Yes, it has some loose rock, but a great climb! We lucked out with some amazing views from the summit, seeing from Rainier all the way north to Mt Baker! And of course the views of the Enchantments were definitely amazing!
Good little romp. Casual 3:45 up from Colchuck Lake, and 1:40 down. Stayed on snow for the most part up to Aasgard, and above that snow was a little mushy. Only about 50 minutes from Agard to summit, and very short amount of time on the actual ridge. Camped at the lake which is melted out and a few camp sites are becoming apparent. Squitoes are also becoming apparent and I can imagine the nightmare in another month or so.
Started walking up from the enchantments, but the rock was so good I was lured into climbing a 60 ft cliff up to the ridge. I had my rock shoes with me for bouldering, but no rope or partner. It was pretty stupid in retrospect, but the views from the top were amazing.
Trip report is at Enchantments Reflections TR
Two car-to-car outings.
Backbone Ridge (July 22, 2006): TR is here
Serpentine Ridge (July 24, 2005):
Shirley and I drove to TH on Saturday evening. Tried to get a nap in the car but that did not work out. Started hiking at 11:30pm - way too early as it turned out. Got to base at 3 & change am at a very relaxed pace (very relaxed as I was a bit sick). Busted out the emergency space blanket as it was chilly. Sat/napped/shivered there till about 6 am. On route by 6:30 am. Crux pitch was nice and views were great but climbing itself overall was disappointing. Loose rock on upper pitches. Got to summit ~2ish pm. Nice summit with perfect weather (sunny & warm). Got a nap in. Easy ( but painful on knees) descent. Hike out. Back in car 8 and change pm. Lotta chilled coffee in L-worth & fast food. A short nap at Snoqualmie Pass somehow extended itself when the alarm failed to function. Back in Portland 3:30am. At work at 9.
heard lots of rockfall the previous day... woke up at 5:30 and bagged it before it got hot again.
Via Aasgard pass. Sunny Day!
Plan was to climb Dragontail on Sat and then drop down to the Colchuck col and summit Colchuck also. Given the record hot temps we decided to wait and get an early start sunday morning. After summiting about 7:00am we decided to forgo Colchuck until the following day, via the colchuck glacier.
One day from car to summit. Luckily, it was a cool day. I would never want to go up Aasgard Pass in hot weather.
Car to car in sixteen hours. The climbing low on the route was enjoyable, the twin cracks pitch outstanding. The upper pitches were loose and demanded concentration. Generally stay more to climber's left to stay out of a loose gully and headwall to the right. Did not need crampons or ice axe for the climb or descent.
Camped in the snow filled basin and summitted Little Annapurna the day before. Bright sunshine ( I believe record highs). The plan was to summit on the 28th but as we topped Aasgard around 10:00am the snow was already slush so we waited till early next morning and headed up. Fantastic views in an incredible area!
Group of seven of us made summit about 11am Saturday. Beautiful weather and spectacular views off of the summit. Thanks to 'rpc' for the great beta!
My intention was to climb DT from Aasgard quickly and be down before the afternoon thunderstorms hit the mountains. I always hear horror stories about hiking to Aasgard pass but there was a decent path from Colchuck lake to the pass so made good time. Snow on the glacier was very soft and some point release debris were visible but it was very straightforward. Finally caught up with a very fast paced climber, Jeff, on the summit. It was still around 10 and he suggested to climb Witches Tower and Little Annapurna. So we first went down the south ridge of DT and off the ridge steep soft snow on to the south side of Witches tower and scrambled up a class-3 route to its cool summit. From there a gentle raising traverse to Little Annapurna. After a well earned lunch break and exchanges of our climb stories back down to the pass and at 5pm arrived at the car. Admired the climbers on the rocks along Icicle road as I drove back to L-worth and eventually made it back to Portland before midnight.
I had a great day in one of the most beatiful places and dedicated this little trip on Father's Day to my dad who passed away a year ago and is missed dearly...
Quite the littany of flexibility on this one. Plans changed numerous times. Originally was going to meet up Saturday evening with friends Mark/Natasha and Chris/Shauna. They were each going to do Serpentine Arrete in two teams and I was going to do Colchuck and Dragontail via Colchuck Glacier. I got a late start out of Portland and didn't get to the trailhead until almost 11 pm so I opted to crash in the truck and start at first light.
