning with Bryant peak in the background


    To access the Bryant/ Chair peak col requires climbing a steep semi exposed face so we switched over to Ice axes and Crampons for our ascent

    Climbing up to the col in the early morning Mank conditions

    (Photo by John)
    Climbing up the final pitch with Snoqualmie Mountain in the Background

    (Photo by John)
    After accessing the Col we rode down to Melakwa Lake in Pre corn conditions

    (Photo by John)
    John riding down onto Melakwa Lake

    Our first view of Kaleetan looking up the Melakwa lake basin

    From here we decided to head up to Melakwa pass so we could see what would be the best approach to Kaleetan
    John skinning up the Valley
    John standing at the pass looking at the East face of Kaleetan

    Glacier Peak came into view

    After finding the least sketch approach to the Summit of Kaleetan we switch over to crampons and Ice axes again and started climbing

    (Photo by John)
    John climbing up with Snow Lake in the valley bellow and Big Snow Mountain in the Distance

    Summiting the col to access Kaleetans summit chair peak in the background

    (Photo by John)
    Hiking the final pitch to access the summit of Kaleetan

    Hiking up with our ski line and slogging path up to Granite below

    (Photo by John)
    Some views from the summit (6259 feet)

    (Photo by John)

    The ride down Kaleetan was not quite corn, but not quite Mank

    (Photo by John)

    (Photo by John)


    (Photo by John)



    (Photo by John)



    We rode almost 3’000 vert all the way down through old growth timber to around 3’400 feet at the start of the Pratt River

    (Photo by John)
    From here we traversed a small ridge then followed the main drainage up numerous lakes to access the summit of Granite.
    Checking the Map and resting in the sunshine at upper Tuscohatchie Lake

    (Photo by John)
    John skinning across the lake

    John skinning up the Eastern ridge to gain access to the summit of Granite

    After miles and miles of skinning we finally made it to the Summit of Granite

    (Photo by John)
    Skinning off the summit with Kaleetan to the left and Chair peak to the right

    (Photo by John)
    John on the summit with the west bowl begging for some tracks
    Last edited by Kyle Miller; 05-03-2009 at 09:53 AM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    686
    Looking back at Snoqualmie Mountain to the left and Over Coat peak in the distance

    (Photo by John)
    One last look before descending, Kaleetan to the left chair peak to the right

    We were exhausted from the long trip so we decided to rip down the southern face of granite non stop. The corn for the first 1’500 feet was perfect, stable, steep corn by far the best run off the day. After that it was 500 feet of Avy debris riding then bushwhacking through dense forest until we reached the trail and hiked out the last 500 vert.
    Luckily while we were riding down Brad (Moscawulff on turns-all-year) was hiking up the ridge and got a few shots of us. Thanks Brad


    It’s a brutal tour but well worth it




    Originally my plans for Friday was to go climb Mt Stuart but a few days earlier a storm came from East to West brining over a foot of fresh snow to the area. While I love powder I don’t love hiking up a 4’000 foot SE facing avalanche path so I changed plans. Instead of hitting a south facing slope I decided to head to some North Facing slopes in the same area and take advantage of some late season pow conditions.

    Dragon Tail Peak is the second highest in the Stuart range summiting at 8840 with a skiable line off the SW face.
    http://www.pbase.com/nolock/image/57356997

    I met up with Dan (crstlxtrm) in Bellevue and we made the long drive to Icicle Creek just outside of Leavenworth were we camped at 8 mile campground. Early the next morning we drove up to around 1 mile before the trailhead before being stopped by a patch of snow. We packed our gear and were on the trail by 7:00 AM. The hike was rather straight forward with no post holing for the first few miles before switching over to skins. After 2 hours of hiking through the Alpine Lakes wilderness we finally made it to the base of Colchuck lake. The original plan was to meet up with Jeff (Spicoli11 on splitboard.com) and Scott (Ale Capone on splitboard.com) at there base camp at the lake but we were late so it was going to be a game of catch up.

    Friday May 1st

    Dragontail Peak to the Left and Colchuck peak to the right with our Ascent up Colchuck glacier in the middle

    Skinning up Colchuck Glacier with Jeff and Scott in the distance.

    Looking down at Colchuck Lake

    Jeff breaking trail with the Summit of Dragon Tail above him

    Once we hit the Col we traversed around to the SW face of Dragontail to access the summit couloir
    Jeff and Scott skinning up to the Summit of Dragontail


    After accessing the summit col Jeff and I did some rock scrambling to make it to the summit proper

    (photo by Scott)
    Climbing the rock with Scott getting ready to drop in.

    (photo by Jeff)
    Jeff sitting on the Summit proper with Cashmere in the background

    Looking west at Colchuck Peak

    Argonaut to the left Mt Stuart in the Middle and Colchuck to the right

    Mt Rainier showing herself in the distance

    Scott drops in
    (photo by Jeff)

    (photo by Jeff)

    Then Jeff

    I drop in last
    (photo by Jeff)

    (photo by Jeff)
    Last edited by Kyle Miller; 05-03-2009 at 10:29 AM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    686
    The conditions on the SW side of Dragontail were soft Cascadian Mank, not yet sticky but heavy. After dropping about 700 vert we hiked back up to the Col and dropped almost 3’000 vert of perfect may powder delivering face shots with almost every turn.
    Jeff dropping in with Colchuck lake in the distance

    Scott tearing it up (yes it was that good)
    (photo by Jeff)
    (photo by Jeff)

    (photo by Jeff)

    (photo by Jeff)
    Enjoying the bluebird Pow

    (photo by Jeff)
    Scott getting some air time

    (photo by Jeff)
    With the occasional Ice spot

    (photo by Jeff)
    Scott, Dan and myself ripping down the lower apron

    (photo by Jeff)
    Looking back up at our lines

    Jeff, Scott and Dan skinning back to there base camp to pack up and head out

    Skinning across the Lake before our mini epic

    Our route out was brutal we were able to find a 50 degree chute down a cliff band that had fallen down trees and devils club everywhere ( I hate devils club). After bushwhack for a few hours and crossing a few creeks we made it back to the trail and back to the car less then a hour before it was dark.
    The mini epic bushwhack

    Our ascent to Dragon tail

    Enjoy.
    Last edited by Kyle Miller; 05-03-2009 at 10:34 AM.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oregon and Eden, UT
    Posts
    29
    Great work!

    Way to get the most out of the two days of good weather.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    X=Z-BO
    Posts
    2,935
    way to hit the pow. i knew it was good over there.
    god created man. winchester and baseball bats made them equal - evel kenievel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Kulshan
    Posts
    1,621
    you sir are a grade A badass. I love your TRs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,806
    FKNA! Looks like an epic time. Please keep bringing the North Cascade stoke!
    "The skis just popped me up out of the snow and I went screaming down the hill on a high better than any heroin junkie." She Ra

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    6,197
    Nice! I've been wanting to get to Colchuck for a long time, Friday was the day to do it for sure. That's some mighty sweet snow you guys found up there, looks like the storm that brought it tracked to the South as I was up in the N. Cascades Friday and didn't find any fresh stuff.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    268
    Beautiful photos. It looks like you had a serious workout on the way up.

    I like the raven photo.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The dry side of WA
    Posts
    814
    I grew up in Leavenworth and know that area very well, you picked the right day for sure, it can get really nasty up there. I agree 100% with fish you are a Badass Mo Fo! and a very fit one at that. Well done!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fhloston Paradise
    Posts
    1,816
    Very impressive.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    52
    You hit it right, way to get after it!

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