You know you have a real friend when you say you want to do something epic this weekend and they are down, no questions asked. That is how our Dragontail Peak adventure began. I had been to Colchuck twice last year, and each time the large peak looming over the far end of the lake seemed to taunt me. It was time to conquer it. We left Seattle around 10 pm and arrived at the Stuart Lake Trailhead in the Enchantments around 2 am. Michelle and I folded the seats down in the back of her car and slept for about 2 hours until our alpine start alarm went off at 4 am. Then we hit the trail up to Colchuck lake.
We stopped for a break on the opposite end of the lake to refuel before heading up Aasgard, and ran into our first mountain goat. After throwing some rocks at him (yes, that is actually what the rangers tell you to do) we navigated across the boulder field and started our ascent up the pass.
This is by far the most challenging part of the entire trek. Aasgard pass climbs a staggering 2,000 ft in less than a mile, but the payoffs are beyond worth the struggle. From the top of the pass you get incredible views of Colchuck Lake below and it also the entrance to the coveted core zone of the Enchanments.
I had been to the core once last year and immediately fell in love. It is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever laid eyes on. We decided to make a quick detour into the core to stock up on water and grab a snack before starting our final push to the summit. The lakes were still frozen, but you could see the stunning glacial blue water just below the ice.
We found a running stream, began filtering water, and within minutes we were surrounded by a herd of mountain goats. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.
We were both in awe and hung around probably longer that we should have, but finally pulled ourselves away to get back on route to the top. Making our way to the snowfield we unpacked our ice axes and crampons to push upwards. The views just kept coming as we kept climbing, completely unreal.
The traverse of the snowfield lead us up to the backside of the peak where we embarked on the final scramble to the peak. We pulled ourselves up and over boulders reaching the true summit at 8,842 ft. Unbelievable views surrounded us in every direction, it was truly breathtaking.
Nothing compares to the feeling you get when you reach a summit. A feeling of awe, accomplishment, and pure bliss. I know my dad has wanted to visit the Enchantments for long time, but getting a permit is extremely hard. Now that I have been several times I can’t wait till he regains his strength and I can take him back here. I know he will fall in love just like I have.
We took one final look around before starting our descent. We arrived back at the car tired, sore, and on a delirious high from the days’ adventure. The trip totaled a little over 16 miles took about 14 hours from start to finish. It was a perfect peak to kick off climbing season and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. See the full epicness of Dragontail in the video below!
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Before attempting Dragontail Peak, please visit WTA.ORG for hike difficulty, gear requirements, and recent trip reports.