Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Colchuck Peak/East Route

Fun alpine outing in great setting

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow all the way from the lake to the col. The back side of the col to the summit had a small snow section but was otherwise clear and even that could be avoided for the most part
    We started with crampons from the lake, which worked out well as the snow was pretty stiff
    We could plunge our axes down a couple of inches and then we hit some harder stuff -- I think pounding in pickets would take a lot of work
    When descending early afternoon, the snow did not soften up much. We had some mixed luck with glissades since it was icy enough that most people went too fast. We did not get very good plunge stepping due to the snow not softening up much so the descent took longer then anticipated for our group.
    Most of the group ended up wearing crampons most of the way back down to the lake

We ended up moving the trip from Saturday to Sunday due to weather conditions and I'm glad that we did. A backpacker on the way out on Sunday said that it rained all morning on Saturday. We got some clouds but no precipitation and little wind, even high on the mountain.

The climb itself was straightforward. We kept a moderate pace with several short stops and a couple of longer ones at the lake on the way in and on the summit.

The only complication was that the snow was fairly hard, even when descending in the afternoon.

12 hours car to car

Trailhead 7:15AM

North end of Colchuck lake 9:15AM

Crampons on and start up col 10:15AM

Top of col 12:30PM

Summit!! 1:30PM

Back at the cars 7:20PM