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| | |-+  January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
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Author Topic: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs  (Read 71971 times)
jwplotz
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January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« on: 01/07/13, 12:09 PM »

Trying to process this descent is a difficult thing, since understating it would do the route a big injustice, while overstating it would most likely trivialize it.  Suffice to say, a hell of a lot happened when Scott McCallister (Alecapone) and I started making turns down Triple Couloirs.  We thought we would be taking the rope and small rack of my booty cams and stoppers, plus an assortment of pitons, mostly smaller lost arrows, for a hike and they would never see a crack.  But oh were we wrong...

We started late, so skied this line almost entirely in the dark.  We started making turns just below the summit by 4pm.  As you can tell in the photos, the 3rd couloir we just barely had enough light.  By the time we chopped a burly bollard and rapped 100 feet to the top of the 2nd couloir, it was headlamp time.  The overcast dreary light and constant dousing of spindrift made the whole experience somehow more true to ski alpinism. 

But oh, the snow.  Again, steep powder, solid, not a worry, minding your sluff, confident edging! 

It was all very wild, the whole experience.  Like I said, a lot happened when we were in those couloirs, enough so that this descent will never be forgotten for various reasons. 

Scott approaching the beast.


Weather moved in rapidly.


Scott's first Dragontail summit.


Boy does the 3rd Couloir roll over.


Scott riding the 3rd down into the gloom.


Near the bottom of the 3rd.


Chopping our first bollard for the rap into the 2nd couloir.  Probably the most committing rap of the route, since climbing the crumbly rock with intermittent bullet ice to reverse tracks was not an option. We agreed that making the rap would commit us to the rest of the route.  The rap was exactly 100'.  We used my 6mm, 60m rope for the descent.   


Solid cracks to build anchors were almost impossible to come by. We trusted a lot of sketchy placements for some of our 5 raps down the runnels.  These two pieces were my only best work of the night unfortunately.


We huddled briefly in a cool alcove out of the spindrft line of fire.  Some of the cascading sugar snow were large enough to challenge our balance and nerves.


Safe at the bottom of Aasgard Pass, drenched, cold, clammy, but we were numb to it all thinking about the descent in all its twists and turns.


Scott my man!  Thanks for joining me on this one.  I really appreciate your level headedness.
« Last Edit: 01/07/13, 06:58 PM by jwplotz » Logged
powhound
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #1 on: 01/07/13, 12:22 PM »

Congratulations on this one guys! Scott was just showing me that line the other day. Pure Gnar!
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Saign
jwplotz
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #2 on: 01/07/13, 12:25 PM »

Thanks Saign!
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lrudholm
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #3 on: 01/07/13, 12:43 PM »

Congratulations and FKNA doing it in the dark. Is that a first snowboard descent?
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Leyland
AlpineRose
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #4 on: 01/07/13, 12:49 PM »

Wonderful report on a great trip.  Thanks. 
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bs.
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #5 on: 01/07/13, 01:17 PM »

i read this at work and immediately had to get up for a walk.  trying to imagine that descent has destroyed my ability to focus on the mundane today.  impressed is an understatement.

congratulations both of you.
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dberdinka
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #6 on: 01/07/13, 01:33 PM »

So what got left out of this trip report!?.....

blown anchors?  bodies cartwheeling through space only to have the rope snagged by a horn of rock? Surfing class 3 avi's through the lower coulior?
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HikeforTurns
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #7 on: 01/07/13, 01:38 PM »

Holy Balls.  That line scares me on a bluebird day with birds chirping.
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prestonf
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #8 on: 01/07/13, 03:00 PM »

Yea, it sounds like you're leaving out the best parts.  Spill the beans.  Smiley
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ryanl
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #9 on: 01/07/13, 04:04 PM »

SHBAM!!!

Damn impressive you two.
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chmnyboy
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #10 on: 01/07/13, 04:58 PM »

Whoa.
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Griff
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #11 on: 01/07/13, 05:03 PM »

Very, very cool. Thanks for the inspiration. True ski moutaineering.......
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z-bo
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #12 on: 01/07/13, 06:08 PM »

wow
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Marcus
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #13 on: 01/07/13, 06:11 PM »

Holy crap.  Nice work fellas.  Hairball.
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Kyle Miller
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #14 on: 01/07/13, 06:22 PM »

Awesome! Way to slay a sick line with bonus points for a night time descent.
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In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
jwplotz
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #15 on: 01/07/13, 06:44 PM »

thanks all for the nice comments!  For you climbers out there, the runnels are shaping up nicely, as is the pitch going from the 2nd to 3rd couloir.
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AlpineRose
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #16 on: 01/07/13, 07:44 PM »

jwplotz, is there some place you could post a more complete story of your trip where those of us interested could read more?

Don't think you need worry about the TAY "hordes" overrunning this route.
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jwplotz
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #17 on: 01/07/13, 08:05 PM »

jwplotz, is there some place you could post a more complete story of your trip where those of us interested could read more?

Don't think you need worry about the TAY "hordes" overrunning this route.

I certainly will eventually.  I usually contribute content to wenatcheeoutdoors.org providing lots of very amateur narrative, albeit usually with more detail. 
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Marcus
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #18 on: 01/07/13, 08:11 PM »

Post a link here in the TR when/if you do -- would love to read the blow-by-blow.
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trees4me
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #19 on: 01/07/13, 08:14 PM »

very inspiring!  That's a hell of a committing line, especially to start at dusk.  Nice job pulling it off.  

would really like to hear any details, i guess there's a bit more on cc.com.
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chill people, skiing is fun
harrai
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #20 on: 01/07/13, 08:53 PM »

Damn! Nice work!
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silaswild
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #21 on: 01/07/13, 09:16 PM »

Congratulations on the safe and careful completion of a route known for its aesthetics and danger.  Great accomplishment rewarding your strength and experience.
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jwplotz
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #22 on: 01/07/13, 09:58 PM »

Congratulations and FKNA doing it in the dark. Is that a first snowboard descent?

It may be of all 3 couloirs.  'Steepy' rode the NW Face variation that Dan Helmsradter, Will Terrano and I skied in 3/2010, which avoids the 2nd couloir.
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jtack
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #23 on: 01/07/13, 10:39 PM »

I thought you guys were trouble by yourselves, it's double trouble when you are together! Nice work.......crazy, but nice work! thanks.
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alecapone
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Re: January 6th, 2013, Dragontail, Triple Couloirs
« Reply #24 on: 01/08/13, 07:00 AM »

Wow is right! John, I don't know how you had the mental energy to write this yesterday! I'm still kinda fried and processing it all.

Thank you very much for having me along. It was a pleasure to get out with you again after last years hiatuse. Even if only a day before I was telling the guys I would NEVER ride that line. Would not have attempted it without you.

Re the story.. not everything that happens is physical. A lot of what happened had more to do with words like commitment, trust, and an ability to act and maintain composure on both of our parts.

Thanks for the replies everyone.
I'll add some real content when I can.
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scott
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