Sunday, July 8, 2012

Colchuck Glacier

It’s July and the heat is on in central Washington.  Climbing and rafting has been great this spring, as another couple boyz can attest to, but the need to ski has gone unsatisfied for too long, and with the temperature on the rise Lizard and I were afraid we might have brought our skis up to Washington in vain.  We had to let ‘em ride on some Cascade corn before the summer is over.  S-Bomb rolled into town with the urge to shred and it was on.  Plenty of snow left in the upper elevations with some friends claiming ski descents of Mt. Daniels and Steven’s Pass area the week before.  Our plan was to climb to and camp at Colchuck Lake, ski the glacier and possibly tag a summit.  Liz and I were also hoping to use the trip do some recon on the numerous alpine routes in the Enchantment area. 

We left for the lake on Tuesday, making short work of the trail. 

Lizard is trying to catch a fly!

Greeted at the lake by cold rain and mist, skipping around on granite domes amidst pine and fur forest, it reminded me a lot of the Whites, except for the towering granite mountains of course.  

Dragontail Peak, with Colchuck Glacier lookers right
Colchuck, glacier on the left, peak on right, shrouded in mystery
The next day dawned clear and beautiful.  Our pace was relaxed and our spirits high, a leisurely start of 10ish brought us to the col by, well I can’t remember.  
The way up, with plenty of boulder caves for an un-permitted bivy!

Stair master to the Sky

A quick scramble up the snow and boulders to the summit of Colchuck peak rewarded us with amazing views of Stuart, Sherpa, and Argonaut peaks to the north, as well as Dragontail’s Backbone, and Serpentine ridges just across the Glacier to the south. 

Liz, Sherpa,  Mt. Stuart, gnar couloir anyone?
Ladybug hatch on the summit

A few pulls from the flask and we headed back to the Col to begin the shred. 

The descent was sublime, almost 3,000 feet of continuous pitch right up to the edge of the lake.   A little suncupped towards the lower elevation but otherwise soft and fun.
Loving it

Trying to spray some climbers

Making turns and taking it all in under the sheer wall of Dragontail. 

S-Bomb flapping the wings, CAW!

Lizard letting em run

The hike out was a bit of a slog, tired legs and the unwillingness to stop and become mosquito food kept us pounding all the ways to the beers at the truck. 

Confuscious say, think rike a forest.

 A beautiful trip with great friends, stoked to make some turns in July!