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2016 Backcountry Trip Reports => August 2016 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: mikerolfs on 08/14/16, 11:54 PM



Title: Aug 12-14, 2016 Enchants and Colchuck Glacier
Post by: mikerolfs on 08/14/16, 11:54 PM
We walked in on Friday and then Aidan and I skied all day Saturday on mild slopes that were fun to ski. We skied the slopes between dragontail and Little Annapurna including both sides of Witches Tower. It was a great fun ski day. We didn't ski the dragontail shoulder though. We could see MattT's tracks from 8/6, but we just weren't up to it. More in the photos about that. Sunday we traversed around Dragontail toward Colchuck Col.  The gully is now snow free except for the top 100' and there are a couple spots where I would really have liked to have a rope. I don't think I'll descend that gully again when it is snow free. Colchuck Glacier was suncupped with a firm surface. The snow on the East lobe ends about the same elevation as the terminal moraine. The Enchantment upper basin still has fun skiing, but I think the enjoyable season on Colchuck Glacier is over for this summer.

Carefree skiing on Saturday:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG8762_zpsnujtb42k.jpg)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG8834_zpsrkhyivxb.jpg)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG8843_zpsuuwofiwt.jpg)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG8868_zps2h1ooidm.jpg)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG8910_zpsaljjgz20.jpg)

West side of Witches Tower
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9025_zpsihscgalk.jpg)

Getting Water
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9063_zpsr5fusehi.jpg)

Admiring our tracks from camp
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9140_zpstlfbs6mp.jpg)

Current Snow Conditions in the upper basin
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9168_zpsoczfu2xm.jpg)

Green Dot, our camp. Blue Dot, injured climber. Red Dot, steep (STEEP) snow that MattT skied last week and we ascended today
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9212_zpsuiq77slq.jpg)

about the injured climber. We woke around 6:30AM Sunday to yells from above. We met the uninjured partner who explained the story of attempting Serpentine Arrette in a day from the car, benighted on the summit, broken leg injury from slip this morning. We texted this information from Dragontail at 10:45 to a friend in Wenatchee who relayed the information to the authorities. A helicopter showed up at 12:15. Wow. There were three helicopters total. One around noon, we think to assess the situation. Another around 2, maybe to drop SAR personnel? and a third around 3 that we think long-lined the injured climber.

Two of the tree helicopters:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9274_zpsi5lxzly3.jpg)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9275_zpsdlp7m71i.jpg)

The dragontail adventure was not as carefree as the basin skiing. The climb where MattT skied was pretty steep:
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9240_zpsmmlneppw.jpg)

Looking back
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9248_zpswhvk26le.jpg)

The pass that leads from the Enchantments side to the Porcupine Creek Side is gravel and sand on the north
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9253_zpsgyn431rk.jpg)

But steep and polished on the south
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9255_zpsqobveelq.jpg)

(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9271_zpsoobvks1p.jpg)

Colchuck skied just about how Aidan's expression looks
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9307_zpsukkhja3c.jpg)

Current coverage on Colchuck Glacier
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9356_zpsxhwiiun7.jpg)

An interesting mix of adventure and fun. Type one fun all day Saturday. Most of Sunday was Type 2 fun.


Title: Re: Aug 12-14, 2016 Enchants and Colchuck Glacier
Post by: mikerolfs on 08/15/16, 10:43 AM
Check out this photo from KPQ.com!  Here is the third helicopter!
(http://kpq.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/rescue.jpg)


Title: Re: Aug 12-14, 2016 Enchants and Colchuck Glacier
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 08/15/16, 08:34 PM
Quote from: mikerolfs on 08/14/16, 11:54 PM
(http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/mikerolfs/8-12-2016%20enchants/CIMG9356_zpsxhwiiun7.jpg)


Boy, the Colchuck Glacier looks like chocolate mess.



Title: Re: Aug 12-14, 2016 Enchants and Colchuck Glacier
Post by: peteyboy on 08/16/16, 08:17 PM
Chocolate chip mess.  Kudos to all you big boys.


Title: Re: Aug 12-14, 2016 Enchants and Colchuck Glacier
Post by: mikerolfs on 08/16/16, 08:52 PM
Quote from: peteyboy on 08/16/16, 08:17 PM
Chocolate chip mess.  Kudos to all you big boys.


The only other time I've been in that gully was with you, Pete. It's way more pleasant with snow.


Title: Re: Aug 12-14, 2016 Enchants and Colchuck Glacier
Post by: MattT on 08/25/16, 10:37 AM
Little late on the reply here - but awesome work! I was basically wanting to ski all those lines you guys nailed. That rock band where you encountered the injured climb is indeed sketch and certainly adds some risk to that slope.

Looks like fun!


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