AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Dragontail Peak, Stuart Range

Dragontail Peak, Stuart Range. Two new routes were made on Dragon- tail Peak, the highest mountain of the Stuart Range in the area of Colchuck Lake, early this summer by Dan Davis and me. We climbed the north face, with its “Piz Badile”-like slabs, by a long crack system, mostly fourth class, but with a few safety pitons; we climbed it to its logical conclusion, that is to say to the north summit, which may never have been reached before. We ascended the highly impressive west face, an estimated 1700 feet high, in a direct line from the glacier to the true summit. The route led past two snow patches set in granitic bowls and continued up two fifth-class pitches which offered only friction holds with poor protection. Once a dangerous shower of rock fragments hurtled down between leader and belayer, falling from a third snow patch higher on the face. Eventually these dangers decreased and a deliberate effort was made to keep the route on the central rib. Although the angle remained steep, the rock was well fractured with good holds, and it was possible to complete the remainder of the long ascent fourth class. The climb compares in length and difficulty with the northern faces of Mount Stuart and, except for loose scree piles under the snow patches, has excellent rock.

Fred Beckey