Lane Peak/Zipper (winter)
Toby Syrett (Qualified Youth Leader)
Longmire Parking Lot (end near gate up)
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.
First priority goes to Intermediate Students who need a listed climb credit for graduation. Second priority to Intermediate students/grads who don't need the credit but just want to go. Third priority is basic grads who are motivated and advanced and ready to belay/follow on steeper, challenging terrain. If I don't know you, I will be asking for your credentials. Email me if you are prepared to lead and/or follow on high angle hard snow and ice with possibly some rock (depending on conditions). Interested leaders/rope teams should be bringing their own rope, tools and pro (screws, pickets, etc.) Don't ask if you're not in decent shape capable of physically delivering on this climb. I'm not aiming for a death-race smoke-a-thon, but it will be an all daylight event at a good level of output. If you haven't left the couch since Thanksgiving, you're better off on Mt. Si, than here. We will start at Narada Falls parking lot, contour over to the base of the climb, take the Zipper up, summit, then descend from the Lane/Denman saddle back to the base of the climb and retrace our route back out. We will need snow-shoes suitable for steep terrain (like MSR). Do not bring skis. Make sure you have a good headlight and extra batteries and some self-rescue gear as well. The weather is looking very compliant for this climb: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/data/rainier_report.html Clear and slightly warming all week with some sun, so plenty of time for any lingering avy danger to subside and the climb to harden up. http://www.nwac.us/forecast/avalanche/current/zone/7/ TOPO MAP: http://tinyurl.com/zippertopo Don't bother calling me, I only respond to email. Text is an option, just make sure to leave your name and what it's about. Voice mail won't be returned. Let me know who you are, what your status is