shot out to summit Dragon Tail Peak in one day. Got a group together and a beautiful Saturday in late August, couldnt ask for a better setup!
Left the Stuart Trail head at 8 am. Reached Colchuck Lake an hour and a half later. We sat at the head of the lake in the rock slide while eating a snack and admiring Azguard pass. The trail to Colchuck lake is of course in great shape seeing as how it is one of the most commonly traveled trails in the Alpine Lakes wilderness, so getting up this quickly was not difficult. after about a 20 minute break we decided it was time for the climb.
Azguard is one of those climbs that no matter what kind of shape you are in, it draws the breath out of you. between the steep loose climb and the amazing views its hard not to have your breath taken away. it took us another hour and 45 minutes to crest the top of the pass. we spent a short amount of time here admiring Isolation Lake and our next climb of Dragon Tail Peak..
Soon we headed out for the summit. We decided to scale straight up the snow field instead of playing on the rocks. at the top of the snow field we ran into a bench with a pretty well used path on it. oddly enough, some of those responsible for the path were laying in the snow at the crest watching us make our way up. Two adult mountain goats and a baby were enjoying their afternoon laying on the nice cool snow, only to move when we got too close. once at the saddle we were within a couple hundred feet of the summit. this mountain that looks unclimbable without gear from the front is easily walked up from the back side. within minutes we were sitting on the very top of Dragon Tale Peak observing breath taking views all around us. from jagged Stuart peak to the West with mt Daniel behind it, Colchuck lake 3,000 feet below us, and the Enchantments to the East. the views from this peak are almost unbelievable for how little effort you have to put in.
We sat at the summit a good half an hour, signed the log and ate a late lunch. After returning the log to its location we decided to head back down. luckily for me i had brought my ice ax so a long glassade down the snow field made my way of getting down much easier and faster than those who had to hike it.
We got back to the parking lot at 5 pm, making our whole trip 9 hours, and approx. 14 miles with a little over 6,000 ft of elevation.
beautiful trip and easily doable in a day for anyone who hikes much.