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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    733

    Powder in May???? Dragon Tail via Colchuck Lake

    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 donít love hiking up a 4í000 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)
    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 3í000 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.
    Shameless spam: Trip reports and Gear reviews

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    tourin BC
    Posts
    2,741
    a little late but worth the wait.
    keep the tr's coming for some summer stoke
    We, the RATBAGGERS, formally axcept our duty is to trigger avalaches on all skiers ...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    in your mouth
    Posts
    269
    Ah I was there last October, but it looked a little different then. Hiked up the line you guys skinned, w/ packs for a few days. Awesome to see someone get after it when there's snow on it!
    My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We're bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We're coming in from the north, below their radar.

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