Dragontail Peak/Backbone Ridge with Fin Direct

A Grade IV+, 5.9 alpine rock climb in The Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Drive US 2 east to Leavenworth. Just before entering town, turn right on Icicle Creek Road. Follow Road 8.5 miles to Bridge Creek Campground. Turn left and drive through campground, cross the river to Eightmile Creek Road (Forest Road 7601). Drive 4 mi to start of Lake Stuart Trailhead (3,600 ft).

APPROACH

Take Lake Stuart Trail for 2.5 mi, then go left on the Colchuck Lake Trail. Reach Colchuck Lake (5,570 ft) in another 1.8 mi. There are campsites on both the west side and the south end of the lake. Camp as near the south end as possible.

ASCENT ROUTE

From Colchuck lake, climb the talus leading to the Colchuck Glacier moraine. Ascend the moraine to 6,800 ft.

14 Pitches of climbing ranging from low 5th class to 5.9. See Selected Climbs in the Cascades Vol I for pitch by pitch descriptions.

DESCENT ROUTE

Descend southeast to the saddle, then east on a long snow slope to Aasgard Pass. From Aasgard Pass descend to Colchuck Lake. Routefinding from Aasgard Pass can be tricky: stay to center left at top to avoid cliffs; below cliffs move to right side of gully.

TRIP PROFILE

SEGMENTTIME (HR)ELEVATION GAIN (FT)
Trailhead to Camp 2-4 2,000
Camp to Summit 3-6 3,200
Summit to Camp 2
Camp to Trailhead 2-3

EQUIPMENT

Ice ax, crampons, and a medium rack to 3 inches plus some large, 5-6-inch pieces.

NOTES 

  • If you plan to stay overnight during May through October you will need an Enchantments Wilderness Area permit.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Rock Climb
  • Length: 12.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,440 ft
  • 8,840 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX
  • USGS Enchantment Lakes
  • USGS Cashmere Mtn
  • Green Trails Enchantment Lakes No. 209S
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