It’s been a little harder for me to get out into the mountains this year. It’s already end of May, and I don’t have much under my belt.
That’s why I’m even more excited that Jenny and I climbed Dragontail Peak last Saturday. Dragontail is 26th on the Washington Bulger List of Washington’s highest mountains, and it has been a goal for Jenny and me ever since we first set foot in the Enchantments. Last year, we climbed its neighbor, Colchuck Peak (33rd on the list).
We had permits at Stuart Lake, since I had originally planned to climb Mount Stuart, but for that, I simply wasn’t in good enough shape. So instead, we camped at Stuart Lake, then Saturday morning at 4 AM hiked to Colchuck Lake, around the lake, and then up Aasgard Pass. We were at the top of the pass around 10:30 AM and turned west-southwest towards Dragontail’s key col. From there, it was a simple scramble to 8,845 feet.
I had trouble standing up on the summit, the exposure felt so threatening. Perhaps my fear wasn’t quite unreasonable, considering Dragontail Peak drops 3,300 feet down to the lake, almost vertically.
It was a pretty amazing spot. We could see Rainier, Adams, Baker and Glacier Peak. Just St. Helens was hiding in the clouds to the south of Rainier. I haven’t been to many five-volcano spots before.
We had originally planned to head south and through Pandora’s Box, so we could glissade down the Colchuck glacier, but the snow going up Pandora’s Box was too soft. We decided it was safer, albeit much more annoying, to hike down Aasgard Pass.
We were back at our tent just before 8 PM. It was a strenuous but successful, and even enjoyable, trip of almost 16 hours.