The original plan was to climb Eldorado, Klawatti and Austera but as most all know the forecast took a dive on Friday night. Last minute change in plans had us headed to the Chants to seek out drier weather. Well drier we got but we also had some exciting weather of our own.We ran into Donb and his daughter at the rest stop! What a great treat to see them!
Janet and a Summit Post friend, Martin Cash joined me in this fun weekend. We had talked about doing Prusik and I am glad we/he didnít haul all that gear up Asgard to find out conditions would have made it hard for all of us. Postholing all the way to Prusik with the nasty weather we encountered it would not have worked out. I am glad Martin made the last minute decision to leave his rack/rope home. Another group wanting to do prusik wanted to make it up asagard but didnít till the next day and then they turned back cause the postholing/winds were quite taxing.
So we head up the trail. Lots of blow downs the entire trail. Solid snow starts around Colchuck Lake. We made good time up to the lake and then headed up Asgard. I have been up Asgard without a pack in the summer with a trail to follow. This time with a heavy pack and kicking steps and postholing it was draining!! Sucked the life right out of us! It seemed to take forever!! It was like climbing a steep peak with heavy winter packs on...
We reached the top and set up camp right there. It was a great evening hanging out and eating some dinner. Off to bed with thoughts of Dragontail in the morning. NOT!!! Woke up and it was socked in. Went back to the tent and started to play with my camera...not a good idea cause I am clueless and deleted the first days shots by accident! I went back to sleep in depression about losing the shots.
We climbed out fo the tents around 9am. I have never slept that late on a climb ...ever!! Still Dragontail was in and out of the clouds. The winds started to pick up considerably. As we watched Dragontail move in and out of the clouds we noticed Little Annapurna always stayed out in the open. We decided to head over to Little Annapurna.
Post holing was a biatch to say the least! Add to that the wind 40 MPR with nasty gust ready to knock us on our asses!! But it was not so bad we could not make it. What great summit!! Fun stuff!! The rock is well....awesome!! We had great views down into Ingalls creek and Teanaway.
Martin and I discussed doing Witches Tower. I saw a ramp to gain access to the summit block was covered in snow and that and the winds where blowing at 40 mph with gusts up to 50 -60 or so. I didnít really want to put myself up there in those conditions. Martin decided to head over there solo. We watched him as we descended Little Anapurna. He said he found a ramp that worked and he made it to the top with some class 3 and a small section of class 4 moves to the summit. Good work Martin! (After hearing from him about the approach and wallowing he had to do I am glad I bowed out) Meanwhile, Janet and I headed down and did some glissading. The wind was so cold it was freezing the top layer of snow quickly. Some spots it was so icy I could not get my heal to bite in then the next thing you know we are postholing up to our crotches or thighs. It was quite taxing between the postholing and the wind.
here are two shots of Martin on top of Witches Tower. love the zoom!
By the time we made it back to camp the winds got worse and worse and worse!!!! As I approached our camp I notice a crow flying away. That damn crow stole all of Janetís dinner and other food from her pack and all of my lunch and breakfast that was tucked under a rock!! It was an interesting dinner and breakfast. THIEF!! I hope that bugger is so sick right now!
Janetís tent was flattened by the wind while we where out too. She fixed her tent and I added rocks to Martinís to hold it down. It was soooo cold with the wind chill too. After descending a very steep snow slope,
Martin joined back up with us and we ate some dinner in the nasty cold wind. We all crawled into the larger tent and played word association and laughed a lot! As we sat in the tent the tent would lean so far over from the wind Janet and I would get beat up by the tent and just resort to dropping down out of the way... . I ran outside for some picture taking and was knocked on my ass by the wind. It was crazy!!! I could barley stand and my face was freezing within seconds!
Janet fighting the tent!!
We all retired ..or tried to. It was like a freight train for most of the night. The wind gust had to have been at about 70-80mph. I think all of us were wondering if the tents would hold up to the beating they were taking. The tents would just bend right over with the gusts. It also got down to 23 degrees in the tent the night. It was a cold night for Martin who had a 40 degree bag. He wished he brought his warmer bag. None of us slept much. I slept ok but was woke up every hour or so by the attack of the killer tent in the winds. Martin and Janet didnít sleep much at all. Martin froze and janet was fighting her tent all night!
Finally it stopped around 4:30-5 am. All was still and clear. Perfect conditions for Dragontail. I was pumped and so ready to get Dragontail. After breakfast Janet and Martin let me know they were very tired from no sleep. I was thinking about heading up alone but that is no fun and I really didnít want them to wait for me. We still had to get down Asgard in the icy conditions so we all decided we would head out.
Asgard was ICY!! We stuck to the rock and some of the trail up top but after that it got a bit sketch with the ice on the rock. I put my crampons on and started to descend the steep snow gully. They traversed too the loose rock and boulders to the right of me till they ran out of rock and had to put their crampons on and join me in the snow. It was too icy for glissades too.
We mad it out and headed to Leavenworth for some FOOD!!!
What a fun trip even though we had funky conditions and last minute plans. It was great to get out with Martin who is a fun, great guy!! Thanks Martin...we had a blast!!
Thanks for such a great fun weekend you two!!!
Still need to learn how to use this camera. There are so many features to learn and play with.
Stats conditions & gear....
16-17miles rt or there about.
5100' gain give or take...PIB do you have the exact?
helmets (didnít use)
Blowdown on trail the whole way. Should be cleared before permits start.
Solid snow starts at Colchuck lake.
Asgard pass is still full of snow. Should be melted out in a few weeks though.
Nice . NOAA had predicted 40 mph winds for East Slopes, the wind down in Wenatchee was around there uprooting recently planted flowers. I'm glad all our trees are staked out still. Looks like nice snow play though.
WOW! Another great TR and pics, I can't sit still, I'm thinking I'll be MIA as far as work goes. I just got to find myself up there before the weeks over. Shame on you two for teasing us with your escapades into the Enchantments.
Here's how I remember Colchuck Lake when Steve and I made it into the Enchantments on 10.12.06.
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