Memorial Day weekend, I led my first climb of the year for the Mountaineers – Dragontail in the Enchantments. John, Marla, Rena, Monica, Hideko, Burke, Robin, and Abby battled epic 3-day-weekend traffic on Friday night to get to Leavenworth. We arrived just after dark and set up camp in the trailhead parking lot.
At 6 a.m. the next morning we were off. We headed to Colchuck Lake and arrived about 2 1/2 hours later. After a short break, we traversed around the lake and ascended the Colchuck Glacier to the Colchuck Col. We turned left and climbed the steep snow couloir to the notch just below Pandora’s Box. I completely forgot that we needed to go left up the rocks. Instead we looked at a 200′ descent on 70 degree snow. We only had a 30m rope. That meant turning around. Drats!
Our descent from Pandora’s Box was sketchy. The glissade from Colchuck Col back to the lake, however, was outstanding.
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