telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
12/20/14, 04:54 AM

Solar Halo over Tahoma
on TAY home page
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  June 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way  (Read 2365 times)
mikerolfs
Member
Offline

Posts: 582


WWW
June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« on: 06/23/13, 08:46 AM »

Jtack and I had a grand day above Lake Colchuck on Saturday, June 22.  The area is popular.  We met 26 people on the way up, and another 61 on the return (I kept a tally).  Jamie counted 34 cars in the lot at 6am and 76 at 5pm with overflow on both sides of the road for roughly a quarter mile.  At the lake, there were tents erected in every site including the "day use only" area and some sloping spots.  We met a Wenatchee couple and 8 Mountaineers on top of Dragontail, and we watched two guys work on a steep crack route on Witches Tower. 





The guys on Witches Tower were just approaching their route as we went by on the way up:




They were one pitch up on our return.  Steep route!


We kept dry feet on mostly bare trail all the way up Aasgard Pass.  This was not discouraging because the whole way up the north side, we could see continuous snow on the south side.  The higher we went, the stronger our optimism grew that we would be able to ski the entire pass on return.  By the time we were 3/4 up, we were convinced that there was a continuous line from the top all the way to the lake.  Coverage in the upper Enchantment basin was excellent.  We switched from sneakers to skis at Aasgard Pass.


Clouds came and went, creating peak-a-boo views from the summit.


We got a brief glimpse of Mt. Daniel.  Looks like coverage is still excellent there


The skiing was great!  From the base of the summit rocks to the boulder hop trail at the head of Lake Colchuck, 3400' of continuous skiing that had both of us hooting with joy!

Jamie above the basin


Me loving the big open slope


Aasgard Pass skiing



There was snow all the way to the lake, and we skied right to the trail.  Not a single step of slide alder bushwacking.  It was amazing.




A funny thing happened on top.  Jamie and I had just started skiing and there were a string of Mountaineers coming up the snowfield.  They wore helmet, harness, ropes and axe.  We must have looked cavalier, giggling and goofing off without any obvious climbing gear and coming right off the summit ridge.   As I skied by I said a casual "hi" and I imagine a slow motion jaw drop because when I looked over my shoulder there was a pack tumbling down the hill toward me followed by a loose water bottle.  I tackled the pack and backed up to catch the nalgene bottle.  "Thanks!"  "you're welcome!" 

funny event.
Logged
Don_B
Member
Offline

Posts: 296


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #1 on: 06/23/13, 10:59 AM »

That looks like fun! Much better that climbing up or down the rockpile there. Nice timing.
Logged
Zap
Member
Offline

Posts: 1782


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #2 on: 06/23/13, 11:52 AM »

Great TR and photos.  Wink
Logged
Sol Wertkin
5Member
Offline

Posts: 19


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #3 on: 06/23/13, 07:02 PM »

That's myself and partner Ryan Daudistel on The Witches Tower.

Thank for posting those shots!!

We made the first ascent of a line that goes through the wild flake roof and then the bigger roof above. 6 pitches, 5.10 C1 for now, it's prepped to go free, likely 5.11+/12-. The close up of us is the 2nd pitch, splitter thin hands, onsight free at 5.10-.

It was fun listening to you guys hoot and holler your way down dtail as we battled out way up those steep cracks!
Logged
mikerolfs
Member
Offline

Posts: 582


WWW
Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #4 on: 06/23/13, 07:31 PM »

That's myself and partner Ryan Daudistel on The Witches Tower.

Thank for posting those shots!!

We made the first ascent of a line that goes through the wild flake roof and then the bigger roof above. 6 pitches, 5.10 C1 for now, it's prepped to go free, likely 5.11+/12-. The close up of us is the 2nd pitch, splitter thin hands, onsight free at 5.10-.

It was fun listening to you guys hoot and holler your way down dtail as we battled out way up those steep cracks!

Awesome!  I thought there must be something serious going on.  I went home that night and looked at the routes described in Becky's 2nd edition.  None of the routes described looked anything like what you were doing.  Fun to witness history.
Logged
danpeck
Member
Offline

Posts: 377


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #5 on: 06/23/13, 07:58 PM »

Mike,

Cool TR and photos.  Such a fun area you have to play in!
Logged
glenn_b
Member
Offline

Posts: 260


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #6 on: 06/23/13, 08:52 PM »

Nice but still needing a pic of Jamie packing skis on his shoulder to make me feel totally inadequate.  Way to get after it, Sol and Ryan!  That's not my route up Witches Tower.
Logged
jwplotz
Member
Offline

Posts: 362


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #7 on: 06/23/13, 09:29 PM »

Lots of locals in action!  Thanks for posting Mike.  And way to explore the choss Sol and Ryan.  I've always wondered about Witches Tower.  I never would have guessed it was 6 pitches!
Logged
mikerolfs
Member
Offline

Posts: 582


WWW
Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #8 on: 06/23/13, 09:40 PM »

Thanks for posting Mike.

