Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Lane Peak/Zipper

Enjoyable wallow up the Zipper.

  • Snow and ice on road
  • For the approach, we were on snow from the Narada Falls parking lot with some variable conditions but predominantly soft snow other than some re-frozen, crusty areas under tree cover.  (The tree-bomb snow was refrozen.)  The creek was apparent (low spots in the snow) but fully covered in the basin.

    The couloir itself was knee-to-thigh-deep soft snow with a surface gently scoured by pebble-to-baseball size chunks of snow that fell from trees or rock above the route.  A wind-shaped berm of snow at the top of the couloir redirected chunks of snow from the summit block down the couloir, and these two actiond were the primary source of debris in the apron.


    Sun-warmed snow on the walk-off was impressively sticky in places (monster pinwheels!) but stable, and hugging the leftward line gave an agreeable descent.


    Some skiers who ascended and descended the Zipper on Saturday (the day after the climb) reported that our track was fully covered in the couloir other than at the top.

The Longmire gate opened on time, but some car troubles for one participant led to a slightly delayed departure from the trailhead.  The team made the round-trip in just under 5h by the usual route from Narada Falls but without tagging the summit to ensure a timely arrival at the gate.  Visibility was poor, and light snow fell intermittently.


The snow in the couloir was deep and soft, and the team ascended without roping up or placing any protection on the route.  (Ropes and pickets provided training weight.)  Progress was difficult in places due to the depth and texture of the snow, and it would have made a fine ski.


Toward the end of the route, sun hitting the summit block pelted the group with stampedes of snowballs.

All in all a great day to be out in the Tatoosh.