Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Colchuck & Dragontail Peaks

Colchuck Peak from Stuart Lake Trailhead

  • Road impassable/closed
  • The road was closed so we hiked the 4 miles to the trail head.

    The parking lot is 99% melted out. Mixed snow and ice begin at the trailhead. After about two miles the trail was about 100% snow. We began postholing calf height randomly, and then hip height randomly as we got closer to the lake. 

    The snow at Colchuck Lake and beyond was very soft. Crampons were not necessary, however used by some for additional traction. Additionally, climbing boots were not necessary due to the warm temps and soft snow (Gortex shoes paired with gaiters and strap-on aluminum crampons worked fine for me on this one, and will likely be what I use in that area for the rest of the summer). 


    We gained the saddle easily, the soft snow provided a stairway to the top which was very nice. There was random postholing after the saddle on the way up to the peak, and some hip deep postholing as well.  The snow was softer on the way down, although still providing an enjoyable butt slide all the way down to the boulder field, and about 100 yards shy of the lake. 


    There were small slides coming off both dragontail and colchuck on either side of the snowfield about every 1 - 2 hours. Climbers informed us that the snowfield had sustained a minor slide in the afternoon the day prior to our arrival. Other than that fairly uneventful and fun trip. Everything is melting very quickly and will be very different in about one month or so.