Monday, October 4, 2010

Dragontail Peak: Backbone Ridge

The following article was written by AAI guide Alasdair Turner and posted on his blog. The Fall season is now truly upon us and this is a bit out of season, but it's never too early to get psyched for next year!

Last week I did a great trip to the Enchantments for a bit of rock climbing with Tom. This was by far my best work trip of the year. We started with a morning of climbing at Index, on the lower Town Wall. We climbed Great Northern Slab, Japanese Gardens and Godzilla. From there we did the drive to Leavenworth and climbed Classic Crack. The goal of the day was to teach an Englishman how to crack climb. We tried, but as with all crack climbers first days it was a bit of a struggle. All in all Tom did a pretty good job despite showing full on British crack climbing technique by attempting to lay back of face climb around all the cruxes.

The next day we hiked into Colchuck lake to use our newly learned crack climbing technique on Dragontail Peak. Is there any better way to test a new crack climber than to put them on a 30 meter long 5 inch offwidth crack? Below are some photos of the climb.

Tom in the offwidth.

More offwidth fun.

The top of the offwidth pitch.

Looking down the route.

Midway up the route.

Colchuck lake in the background.

The summit.

Sunset on the summit usually means its going to be a long day/night.

We got back to camp sometime after dark, drank beer, ate food and went to sleep. The hike out the next morning was quite nice and we did a little climbing in the afternoon, which was also followed by beer.

A pika posing for a perfect photo.

Dragonfly at the lake.

The trip was ended by a run up OuterSpace the Leavenworth classic.

Tom on the crux pitch with high winds creating some interesting clouds.

--Alasdair Turner, AAI Instructor and Guide

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