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[TR] Lane Peak - The Zipper 4/3/2017

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Trip: Lane Peak - The Zipper


Date: 4/3/2017


Trip Report:

My wife Amanda and I climbed the Zipper this morning. The gate at Longmire opened up just before 9 and we were the first/only car in the Narada Falls parking lot. After spending a few minutes getting our s*** together, we started hiking at about 9:25.


We booted up to Stevens Canyon Road and walked along it until it turned East. At the bend we dropped down into the trees. I had considered using skis, but this descent made me glad I didn't - skiing that lumpy slope in firm conditions would have been miserable. Once I reached the valley, I put on my snow shoes (Amanda had already put hers on) and we hiked West-ish down the valley, mostly following some faint snowshoe tracks. These tracks led us to a snow (log?) bridge across the stream and then to the base of Lane. We left our poles and snowshoes here, just beyond a large amount of old avy debris.


We put on harnesses and crampons and at around 10:45 we headed up the debris cone aiming for the base of the zipper. At the base of the couloir we each pulled out a second tool. The snow in the couloir was mostly firm neve, sometimes a bit more like ice, sometimes covered in a thin layer of powdery snow. There was no boot pack and it was not generally possible to kick steps. We spent almost the entire climb daggering with our tools and front pointing with our feet.


We hit the col around noon and ate/drank/fiddled for a bit before following a boot path up the face. This turned out to be the wrong (or at least more risky) way to go. The snow on this side of the mountain was extremely soft, and gaining the ridge required a couple moves on very loose rock followed by a little more steep, very loose snow. Once on the ridge I recognized that there was another chute a couple hundred feet to climber's left that would have ascended almost directly to the summit. I shouted down this info to Amanda before walking along the ridge to access the slope I should have been on. The boot pack I had been following mysteriously stopped a little before I reached this slope...not sure if the other party decided to call it a day or what. Amanda traversed around below the rock buttress to access the slope the way I should have, and we topped out around 12:40.


We descended via the col between Denman and Lane, mostly hugging the side of Lane to avoid the steep terrain in the center of the slope. the snow shoe out went without incident and we were back at the car a little after 3.


Overall, a pretty awesome day. Neither of us had done this climb before and we didn't know quite what to expect in terms of conditions. This was also my wife's first sustained steep snow climb and she totally rocked it!


Gear: I used a light weight ice axe (Ride) and a quark. Amanda used a Sum'Tec and a Quark. All of these axes have a bent shaft which makes daggering pretty comfortable and efficient. We brought a 60m double rope and a picket but didn't use either.


Entrance to the couloir



Amanda ascending the middle of the couloir:



Exiting the couloir:


Edited by Rodion

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BTW it was my friend and I that went up the wrong gully to the ridgeline that you had the misforture to follow! Sorry about that.

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