North America, United States, Washington, Dragontail Peak, First Winter Ascent of Serpentine Ridge

Publication Year: 2004.

Dragontail Peak, first winter ascent of Serpentine Ridge. Ade Miller (Alpine Club, U.K.) and I climbed Dragontail Peak (8,840') by the popular summer line The Serpentine Ridge on March 13, 2004. The route starts with a single pitch ice smear (AI3) to a snowfield traverse and two mixed pitches to the ledge below the 5.8 twin cracks, approximately following the summer line. From this point we climbed the rock of the summer route. Several pitches of 5.7 and 5.8 climbing with some aid moves (AO) led to a moderately angled iced up crack, which proved to be the crux of the route. The climbing above this point eased, and several areas of unpleasant loose rock in the summer were covered by snow making the upper section of the route very enjoyable. The final short rock pitch to the summit was easily skirted to the left via a short snow gully (4th class in summer). We summited just before dark after twelve and a half hours on the route and descended back to our bivy site via Asgard Pass.

Alasdair Turner