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Trip Details

Date Saturday  5/18/2013
End Date Saturday  5/18/2013
Group Denver
Event Title Dragon's Tail Couloir Snow Climb ASC Instructor Session
Start Time 4:00 AM
Status Approved
Leader John Raich
Co-Leader Rich McAdams
Member Price Free
Available Participants 3
Type Trip
Trip Type Rock Climbing
Climb Type
Climbing Class
Trail Mileage 6
Elevation Gain 2500
Driving Distance 120


Rocky Mountain National Park, Bear Lake Trailhead

For more info Contact

This climb is "Register with Leader". Contact: John Raich,


Dragon's Tail Couloir, on the south face of Flattop Mtn in Rocky Mountain National Park, is a good example of a snow couloir that comes into climbing shape relatively early in the spring. We'll follow the Emerald Lake Trail and skirt the lake on its north side. We'll head up the initially moderate snow slope that gradually steepens to about 45 degrees where the couloir divides into two branches. The left branch is more popular. There may be a short section of mixed rock part way up that branch. The climb tops out on the broad east face of Flattop Mtn. Descent is via the Flattop Trail.

This climb requires a very early start to ensure a relatively stable snowpack. The start time depends on the extent of the overnight freeze and will be set just prior to the climb but will probably be 4 a.m. at the Bear Lake trailhead.

Bring helmet, crampons, ice axe, climbing harness, warm and rain proof mountaineering clothing, relatively stiff mountaineering boots

If snow conditions are not suitable or a large cornice is still in place above the climbing route, we'll either reschedule or choose another couloir.

This climb is limited to Alpine Scrambling Course instructors and assistants. E-mail inquiries preferred: John Raich,


The scheduled ASC afternoon/evening instructor session follows this climb at Deb Kirk's home in Golden.