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| |-+  May 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 8, Colchuck Peak, NBC + North face
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Author Topic: May 8, Colchuck Peak, NBC + North face  (Read 2801 times)
eduardo blanchard

Posts: 26

May 8, Colchuck Peak, NBC + North face
« on: 05/11/10, 12:08 PM »

We left Seattle just after noon on Friday 7th with Maude on our minds. That beautiful north face has been on my mind too long now. I'd gotten some beta from Otter regarding the road in, and I was hoping that it'd be melted out most of the way. Well, that might be the case, but the gate 11 miles in is still locked up (anyone know where/how I can find out when they open it?). With no bikes and no angle grinder, it was time for plan B. Which probably turned out to be the best plan B in the history of plan Bs. So we headed to Leavenworth and from then on to the Mountaineers creek trailhead, to find our perfect moment on the handsome steep slopes of Colchuck Peak.
We managed to drive within ~300 meters of the trailhead, and the trail was skinnable all the way. Camped just under lake Colchuck as darkness fell to envelope us in dreams of white.
The following morning dawned fine, with an inch of fresh that fell overnight, and promises of a fantastic day. Made it to lake Colchuck which is one of the grandest places I've so far seen in this part of the world. Stunning. From then a quick skin up to the base of the North Buttress Couloir, which was well filled in. The climb to the saddle went quite fast, the snow in the top half was powder, and apart from one brief graupel shower, the weather was holding. Two of us carried on and traversed onto the North face- I'd read Jason Hummel's description of the route, first skied 7 years ago to the day today, and he's right, what a classic line!! The North face is a touch steeper than the NBC and above a ~200 foot cliff, making the sense of exposure phenomenal. We found mostly good snow on the face and climbed to the top of the snow line, some 30 feet below the true summit. Worries of incoming showers to our west made us desist the scramble to the top, so we clipped in and began our ski descent. The skiing was superb. What a line. What a line. What a line. The traverse back to the NBC is well filled in so we managed to ski continuously into the couloir, which again had some superb skiing, especially along its skiers right bank, where steep and deep was the name of the game. We joined our two companions at the foot of the couloir and enjoyed nice turns down to the lake. The ski out from camp was fast and fun, especially the section between the two footbridges. All in all an amazing day skiing on an incredible line.

1- the view from Colchuck lake
2- approaching the bottom of the NBC
3- Andy in the bottom section of the North face. Mt Stuart to the right

Aaron's posted some more pics here

* _MG_0201_edit_TAY2.jpg (178.11 KB, 800x533 - viewed 1003 times.)

* _MG_0165_edit_TAY2.jpg (193.34 KB, 800x533 - viewed 1002 times.)

* _MG_0175_edit_TAY2.jpg (175.59 KB, 800x533 - viewed 995 times.)

Posts: 434

Re: May 8, Colchuck Peak, NBC + North face
« Reply #1 on: 05/12/10, 09:58 AM »

Damn over achievers! You're supposed to be lazy like me (and Scott M.) and only ski the couloir itself.  Nice one and cool photos! They're great motivation to go back to include that nordwand this spring.

Posts: 1

Re: May 8, Colchuck Peak, NBC + North face
« Reply #2 on: 05/14/10, 03:30 PM »

Sweet lines on the north buttress couloir - you guys rock! Got a few pics of you guys coming down - PM me if you want high res versions.
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