After seeing many nice TR's this past month for this area, I had to check it out for myself. I was solo today but met several people along the way including 3 nwhikers at the Dragontail summit.
I left my house at 3:30 this morning and arrived at the TH at 6. The hike to Colchuck Lake went pretty quick and I saw the 2 peaks I was going after today. I took a few pics and went to the end of the lake to climb to the old moraine of the Colchuck glacier. The moraine of the glacier was huge compared to the size the glacier is now.
I put my crampons on and headed straight up to the Colchuck col. Until this time, the sky was blue with not a cloud in sight. At the col, the clouds were moving in quickly. I saw Rainier for just a bit before it disappeared. I went to climb Colchuck peak first. The route was pretty easy big very little snow to the summit. I reached the summit at 10. At the top the clouds became thicker and Stuart was not very visible.
I went back down to the Colchuck col and went up the Dragontail side. I followed a steep snow finger all the way to the bottom of Pandora's Box. I promised my boys I wouldn't climb up the box because one of them saw a picture of it and said it looked too dangerous. So I headed to the summit past many rocky spires along the ridge. I reached Dragontail's summit at 11:30 and took a hour and a half long break there. While there, 3 other climbers came up through Aasgard Pass. I saw a frog named Soapy and asked if they were nwhikers. They were and I met GeoTom, Alti-Babe and Yukon. It was nice to talk with them for a bit and I look forward to their TR.
I took off and went back the way I came. At the Colchuck glacier, I took some extra time to see the exposed ice a little more closely. It still had a few crevasses but they were very small. The terminus was very thin but it gets a lot of avy snow build up at the base of the rock wall heading up to the peak. I glissaded many of the snow slopes back down to the lake. I hurried back to the truck and was done by 4.
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