Got going about 4:30 am at the same time as another party of 3 who slept at the trailhead too. Made Colchuck Lake by about 6:30 or so. Had been on the walkie talkie to try to contact my friends all the way in but no response and never saw them on the route. Ran into them at their tents by the lake. They had started up much earlier and the weather window they needed never opened. By the time I got there though the weather was clearing so they decided to hike up to the lakes basin. I opted to enjoy the trail with them instead of the glacier. Lots of laughs all the way up.
At the Pass we headed to the lakes for a bit and ran into a very curious goat. I departed for the glacier while they then headed east for a hike. Scrambled up and over a few minor ridges. Be careful on these if you do so, I slipped on a polished slab and rode a 45 degree rock down about 30 feet hoping I wouldn't turn an ankle.
Luckily I didn't and I then started up the glacier. Pretty slushy by this time of day (about 11 am). Went mostly straight up until the top, then did a switchback to gain the saddle. Ditched the axe and crampons and scrambled up to the summit. Knew I would be late getting back home to Portland so opted to descend the same route instead of downclimb to Colchuck. Hiked out with Chris and Shauna.
Back at the trailhead as I rubbed my feet and moaned, I ran into the group that departed a few minutes before me that morning. They had done the 10 mile hike into Prusik, did the South Arrete route as a team of 3, and hiked out in the same amount of time (about 15 hours) as it took me o Dragontail. I quickly shut up as I knew I had just gone from long, tough dayclimber to wuss in like 15 seconds.
Still don't think I'd recommend this as a dayhike although it certainly can be done as one. Just made for another late night drive home for me. Hit my bed about 2:30 am but still glad I did it as it was great to hang with friends and get a peak in.
Slow group, made even slower by initial route-finding difficulty. While descending, group above kicked down a grapefruit that landed on my pack, about an inch or so behind my helmeted noggin, smashing my compass into bits... It's on the list for this summer...
Partners: John Middleton & Allan Thousteinson.
Joe Hahler & Ruth Martin were on a separate rope team.
Stay left on final pitches to hit the big exit ledge...critical...it looks like you should go to the right, but that traps you under the big roofs of the summit towers & moves must be reversed. I still fondly remember a wonderful pitch of chickenheads warmed by the sun.
Minimal pro: #1 & #2 Camalots, 2-3 Friends, 2 Tech Friends, several stoppers. Plus helmet! This was my first multi-pitch alpine rock climb & I'll never, ever forget it...as well as the 1st time I had ever been exposed to serious rockfall (no one was hit). From talking later to another party, who had experienced the same thing in what we agreed upon was the "Death Gully", we all may have been slightly off-route. Beckey terms this route "distinctly sporting."
Roped up at 7:45 am...summitted 7:30 pm...& that was with all 5 of us. Descent via Aasgard Pass.
Climbed with Phil Dyment who was living in Ellensburg then. We went light; car to car in 16 hours. The 80 foot long 5.9 offwidth in the middle may have a couple of 5.9 moves but it's reputation far exceeds it's bite. Don't be afraid, it's easy. The wet rock down low was harder. The finishing pitches on the fin were wild. Very beautiful area.
Pete and I did this walk-up in howling wind and blue skies. I thought we'd get blown off, but by the time we got near the top the winds died down some. Awesome scenery from the top. Dark clouds to the west moving east chased us back to the truck the next day.
Got lost in the dark on the approach - lots of bushwacking; missed the last bridge that led to some dicey creek crossings via icy logs. Good climb with several pitchs of veneer ice plastered over granite, plus several pitches of neve; sustained climbing of 50-70 degrees for entire route; outstanding exposure that really made the climb worthwhile. Great glissade down Asgard pass to Colchuck Lake - beats walking. Horrendous hike out in soft snow - numerous plunges to chest height while crossing the boulder field below Colchuck Lake. Simul soloed entire route with partner - car to car in 12 hours.
Great Weather, Great Company, Great mountains,
Though a tiring one day trip.