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Triple Couloirs 

WI3 M3 Steep Snow R

Type:  Mixed, Ice, Snow, 20 pitches, 2500', Grade IV
Original: WI3 M3 Steep Snow R [details]
Season: Winter-Spring
Page Views: 10,743
Submitted By: Colin Bartholomew on Mar 7, 2011  with updates from Nick Sweeney

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (37)
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BETA PHOTO: Dragontail Peak from the far end of Colchuck Lake....


This is a uber classic in the Enchantments. From Colchuck lake, Head towards the lowest protrusion of rock approximately in the middle of the peak. Bear slightly left, where you will see two possible starts. Take the left or right start of the first couloir. Ascend this until you reach the runnels. These are the steep snow and ice pitches separating the first and second couloirs. These take ice screws depending on conditions or pitons and some rock gear. From the top of the runnels continue up the second couloir. Exit the second coulior via a mixed pitch or steep snow pitch depending on conditions. Continue up the less steep third couloir to the summit. From the summit ridge go right to the true summit. Descend down and right to a notch. From here, take a direct line towards Asgard Pass.


Enchantments. Up from Colchuck Lake.


This climb really requires a great deal of soloing or run-out climbing. Therefore it is not recommended for beginners. Comfort on steep snow is a great asset on this climb. Also climbing WI3 very comfortably is a plus.
A medium rack including small nuts, 4-5 pins, and cams from .5-2 and 4-5 ice screws (but you probably won't use that many). A couple pickets also are helpful.

Photos of Triple Couloirs Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Goran, seconding thin ice in The Runnels
Goran, seconding thin ice in The Runnels
Rock Climbing Photo: Some bad weather
Some bad weather
Rock Climbing Photo: Standing on the lake looking back
Standing on the lake looking back
Rock Climbing Photo: Dragontail stair-master on the top out of Triple C...
Dragontail stair-master on the top out of Triple C...
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach and a clear view of the couloir
The approach and a clear view of the couloir
Rock Climbing Photo: Whiteout on the descent.  March 2015.
Whiteout on the descent. March 2015.
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter Moore in the first couloir. Photo Colin Bart...
Peter Moore in the first couloir. Photo Colin Bart...

Comments on Triple Couloirs Add Comment
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By Shaun Johnson
May 14, 2014

This thing is a little taste of Chamonix in the Stuart Range. SO FUN!!
By Nick Sweeney
From: Spokane, WA
Mar 30, 2015
rating: AI3 M3 Steep Snow

Amazing climb. Get on it when the conditions are good and you will have the time of your life!
Rack recommendation for good conditions with lots of snow+ice(what we had):

2 pickets
2-3 knifeblades
2-3 10cm screws
1-2 13cm screws
Small and medium nuts
Cams .3-2

Have fun!
By Jarrod LaFountain
May 18, 2015
rating: WI3-4 M3 Steep Snow R

Late season run on 5/16. Snow couloirs are solid with memorable climbing in the runnels and between C2 and C3. The views at the top of C3 are wild!

Placed 2 or three pickets in questionable runout or bad snow spots and as anchors, put a few small cams here and there in runnels and one area took a screw. Simul-climbed the rest (only need ~40m rope).

Enjoy this classic!
By Kyle Tarry
From: Portland, OR
May 8, 2017
rating: AI3 M3 PG13

Climbed 5/7/2017 in amazing conditions. Firm snow/neve necessitated front pointing for the majority of the route. Fun ice and easy mixed through the runnels. Simul-climbed the three couloirs in long blocks, plus a few pitches in the runnels and the top of the 2nd couloir.

Gear list:
3 pins (thin)
Nuts + a couple hexes
Cams (BD 0.5, 0.75, 1.0)
6X screws (bring short screws, ice is rarely thick enough for longer ones)
2X pickets (got a lot of use, I wouldn't want to do this in firm conditions without them)

I don't think this route deserves the "R" rating, "PG13" maybe. You can't sew it up, but the climbing is mostly moderate and there is enough gear to keep you attached to the mountain.

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