|Looking across Colchuck Lake to Dragontail Peak. James Pierson.|
To start the climb, head counter-clockwise to the south side of the lake then head up hill and just a bit east of the lowest point of the north face of Dragontail (the prominent snow finger at the bottom of the first photo). You will warm up on 40-50 deg. snow and ice for about 800' of the First Coulior before you are forced to make a choice between three options.
|Climbing through the First Couloir. Scott Schumann.|
|At the base of the ice runnels between pitch 1 and 2. Coley Gentzel.|
|Midway through the climb, with Colchuck Balanced Rock|
in the background. Scott Schumann
Your third option is to continue on to the top of the First Couloir. By doing this, you essentially bypass the Second Couloir and come out on a broad snow slope on the Northwest Face. The entrance to the Third Couloir is found behind a large tower at the top of these 40 - 60 deg. slopes. However, because this variation does not ascend the Second Couloir, it is not, technically, the the Triple Couloirs route.
|Nearing the top of the Second Couloir. Scott Schumann.|
|Transitioning from the Second Couloir up into|
the Third. Andrew Yasso.
|A short snow scramble from the top of the Third Couloir up |
to the summit of Dragontail Peak. Andrew Yasso
This is just one of the great alpine ice routes that are available to climb with AAI. As I mentioned previously, the route is usually done in the spring, so this is a great follow up if have taken our Alpine Ice Course during one of the past summers. If this gets you excited and yearning for more, give us a call and we'll get a trip set up for you!