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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Colchuck Peak 6/3
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 7118 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:24 pm    Colchuck Peak 6/3
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Location : Leavenworth, Wa.
Access : Icicle River Rd. to FR 7601 and Stuart Lakes TH at the end
Guidebooks: Summit Routes , 75 Scrambles in Washington., Climbing Washingtons Mountains
Maps : GTM -The Enchantments, Wa.
Stats : 14 miles, 5500', 13 hr. r/t

Get Out and Go, Steve, and I were on the trail at 0530 wanting to take any advantage we could get after a week of scorching temps and clear skies hink.gif . The temp was warm at the start, somewhere in the 40s-50s, with blue skies. I had already applied the sunscreen and deet in preperation and both proved to be needed. Mountaineer Creek was raging...

The Stuart lakes trail went quickly, then the Colchuck Lake trail, what a neglected debris field it is, the crux of the trip IMO shakehead.gif . The lake was lovely with early views of Asgard Pass, Dragontail, Colchuck Glacier, and Colchuck Peak.

We made it around the lake which was snowfree to the debris field below Colchuck and put on our gaiters...   
The snow was initially fairly well consolidated, but impressionable. A couple went up right before us and kicked in some steps which we tried to trace, but their strides were a little longer, so sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.  It was early so we were sun free and enjoying the cooler temps cool.gif ...

As time went by we had some occasional cloud cover which was nice, about  two thirds of the way up there was a soft section with some postholing, but near the top of the col it hardened back up and I found it easier just to kick my own steps in. We first encountered the sun at the col.

After everyone was up on the rock, we took a break, I filled my hydration bladder with snow and GOG led the charge up some softer steep snow and rocks to get to the Colchuck Plateau...

Once on the plateau it was a gradual walk up to the summit area, then a short scramble to the summit. The views were bomb.

After awhile on the summit the sun was just baking, the light wind was refreshing though and I needed some fuel, so I downclimbed to the dining area with the others soon to follow and we had lunch. It just grew hotter gag.gif , so eventually we were on our way back down, the snow much softer. When we looked at the steep snow going down, we decided to trend along the rocky ridgeline toward the col and slowly downclimb. All of a sudden I heard GOG above me say "Rob keep going, I'm holding a loose boulder with my feet" bugeyes.gif , and he held it with exceptional skill up.gif  up.gif . I made it out of the way and we eventually made it to the col and intersected with the climbers who came over from Argonaut. After rest, water, GU we headed down. At first I was wondering how the snow would be for a glissade and it was soft, but with that angle you can still move along very quickly but with a measure of control, so I glissaded most of the chute to the bottom, where I sat on a sun heated boulder to thaw my @#$ out.

On the way out we checked out the dam they fixed and yes, it's leaking, but holding. The trip down from the lake to the TH was a bone crunching, hot, bug gauntlet bug.gif . I applied spf 50 three times during the day, wore a hat, and still got a little cooked. It was a diverse trip and alot of fun. I thank GOG and Steve for doing this trip yet again and allowing me to experience and enjoy it. Another fantastic day in the mountains. With the lower temps / freezing level it would be a prime time to go up that way this week, if anyone was thinking about it.
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GeoTom
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Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 3087 | TRs | Pics
Location: Location
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:33 pm   
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Nice  cool.gif

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idahonative
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Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 25 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle, WA
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:40 pm   
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Gorgeous pictures...that glissade track looks sooo much fun!  biggrin.gif
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1934 | TRs | Pics
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:59 pm   
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A perfect day (except for the bugs)   up.gif   Thanks for sharing it and the pics are great.  up.gif  up.gif

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Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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peltoms
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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Location: Worcester MA
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:28 pm   
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Nice pictures of the "fast glacier" descending the col.  Sounds like a great day.
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 7118 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:58 pm   
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There was an existing glissade chute that I plowed open again. The snow out of the chute was soft enough that going down you tended to spin out. Going down sideways or backwards wouldn't appeal to me, but I definitely like that route over Asgard Pass and I felt better than if I would have  pounded myself going down Asgard. winksmile.gif
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summitseeker
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:05 pm   
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Awesome Rob and friends!  Great TR.  Congrats on knocking off another one.  I'm extra jealous as I wasn't able to get out last weekend, despite the killer forecast. That's a big day!  up.gif

