Shirley at the belay atop pitch 4 of Serpentine Ridge (July 24, 2005).
Shirley & I climbed Serpentine Ridge (III 5.8) route on Dragontail Peak car to car in July of 2005 as a “plan B” option…we were aiming for Backbone but I was not feeling all that strong. On the other hand, Shirley was feeling extra good hyped up on some speed-like medication she was prescribed for her poison oak allergic reaction…that and a Redbull or two at the car.
Shirley (enjoying her allergy medication) on the pre-dawn approach to Dragontail Peak (July 2005).
Cramponing up for the last few hundred feet of snowfield to the base of Serpentine Arete (July 2005).
Shirley on the final part of the approach to the base of Serpentine Ridge route (July 24, 2005).
Shirley on the simulclimb terrain near the start of Serpentine Ridge.
Leading the 5.7 dihedral on pitch 3 of Serpentine Ridge (July 2005).
Beginning the lead of the crux pitch of Serpentine Ridge (pitch 4). A fairly sustained for the grade finger crack in great rock. Black tower is on the left. The OW machinery was brought but not with this climb in mind (July 24, 2005).
Leading crux pitch of the Serpentine Ridge route (pitch 4 per description). Pretty sustained finger crack with an occasional flaring hand jam (stout .8). Nelson and Potterfield guidebook has a photo of a climber on the crack system just right of this one. Not sure if I was off route? Dihedral on left is formed by the black tower mentioned in Route Overview Photos section (July 24, 2005).
Shirley jamming the 30-foot 5.8 hand crack near top of pitch 4 of Serpentine Ridge. Top of the characteristic bllack tower (route pointer when approaching) is below on the right (July 24, 2005).
Shirley finishing up the excellent hand crack on upper half of pitch 4 of Serpentine Ridge (30 feet of ~5.8 hands). Right side of black tower forms the dihedral on the right. Snowfield is about 500 feet below (July 24, 2005).
Shirley at the belay atop pitch 4 of Serpentine Ridge. Colchuck Glacier is in the background. Nelson and Potterfield guidebook claim it's only 30-40 degrees but from here it looked steeper (July 24, 2005).
Leading pitch 5 of Serpentine Ridge (5.7-5.7+ dihedral). The final pitch of decent climbing on the route (July 24, 2005).
Shirley jamming the 30-foot 5.8 hand crack near top of pitch 4 of Serpentine Ridge. Top of the characteristic "black tower" (route pointer when approaching) is below on the right (July 24, 2005).
Shirley at a belay somewhere near the summit (July 2005).
Shirley on 4th-low 5th class terrain of mid and upper Serpentine Ridge. Once again Colchuck Lake dominates the view from the route (July 24, 2005).
Shirley hiking the 4th class upper ridge of Serpentine Ridge. Below on the left is Colchuck Glacier; top of photo shows Stuart Lake (July 24, 2005).
Shirley high on Serpentine Ridge with Colchuck Glacier below (July 2005).
Shirley chilling ....errrr..belaying from a notch somewhere high on Serpentine Ridge. Colchuck Lake is below. Amazing coloration - the views make this route worthwhile (July 24, 2005).
Shirley coming up to the class 3 ledges at the base of the summit block near top of Serpentine Ridge route. Colchuck is in the background; Stuart is peeping in from futher back (July 24, 2005).
The Fin (note the blocky gendarme) on Backbone Ridge as seen from upper pitches of Serpentine Ridge next door. Photo taken July 24, 2005.
Shirley tagging the summit of Dragontail after our climb of Serpentine Ridge (July 2005).
Quick nap on the summit of Dragontail Peak (July 2005).
Making my way down to the snowfield. Photo taken ~300 feet below summit looking into the Enchantments region (July 24, 2005).
Witches Tower and Little Annapurna as seen from near the summit of Dragontail Peak (July 2005).
Shirley hiking down the snow slopes on the south side of Dragontail after our climb of Serpentine Ridge. Photo shows how steep the snow gets here - no more than 25-30 degrees max would be my guess (July 24, 2005).
Shirley descending the snow fields on the backside of Dragontail.
Witches Tower (right, foreground) as seen from the snow slopes on SE side of Dragontail (looking from NW). Little Annapurna is further back (July 24, 2005).
The brilliantly colored Colchuck Lake as seen from the hike down from Aasgard Pass (July 2005).
Shirley hiking down towards Colchuck Lake on the descent from Dragontail (July 2005).
Shirley on the hike down from Aasgard Pass (July 2005).
Dragontail Peak towering above the beautiful Colchuck Lake in the Enchantments...shot taken during our hike out (July 2005).
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