Lane Peak/Zipper (winter)
Mark Scheffer (Qualified Youth Leader)
6,012’, Grade II, 45 degree snow/ice, Intermediate Mountaineering
Reference & Data • • • •
- Jurisdiction: Mount Rainier National Park
- Ranger Station: Longmire
- Equipment: Ice axe, crampons, 2nd tool, pickets, 1-2 ice screws (early season).
- USGS Maps: Mt Rainier East, Mount Rainier West.
- Other Map: Mount Rainier National Park.
- Beckey: Cascade Alpine Guide I
- Time Elevation gain/loss Mileage
- Seattle to TH 3 hrs 4,500’ 120
- TH to summit 3 hrs +1500’ ~3
- Summit to Cars 2 hrs -1500’ ~3
Approach • • • • • • • • • • •Drive to Longmire using preferred route. Most prefer to take 167 from I-405, then 161 through Puyallup and Eatonville, before getting on Hwy 7 and 706. The gate to Longmire has no guaranteed time to open. Call in advance, and arrive with the possibility of waiting a bit. A good bet is for it to open between 8 and 9 am. Proceed to the Narada Falls TH and park. Follow around the side of the parking lot past a maintenance building and bathrooms, and proceed up the steep hillside to the road above which leads to Reflection Lakes in the summer. Follow snowshoe/ski tracks on the road away from Lane Peak until the first major hairpin turn. Turn off the route and down hill here. Drop through the forest until a flat, open clearing, then turn right (E) under Denman Peak and towards Lane. Traverse steep hillsides, gaining elevation. Traverse the first steep avy funnel under Lover's Lane and proceed to the much larger, wider funnel and turn sharply uphill to approach the base of the Zipper. Note the descent track is to the left of the rock nose you will pass below Lover's Lane. You may stash skis or snowshoes here if desired.
Climbing Route • • • • •Rope up. Climb placing pickets, and maybe 1-2 screws (early season). Depending on conditions a rope may be overkill, and in other conditions teams will opt to do a running belay. Reaching the top of the gully is sufficient for credit. To obtain the summit, traverse to climbers left until the slopes to the summit come into view. Ascend to the summit. Sometimes a belay up the last 200-300 feet will be advisable.
Descent • • • • • • • • • • •Downclimb from a large tree a few feet below the summit. Rappel from this tree unless snow conditions are good enough to warrant a simple downclimb. Unrope and plunge step down moderate slopes to skiers left towards the saddle between Denman and Lane. At the saddle, go to the far left side and find a steep gully to descend. Retrieve packs and retraces steps to the car.
Comments • • • • • • • • •Trip leaders are asked to use judgement in awarding Intermediate credit in conditions where it is unwarranted. Students should understand that achieving the summit does not guarantee credit. Steep snow and picket placements are characteristic of many Basic Alpine climbs. Intermediate climbs are obviously intended to carry a higher level of difficulty. Characterizing a route on a given day as "challenging enough" is obviously subjective. See page 52 of the 2008 Intermediate Climbs guide for comments on the nature of Intemediate Mountaineering climbs.
No leader notes