Colchuck Peak 2/7/16

Colchuck Peak, February 7, 2016

Eric, Anna, Aaron

After returning from Cashmere peak I spent the night in Leavenworth with Aaron and Anna, then we drove back up Icicle Creek road and started hiking at 6:30am. We all hauled skis up on our packs to the Enchantments trailhead, and stashed the skis in the woods there. We followed a broken trail all the way to Colchuck Lake, arriving at 11:30am. The skies were mostly clear, and we could see the impressive north face of Dragontail and Colchuck peaks.

No tracks went farther than the lake, so I broke trail across the lake and we ascended the Colchuck Glacier to the pass. The crevasses were all well filled in and we didn’t need to rope up. We entered the clouds on the upper glacier, and debated turning around at the pass because of the weather, but in the end continued up the mountain. Aaron led the way at first, then I took over to find the good route to the summit plateau. By 4:30pm I scrambled up the last section to the summit, and in the final 10 vertical feet I ascended above the clouds! It was amazingly undercast, with Mt Stuart and many other mountains visible to the west. The balanced rock of Sherpa Peak was particularly prominent passing in and out of the clouds.

We descended quickly, glissading down the glacier to reach Colchuck Lake by sunset. On the descent I unfortunately broke a snowshoe tip because another party had postholed in our path. We made it to the trailhead by 9pm, and skied back to the car soon afterwards. It was a long drive back to Seattle but we made it by 2am.

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