Spent a very beatifull, but hot memorial weekend scrambling Dragontail and Colchuck, with a failed attempt at McClelland
Conditions were not as good as last weekend. Lots of fresh snow all the way up and down. There was another guy who was soloing (apart from me) and a third team of two on the route. The other solo guy was too fast - he started from the trailhead at about 5:00 am and overtook us (the team of two and I were taking turns breaking trail) at about 8:00 am and never looked back! So, he broke trail and at the same time beat the three of us by almost an hour! Thanks dude!!
I used two tools (had two or three places where I had to climb small steps of vertical rock/ice), and the team of two actually carried rope and pro, but never used them (mainly because of all the fresh snow - we would've just sunk in it if we fell).
It was cloudy and started snowing when we were near the top, but luckily, the weather did not get worse. Overall, a good climb that took more strength than technique!
What a wonderful SummitPost gathering!
Magnus and I met Peter and Bala in Leavenworth, and Brian and Chris met us where we were camped near Colchuck Lake.
Great weather, great conditions, great company!
Awesome conditions and an awesome group of people to climb with! Was great to meet with Brian Jenkins and Chris W. As Brian mentioned (in his pictures too), it was an easy plod up and down. We met at least three parties who had done the North Buttress Couloir on Saturday (Apr 9). Apparently, the NBC is in great shape.
My buddy Chris and I hiked in late Saturday evening arriving at the lake about 9 pm and meeting up with Peter, Magnus, Eileen and Bala. Actually, we were lucky they noticed us noisily clambering by their tents as they tried to sleep. Bivied with them and headed up about 6:30 the next morning across the frozen lake. A little over 3 hours later and we were on the summit after climbing up the glacier and heading right from the col. Snow was kind of sugary under a couple inches of slab which made for some loose footing. Had amazingly great weather in spite of the forecast and a great time with a cool group of people. Only wished I did not have to get back to Portland this night as I missed out on beers in Leavenworth.
I climbed this really cool snow couloir with Tom Fralich (see his post below). A lot of fun!
Spent the weekend up here tagging this summit with Jay Brazier, and Mark Von Hagel. Went up the N Buttress couloir and found truly mixed conditons. A bit of water ice climbing,snow,rock etc... A good time to hit this rte as early in the year it would be more of a snow slog. Great time.
Climbed as a relaxed 3-day trip over Memorial day weekend. The glacier is a simple snow trudge and a fun glissade. The class 2-3 route from the col to the summit was snowed-up, which made for some interesting scrambling. We enjoyed a chilly campsite on Colchuck Lake.
My first axe and crampon route, great for beginners. A lovely area, don't forget lots of DEET. Incredible views.
With SAC group left Colchuck Lake/Lake Stuart TH around 5:00am. At 8:00 am, while kicking steps up Colchuck Glacier several 100' below Colchuck Col, heard three loud blasts, thought to myself, "Who in the heck is blasting a trail up here at this time of the morning?" When we reached the summit and looked out to the SW we saw terrible and dark storm clouds approaching then we realized St Helens must have blown up. Wasted no time glissading down glacier and trotting out to TH in time to witness small amount of ash fall in Leavenworth.
Nice winter outing. reached 70 in Leavenworth that week, leaving us rather soft snow.
Climbed with Felix Danila on yet another cloudy day during our two weeks in the Cascades. We arrived at Colchuck Lake on June 4, but temperatures were very warm overnight and other groups reported soft snow in the couloir, so we decided to wait a day for a drop in the temperature. We lucked out and on June 6, we climbed the Couloir in just 3.5 hours from Colchuck Lake. Snow conditions were excellent and steps were already kicked, which made the route a piece of cake. Very nice route - the climbing on the face after exiting the couloir was my favorite part of the climb. We saw a few other groups during our descent of the Colchuck Glacier.
See the summit log by jtschanz . Having carried all the back breaking ski stuff up the mountain were hoping for a great ski but was disappointed by the slush fest at base of the glacier. The snow got much better higher up though. The weather was playing tricks all weekend long and by the time we got to the col we were in the clouds. It seems most people just turn around here. What would be a fun easy scramble to the summit was a bit hard with the clunky ski boots over snow covered slippery rocks. Could not see anything on the summit, got few glimpes of the tail of Dragontail. Getting down was very quick, fun mountain in an impressive setting, wish had better weather.
Haydar and I lugged our skis & boots up to Colchuck Lake, camped the night, and climbed up to Colchuck Col the next day. Weather was alternating between rain, snow showers, and sunbreaks so we never really got a good view of the peak we were climbing. From the col we scrambled up the snow-covered rocks to the summit where we tried to imagine the views of Stuart and the Enchantment Basin (all we saw was fog and fleeting views of Dragontail). The ski down from the col was great - but it was over too fast!
Climbed solo. Snow was in terrible condition due to warm weather and recent rain. Post hole city. I had the mix of weather, rain, snow and sun. Fun climb.
After summiting Argonaut, then downclimbing the East Gully, we traversed the basin just below the ridgeline connecting the 2 peaks. We found a moderate snow couloir to gain the boulder fields and lower angle terrain of the northwest route. The couloir was short but fun, about 45 degrees at the top. The summit block was nice, with excellent views of the route we did on Argonaut, and the beautiful Mount Stuart. We downclimbed some steep mushy snow to reach the Colchuck Glacier, then glissaded the 2,500 feet down to the lake (great fun). The hike out was tiring, on a 14.5 hour car to car day.
Good intro to spring climbing, snow conditions could have been better.
A very enjoyable route. High winds and deep snow but still great fun.
With Fred . Stuck pretty much to the ridge crest. Very fun.
Climbed in 1977 with Monica Spicker and in 1982 with Paul Bishop.
On both climbs, we stayed on the crest of the upper buttress as much as possible, making the climb very pleasant easy 5th class rather than dealing with the loose looking 3rd and 4th class terrain further west.
Descent on both climbs via Colchuck Glacier.