And, at risk of being commercial, if you all like Colchuck Peak, there are a bunch of other great 'scramble peaks' in my guidebook that are worth taking a look at.  agree.gif

--Scott

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"Find out who you are and then do it on purpose."
www.summitroutes.com : Guidebook to the 100 highest peaks in Washington
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ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!



Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Posts: 4805 | TRs | Pics
Location: kennewick, wa
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:52 pm   
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great job fellas!!!  That one is on my list  biggrin.gif

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"If you're not living good, you gotta travel wide"...Bob Marley
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Layback
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 5478 | TRs | Pics
Location: On a Bike
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:00 pm   
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up.gif  up.gif  up.gif
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Get Out and Go
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 1305 | TRs | Pics
Location: Leavenworth
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:15 pm   
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The question arose yesterday, "Why do we abuse ourselves like this?" shakehead.gif   Of course, all of us here on the forum already know the answer to that question. agree.gif  The Colchuck Dying Glacier is a "nice" little snowclimb that allows you time to focus on each step and much more ....very similar to the Lunch Counter to False Summit portion of Mt. Adams.  The usual suspects, Rob and Steve, make for another great day in the mountains.  As for the lower portion of the Stuart Lake Trail:  The Bugfest is officially open.  bug.gif
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naturealbeing
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
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Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:54 pm   
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Looks like another fun filled trip. Glad you guys had a great time.

Say Rob or GOG, do you got any pics of Dragontail from Colchuck that you could post. I'm going to head up their Thursday with some others and seeing pics with the current conditions would be huge. Thanks in advance.
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#19
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Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:27 pm   
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naturealbeing wrote:

you got any pics of Dragontail from Colchuck that you could post. I'm going to head up their Thursday with some others and seeing pics with the current conditions would be huge. Thanks in advance.

I went up a couple times in snow conditions nearly identical to what wildernessed posted.  Here is a shot of Dtail from near the summit of Colchuck.  I believe it shows the ramp you're looking for.

up.gif TR.

Colchuck is the best walk up in the Stuart Range, IMO.

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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 7118 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:41 pm   
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naturealbeing wrote:
Looks like another fun filled trip. Glad you guys had a great time.

Say Rob or GOG, do you got any pics of Dragontail from Colchuck that you could post. I'm going to head up their Thursday with some others and seeing pics with the current conditions would be huge. Thanks in advance.

Richard,

There was snow on the ramp just to the E of the col. I saw tracks going up that route and tracks crossing lower over across the S ridge of Dragontail heading towards the Enchantments side. In reading and from a guy who was on Colchuck, then planned to do Dragontail (for the 4th time), he said the route from the col up the ramp runs you into some sustained class 3 + rock scrambling and either crossing the ridge low and doing it from the W was a snow field and easy class 2. Asgard Pass is the same eventual West approach, except Asgard Pass is a little ragged and less appealing getting to that point. The lower freezing level should harden that stuff up. I will check and see if I have any pics of that angle, but the pic above is pretty much the same as conditions we saw.
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 7118 | TRs | Pics
Location: Wenatchee
Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:09 pm   
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Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 802 | TRs | Pics
Location: The Quah
Post Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:57 am   
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Good job, guys!  It hit about 100 degrees in Leavenworth on Sunday!  Yikes, it was hot.  We debated going for a hike, but the option came up to go whitewater river rafting instead.  We were like, hike or go rafting in 90-100 degree weather....hmmm??  That's a difficult one.  hmmm.gif  You were definitely tougher than us.  up.gif

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"Forest 101: These big wood stick things are called trees.  The big rocks are called mountains, and the little rocks are their babies."  Elliott from Open Season
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