John I hope you noticed the title to this trip report is a tip of the hat to you and Scott.  We talked about your triple couloir ski on our walk up - and shuddered Smiley


Nice but still needing a pic of Jamie packing skis on his shoulder to make me feel totally inadequate. 



« Last Edit: 06/23/13, 09:44 PM by mikerolfs » Logged
jtack
Member
Offline

Posts: 427


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #9 on: 06/24/13, 12:18 PM »

John/Scott, as Mike noted, we eyed your line all the way to the top of the pass, all the more impressive in real life.  A great ski, for me, thanks to the consummate fun hog (Mike) I was lured down Aasguard, and there was a spot or two that made me pucker just a little, but as is always the case so exciting to have done it, not to mention the added bonus, of stepping of on the trail at the lake! A few shots of the Fun hog in his element!








« Last Edit: 06/26/13, 06:49 AM by jtack » Logged
Lowell_Skoog
Member
Offline

Posts: 1818


WWW
Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #10 on: 06/25/13, 09:45 PM »

Nice report.

When I look at this picture of Witches Tower, I wonder what the lichen on the tower signifies.



Does the sharp transition from almost-no-lichen (below) to lots-of-lichen (above) indicate a massive amount of rock fall? Or does it mark the line of a not-so-long-extinct glacier? To my eye, the latter seems more likely.

Either alternative is pretty interesting. It's been a long time since I was up there and spent much time looking at the tower.
« Last Edit: 06/25/13, 10:03 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
mikerolfs
Member
Offline

Posts: 582


WWW
Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #11 on: 06/25/13, 11:19 PM »

What an interesting observation.  We commented on not wanting to spend much time under the clean rock faces, but maybe they don't indicate recent rock fall after all.   Here are three more photos that might suggest the glacier explanation:





Logged
glenn_b
Member
Offline

Posts: 260


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #12 on: 06/26/13, 06:40 AM »

I'd guess these are the trim lines from the most recent glaciation aka the Little Ice Age.  Maybe some geologist type could weigh in.  Makes you wonder what the skiing would have been like in 1850 or so.
« Last Edit: 06/26/13, 01:01 PM by glenn_b » Logged
Lowell_Skoog
Member
Offline

Posts: 1818


WWW
Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #13 on: 06/26/13, 10:24 AM »

Here are three more photos that might suggest the glacier explanation:

I find those photos convincing for the glacier hypothesis.

It's like an alpine bathtub ring.

It would be fun to kick back and stare at the crags and try to imagine the Snow Creek Glacier as it once was.
Logged
peteyboy
Member
Offline

Posts: 218


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #14 on: 06/26/13, 08:51 PM »

Way to get after it in the summer, fellas.  Mike, at the risk of yet another trip ambition turning me into a modern day ski Sisyphus, I still am inspired for the mythical, magical winter day when the trip is skiable across the lake and safe goodness from the top back to the lake.
Logged
alecapone
Member
Offline

Posts: 763


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #15 on: 06/27/13, 10:55 AM »

Great report. My favorite mountain in the cascades.

Thanks for the tip of the hat, by far the most memorable trip i've ever had. But rad to see Sol and Ryan doing their thing. Now that looks like the hard way! Any way up or down anything in that area is spectacular.

Neat observation on the glacial retreat too. I've wondered about that, but never connected the dots.

Funny. Past couple seasons i've taken to using the verb j-tack, "j-tacking" , or "j-tackit" to mean, shouldering your sticks for any length of dry trail. Ie... " do you want to rack em, or just j-tack this section?

Logged

scott
Kyle Miller
Member
Offline

Posts: 582


WWW
Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #16 on: 06/27/13, 12:21 PM »

I am a huge geography nerd and love the photos of the old glacial scars. Awesome to think that the enchantments used to be a huge Glacial Ice cap.

When Jason and I were traversing through the Agnes valley it was awesome to see the western mountains had huge rock faces on there SE slopes, no doubt from an ancient glacier.

Ale as I have said many times you continue to inspire so many people including myself. Keep on keeping on!
Logged

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............
danpeck
Member
Offline

Posts: 377


Re: June 22, 2013, Dragontail - the easy way
« Reply #17 on: 06/27/13, 08:23 PM »

This is the kind of conversation I thrive for!  Nice!  I'm a believer on the glacier hypothesis.  I think I must have been a glacier in a previous life  Grin
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.