It was the weekend before spring quarter final exams at UW. I study better under a time crunch, so my friend Sara and I headed up to climb Serpentine Arete (5.8) on Dragontail.
We climbed the route in a day from the car. We left the Stuart Lake trailhead at 4:30am, got to Colchuck Lake by 6:30am, were climbing the rock by 8:30am, summited at 2pm, made it back to the lake at 4:45pm, were back to the car by 6:45pm, and were back to Seattle by 10pm. Time to study!
We simulclimbed most of the route, and had a blast. Here are some photos and brief descriptions for this trip report.
Illustrated Trip Report
(Click on images to enlarge)
| ||Looking up the route from the base. We started just right of the orange slabs at the top of the terminal morraine above Colchuck Lake.|
| ||The first pitch, short 5.7ish pitch to get to class 3 ramps.|
| ||Easy scrambling for much of the route.|
| ||Sara leading the first of the 2 "crux" pitches mid-route, a 5.8 crack. These were our 2 favorite pitches, we wished there could be more of this kind of climbing!|
| ||Sara following the second of the 2 "crux" pitches mid-route, a 5.8 dihedral. These were our 2 favorite pitches, we wished there could be more of this kind of climbing!|
| ||Most of the second half of the climb involved fun 3rd to mid-5th class climbing up the arete. There were several possible variations.|
| ||We spotted a Mountaineer party heading up to Colchuck Col. I decided to make the route look more impressive by rotating the photo....|
| ||A piton, perhaps from the original ascent of Serpentine Arete in 1973.|
| ||The view of Colchuck Col from our climb.|
| ||The view south from the summit.|
| ||The view of Colchuck (and Stuart behind) from the summit.|
| ||Early summer snow in the Upper Enchantment Lake Basin on the descent down the back of Dragontail and down Aasgard Pass (a walk-off, although Aasgard Pass never fails to be uncomfortable on the knees).|
| ||The last of the winter ice on Colchuck Lake.|
| ||I can never resist taking photos of chipmunks.|