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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Unicorn Peak/South Side

Great Day on Unicorn Peak

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • About a foot of snow remains on the bench.  The trail to the lakes remains largely covered with snow.  Boulders up the creek are still covered with snow.  We weren't punching through.  Gully is in good shape.  The infamous "moat" is probably the crux of the climb.  It's partially buried in snow with about 25' of rock exposed that can be easily scrambled with care but some may want a hand like when down-climbing.  All of the rock routes are clean as is the scramble route.  Overall great conditions.

Left the trailhead at 8am.  Crossed the bench and reached the top of the gully in about an hour.  Unicorn was obscured by clouds in the morning as we approached the gully.  Met a Mountaineers group scrambling Foss.  Snow was very consolidated but softening.  About 1-2 feet of snow covers the bench but it's melting fast.  More covering the boulders and gully (we weren't punching through).  Excellent step kicking.   Didn't need snowshoes or crampons.

The moat is fairly melted out but crossable with care.  There is about 25' of exposed rock that must be scrambled.  There is a slung tree with hardware at the top of the moat that can be used to rig a hand line.  When we reached the rock climb there was a small party of students from a Portland college rappelling the rock face.  Great group!  The climbing routes and scramble route are all clean / snow free. 

Weather was partly sunny.  No rain of any significantly despite 30% chance in the forecast.  Wind was cold and blustery.  10-15MPH gusting to 20-25.  Rainier peeked out a few times.

Finished the day at the Wildberry.  Overall a perfect day with a great team!

Brought but left at car:  Snowshoes, crampons.

6 hours car to car.