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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Lane Peak/Lovers Lane

Bluebird day on Lane peak, but snow conditions were not favorable for an ascent of the Couloir and return before the Longmire gate closed at 4p.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow on approach was in good condition. There was a crust with about an inch or two of snow on top and skis stayed on top of crust. Snowshoers were breaking through the top crust plunging 6 inches or so below the surface.

    Pin wheels were seen on the approach from the prior day.

    Snow on the north side of Lane peak also had a crust and once we took skis off to climb the Couloir, we were plunging knee/mid thigh on each step making progress slow and requiring frequent rotation of the leader breaking trail.

We waited in line at the Longmire gate for about 15 mins or so past 9a to drive up to the Narada falls parking lot putting us behind schedule to start the day and timing is a crucial piece of the puzzle for this route as the gate is only open for 7 hours during the winter (and only during the weekends this winter).

We opted to ski up the snowshoe trail behind the restrooms to intersect the road rather than skinning directly up the steep slopes above the parking lot. This is a more mellow approach. The ski from the road into the valley below Lane was icy and not terribly enjoyable. Trees are not tight, but may be uncomfortable for folks less confident skiing trees in variable snow conditions. 

Once at the base of the route, we skied up the steep slopes to about 4700 ft and then attached skis to our packs to continue heading up. We were behind schedule by about an hour at this point and our progress slowed considerably once we started booting up. The person breaking trail had to break the crust (with a knee), the kick a step plunging knee/thigh deep on each step. We gained another 200 ft or so to the first constriction over the course of the next hour. At this point we turned around as we would not make it to the top and be able to return to the cars ahead of the gate closing. 

We skinned back and skied the steep slope above Narada falls parking lot which were the best turns of the day. Over all a good day, but will return for another go when the snow on route has consolidated.