|Flattop Mountain - S side
This route ascends the couloir directly to the right of Dragon's Tail, if you are heading up towards Dragon's Tail, stay right. I stayed to the left more or less hugging the rock. The route goes right, up the face over some moderate snow or rock if melted out, to a tree. Then takes a left turn and goes up into a narrow gully of steeper snow/alpine ice which finishes with a vertical step of about 10 feet. The vertical step is ice/rock. It then heads right up more moderate/steep snow to a small rock step (you can go right, around it) about 10 feet and continues right up steep snow to the head wall. (Note the finish of the route is similar to one listed in the S.E. Face of Flattop routes). Descend via the Flattop trail.
The crux was probably the ice step, since it wasn't at the time fully formed, so it made passage a little difficult.
There was a nice flat snow ledge about 100 feet below the headwall which made for a nice resting point, you could also probably bivy there if you wanted to get some practice, there was good rock protection on the ledge.
Head up to towards the entrance of Dragon's Tail and stay right.
I free-soloed, so this is somewhat approximate. Pickets for the snow, a couple ice screws for the ice section and a light rock rack. I had rock gear for anchoring myself in while resting and found tricams to be quite useful. There is some natural protection.
|By Jon E.|
Dec 11, 2011
On Dec. 10th, there were a couple fairly melted out sections causing for some interesting climbing on some wet rock. Also, the snow conditions made for some sections of "full body climbing" resulting from breaking through the surface layer and then not being able to get back on it.