Trip Report    

Luahna Peak/Pilz Glacier

An intense 3-day climb through beautiful valleys and meadows, and also involving a fair bit of bushwhacking, routefinding and scree scrambling. An all-round stellar climb.

  • Fri, Jul 16, 2021 — Sun, Jul 18, 2021
  • Luahna Peak/Pilz Glacier
  • Climbing
  • Successful

We started off at 8 am by crossing a wet, raging Chiwawa river in water shoes, with the water almost drenching us to upper thigh/waist levels. The rest of the trail up to Little Giant Pass was an easy to read trail, and involving plenty of bugs at this time of the year. We were greeted by amazing views of the Napeequa valley beyond the pass and down to the valley floor. After a flatland walk for a couple hours and navigating a swamp, we reached the Louis Falls, which again involved a creek crossing. The Napeequa river crossing followed shortly, although we spent some time figuring out a shallower spot for crossing the river, and found one at almost an ankle level. Going up to Butterfly Butte was  a fight against the overgrown trees and fallen logs, and involved plenty of veggie belaying.

Reached Butterfly Butte around 7pm, if memory serves me right.

Started at 6 am the next morning to reach the Pilz Glacier. It was a short approach to the glacier itself and our route crossed one creek. Put on our harnesses and crampons and ascended the glacier, and it was an easy walk up. Unroped at the notch and worked our way around Luahna Peak. This portion involved descending and ascending on loose rock and scree. We reached the ridge between Clark and Luahna and had to do some extensive routefinding to make it to the summit. Probably the most intense part of the day. No water sources here, so make sure to carry plenty. Finally ascended and summited around 1 pm, with a couple Class 4 moves, because of the route we chose.

Summit was pleasant and breezy and has stunning views of the valley, other peaks with Glacier Peak standing out, spent almost an hour there. Made our way back down the same way we came up. After getting off the glacier, our fearless leader and expert navigator Tim B took us through a wonderland of meadows covered with wildflowers and pumace back to our camp. It was a long day, and made it back to camp around 7pm again.

Started early at 6 am on the third day to make the hike out quicker. Except the brutal climb up Little Giant Pass, it was a pleasant walk back out, and both river crossings were surprisingly benign. Our faster climbers even took a refreshing dip in Chiwawa.

P. S.: Generally, I do not  write extensive trip reports, but this was one stellar climb that I couldn't resist writing about. Also, the beta and GPX for this trip was largely obscure when I was researching prior to our climb, so thought this might benefit fellow Mountaineers! :)