Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Unicorn Peak/South Side

Note that access to the trailhead from the east is currently blocked. From Paradise is fine. We decided to give this a go despite a forecast of thunderstorms and rain showers starting at 11am. I'd done this trip in mid-June 2012 and 2014 and there was snow to the trailhead. This time everything was melted out to the base of the first couloir. It felt like mid-summer and after driving out of drizzle from low clouds we were greeted by glorious blue skies. Hiking the trail was very fast; the talus field slower going than on show. From the first steep couloir up is still all snow, in very good shape with a well-beaten path. The main worry is the streams running below the snow in the first couloir--the snow is already thin and it might be possible to break through in the near future. Snow was soft enough that no crampons were needed; it was too hard to kick steps only near the summit but we could rely on the existing steps. We started at 8:26am and reached the summit (per USGS) at 11:15am. The weather had deteriorated and there were thunderstorm clouds around us but not directly above. We walked to the rock pinnacle to check out the routes but given the time it would take to get down and to safe terrain if a thunderstorm came in I decided to call off the rock climb. The weather did seem stay stable until we reached the trailhead but I still believe this was the right decision. There were some nice low-angle glissades on the way down that gave everyone a chance to practice. We were back at the trailhead at 1:34pm.