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Lichtenberg Mountain

A great day, despite a rating of high avalanche danger that kept us on our toes and away from anything remotely prone to avalanches. Needless to say, we had the mountain all to ourselves. Michelle, our resident wildlife biologist pointed out tracks for silver fox, pine martin, snowshoe hare, deer, etc. and we had one siting of a pine marten! We left the Smithbrook Rd at 4000 feet, just shy of the "hairpin" turn, crossed the creek, and headed straight south, following the ridge line to Lichtenvasser Lake. A cliff band at about 4400-4600 nearly ended our ascent, but in typical Mountaineers tradition, we poked and prodded and eventually found a route through the cliff band. We enjoyed a lunch at the lake, then crossed the lake to the southern end of it and followed the drainage up toward the summit. The entire rim of the bowl was flanked by enormous cornices. We found one small gap in the cornices NE of the prominent false summit on the SW ridge and gained the ridge crest at 3:00 pm. We ascended the ridge as far as we could, but were stopped by the cliffs on the prominent false summit and the cornices that prevented us from going around the false summit. We enjoyed a second lunch on the ridge, then descended the ridge to the lake and from there followed our tracks out. We reached the Smithbrook Road just as the sun was setting and just as the rain/snow started to fall. We accessorized our outdoor fashions with headlamps and rain gear as we strutted to the cars. All in all, an great day in the mountains, even though we didn't reach the summit.

 

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Andy Cahn
Andy Cahn says:
Mon, May 23, 2016 11:50 AM

<p>A great day, despite a rating of high avalanche danger that kept us on our toes and away from anything remotely prone to avalanches. Needless to say, we had the mountain all to ourselves. Michelle, our resident wildlife biologist pointed out tracks for silver fox, pine martin, snowshoe hare, deer, etc. and we had one siting of a pine marten! We left the Smithbrook Rd at 4000 feet, just shy of the &quot;hairpin&quot; turn, crossed the creek, and headed straight south, following the ridge line to Lichtenvasser Lake. A cliff band at about 4400-4600 nearly ended our ascent, but in typical Mountaineers tradition, we poked and prodded and eventually found a route through the cliff band. We enjoyed a lunch at the lake, then crossed the lake to the southern end of it and followed the drainage up toward the summit. The entire rim of the bowl was flanked by enormous cornices. We found one small gap in the cornices NE of the prominent false summit on the SW ridge and gained the ridge crest at 3:00 pm. We ascended the ridge as far as we could, but were stopped by the cliffs on the prominent false summit and the cornices that prevented us from going around the false summit. We enjoyed a second lunch on the ridge, then descended the ridge to the lake and from there followed our tracks out. We reached the Smithbrook Road just as the sun was setting and just as the rain/snow started to fall. We accessorized our outdoor fashions with headlamps and rain gear as we strutted to the cars. All in all, an great day in the mountains, even though we didn't reach the summit.</p>