Basic Alpine Climb - Dragontail Peak/Colchuck Col


Basic Alpine Climb - Dragontail Peak/Colchuck Col

A beautiful alpine climb up steep snow, followed by some 3+ scrambling, to the second highest peak in the Stuart Range. The southwest ridge resembles the long spiny tail of a dragon.

  • Basic Alpine Climb, Strenuous 2, Technical 2
  • Challenging
  • Elevation Gain: 5,440 ft

5:00 AM at Lake Stuart Trailhead.

Priority given to Tacoma basic climbing students until May 11th. Please wait until registration opens before contacting the leader.

Ascend snow (early season) or talus to glacier (no crevasses but can be icy by mid-season) and follow glacier to Colchuck Col. A couple of hundred ft. left (E) of the Col, ascend the couloir to a notch in the ridge (Pandora's Box). Drop down and left, then traverse left (NE) to the summit; some parties use ropes for this part. Alternatively, about 30' below Pandora's Box, exit left and scramble up 4th class rock about 20 feet, then follow the ridge line left. In early season, almost the entire descent can be glissaded. But use caution; serious accidents have happened glissading from Aasgard Pass. The ascent and descent can be reversed but the route-finding to get to the Col can be tricky. No credit is given for ascending and descending via Aasgard Pass. Permits are required. Check with the Forest Service for access restrictions and trail conditions. Recall that Pandora's Box was filled with - among other things - deception!


Dragontail Peak/Colchuck Col

  • Green Trails Mt Stuart No. 209

    USGS Enchantment Lakes

    USGS Mt Stuart

    Green Trails Chiwaukum Mtns No. 177
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Mountain boots that can accept crampons (not hiking boots)
  • Crampons
  • An ice axe (not technical ice tools)
  • A back pack (40 to 60 liters)
  • Webbing and accessory cords
  • Large pear-shaped carabiner
  • Belay device
  • Climbing harness
  • Helmet
  • Chock pick (nut tool)
  • Fleece or puffy jacket
  • Rain jacket and full-zip rain pants
  • Belay gloves
  • Warm gloves or mittens
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