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Trip Report    

Basic Glacier Climb - Luahna Peak

Successful 3-day climb of Luahna with four awesome basic students.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Trail is clear of snow to Boulder Pass. Boulder Pass was filled with snow and running water. The snow may last a few more weeks. Creek crossing was easy. Snow on the boot-path to Clark Glacier, but that will likely melt out in the next week.  Clark Glacier was easy to navigate but starting to break up. Scramble to Luahna was clear of snow.

Assistant leader and I camped at Grasshopper Meadows the night before the climb started, waking up early the next day to drive the few miles to the trailhead for a 7:30am start time. The Basic Students all opted to drive up that morning. By 7:30am--no students! Still no students by 8:00am! At 8:30, just as Jeff and I were about to pack up for a 2-person ascent of Luahna, all four students walked into the parking lot. Apparently a tree had fallen across the road just a quarter mile before Grasshopper Meadows, and they hiked in the two miles to meet us.

Having our party together, we got underway, fighting against mosquitoes the entire hike along White River. The bugs subsided once we started up Boulder Creek, and we were mosquito free the rest of the day. The creek crossing was cold but easy, as was the rest of the hike to Boulder Pass. We camped at the pass, which was still mostly full of snow and plenty of running water. The top of the pass had no clear tent locations, so we camped on snow rather than trample the plants. With a strong breeze and 40°F evening temperatures, no bugs!

Left the next day at 4:30am to summit Luahna. Descended Boulder Pass via the summer trail, and hiked across snow to the boot path up to Clark Glacier.  The cold, clear night meant the snow was hard and icy, so crampons were a necessity all morning. The glacier was in good condition, though our route was more circuitous than some to avoid crevasses and exposed ice. The traverse around the North side of Clark required some pickets for running belays. The scramble to Luahna was fairly straight forward and fun with a few 4th class moves that pushed the students beyond their normal comfort zone. By the time we returned to the glacier, the snow had softened enough that travel was much more secure. Overall a fairly spicy first basic glacier climb for the students! They took it all in stride and did an excellent job. Arrived back at camp late, 7:30pm, unfortunately to a camp full of mosquitos. 

Left the next morning at 7:30 to beat the bugs, and hoofed it back to the TH by noon, giving plenty of time to down a La Revolución Burrito at South in Leavenworth.

Day 1: 7hr 15min car to camp
Day 2: 8hr 15min camp to summit, 6hr 30min summit to camp
Day 3: 4hr 15min camp to car