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Ascent of Dragontail Peak on 2011-08-27

Climber: Bri Wilson

Others in Party:8 people
friend Boglarka on the team.
Date:Saturday, August 27, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Dragontail Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8840 ft / 2694 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started from the Stuart lake TH about 615am for our single day ascent of Dragontail via Colchuck Col (BA route). It was just getting light out, but our early start allowed avoiding nearly all of the heat on our ascent. We followed stuart lake trail and then move up through the boulder fields onto a small ridge that ends with the start of the little glacier. We did not rope up for this and treated it as a snow climb. One small slit appeared to be a crevasse opening, but it was still mostly snow covered so we just went around it. We got off the snow and onto the rock fairly quickly, staying to the left.

There was no need to be on the snow below the rock after this, so we began traversing left. In a short while we looked up to our left and noted a gully to the right that appeared to be the path that leads to the notch in guidebooks, however, we bypassed this and went up a section on the left. This seemed to be a suitable route, but we did need to set up a hand line on the steep, exposed rock section. There may have been a low 5 move in there at a few points. After these sections, it is purely a "choose your own adventure" to continue to move towards the summit block. It is visible once on top of the gully, but still quite a distance. We reached the summit a little before 2, and only took a quick 20 min break to get shots and grab a bite.

After some discussion, we decided that despite the annoying hike around the lake we would have to do, a descent of Aasgard pass was most likely the fastest and easiest descent path. We left the summit at 220 and were all back to the cars by 810.

Note: if descending via Aasgard, be sure that at the very bottom by the lake you take the trail left and then stay on the lower trail to get back to the stuart lk trail that leads out. The other trail goes too high and is more bush-wacky.

The one day of dragontail is estimated to take between 12-18h. With a party size of 8, I'd say just under 14h with breaks included is great!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:5640 ft / 1717 m
    Elevation Loss:5640 ft / 1717 m
    Grade/Class:Class 4
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Great weather! Not too hot!
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:5440 ft / 1657 m
    Extra Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Route:Colchuck Col
    Trailhead:3600 ft / 1097 m
    Time Up:7 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:5440 ft / 1657 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Route:Aasgard Pass
    Trailhead:3600 ft / 1097 m
    Time Down:5 Hours 40 Minutes



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