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Trip Report    

Lichtenberg Mountain

The hard-to-find trailhead to Lichtenberg Mt is located at a bearing of 308TN from a 4-car pullout at the first switchback on Smith Brook Rd. We consolidated eight participants into three cars on the US-2 parking strip 1/4 mile east of Smith Brook Rd's junction with the highway before driving to the switchback.

The trail itself is an unimproved, non-maintained bootpath, hard to follow at times, that rises 1000' to Lichtenwasser Lake in little over a mile. The path crosses Smith Brook in 0.2 miles, and at high water, proved to be tricky. Bring water shoes for the crossing and then stash them on the other side. The path branches at the lake, with one branch hugging the W shore of the lake and the other heading up Lichtenberg's NE ridge. We took the ridge route, encountering snow at about 5000'. Just below the summit block, at around 5600', we turned left (S) off the ridge and crossed a snow-covered boulder field and Lichtenberg's E bowl in a rising traverse. Once on the SE ridge, we enjoyed a snow-free flower-garden walkup to the broad summit of Lichtenberg I.

Lichtenberg II is the prominent granite spire that towers over the E shore of Lake Valhala, which I had scouted on a private trip last year. After lunch atop The Altar, a distinctive boulder just below the summit of Lichtenberg I, we traversed the W side of its NW ridge, over the saddle between Lichtenberg II and a rock outcrop, and down to the snowfield E of the summit block. From there we traversed NW to a field of large boulders at the base of the NW ridge. Four of the group remained on the boulders enjoying the view, while Leaf Petersen, Michelle Gooden, Audry Bentz and I attempted the tree-covered NW ridge. Twenty minutes later, after clawing through brush and rock on the spine, we arrived on the lightning-scarred summit. We didn't find a register, nor did we leave one. I'd rate the NW ridge of Lichtenberg II as T-4. Beware the near 800' vertical drop on the W side!

After carefully descending the ridge, we re-grouped and headed E, across snowfield and large boulders, to rejoin the NE ridge of Lichtenberg I for the trek back to the cars. Students can log this trip for either snow or rock credit, as there was plenty of both. Time: 9:30, car-car.

 

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