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[TR] Lane Peak - The Zipper 5/4/2008

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Trip: Lane Peak - The Zipper

 

Date: 5/4/2008

 

Trip Report:

Not feeling all that excited about miles of snowed over road plodding to get to my usual season opener on Mt Washington in the Olympics, I cast about for an alternative solo outing and recalled some TR's here for Lane Peak.

 

I did my research and decided to go look at The Zipper. I hemmed and hawed, contemplating bringing my snowboard, some slowshoes, poles, but decided to stay simple and light for a first foray into an unfamiliar spot. In retrospect, poles would have been great, snowshoes might have been handy, and some sliding device could have been entertaining as well, but I appreciated the light pack and had a great day.

 

Lane_Peak_01_-_small.jpg

Here's an overview of the north side of Lane. The three prominent couloirs, left to right, are Lovers Lane, The Zipper (partially hidden and slanting to the left), and The Fly. It was pretty clear that they all were really well filled in.

 

Lane_Peak_02_-_small.jpg

Here's a detail of Lovers Lane and The Zipper taken from the Narada Falls lot, where you can actually see into The Zipper.

 

I left the car at Narada Falls and headed up the slope to intersect the road to Reflection Lakes. The size of the avi debris all over the slope made me a little leery, but all became clear when I popped over onto the road: they have plowed the road down to bare pavement and that was the source of the debris. I walked down the asphalt until it was time to pop over the edge and descend to the creek. With the road not scheduled to open until May 24th, a smart person might park where the Reflection Lakes road leaves the Paradise road and ride a bike.

 

The snow was not as consolidated as I'd hoped, mostly shin deep postholing. At the bottom of the hill I turned right and headed towards the base of the route. As I started up the cone towards the gullies the snow got deeper, more like knee deep, I'd been contemplating doing Lovers Lane instead, since the rock steps on other trip reports were clearly filled in, but the soft snow nixed that idea and I continued around the corner, wallowing away towards The Zipper.

 

It was discouraging that the snow was not firming up as the angle increased. There was a light crust, it had clearly frozen the night before, but it wasn't enough to support anyone. I began to encounter moments of crotch deep despair and engaged in a little internal dialogue. "This sucks, but I'll get to that next chunk of debris." "This sucks, but I'll get around that corner to get a look." "This sucks, but I need the workout." Distracting the Couch Potato with this line of bargaining banter I slowly made my way up the couloir.

 

Lane_Peak_03_-_small.jpg

As you can see, the gully was full and the climbing casual, if laborious. As I got to the upper third, a crust developed that would support me with care, if I took pains not to punch through it. This eased things along until I popped out into the sun at the notch.

 

I relaxed, ate a little, scoped out the views, dried out a sock (Sportiva Trangos are not very waterproof), and waited for the party of five who'd started up the couloir behind me. My crafty plan was to let someone else break trail to the summit.

 

Met the nice party of Mountaineers from Olympia, and naturally had some social overlap with them, though we hadn't met before. They headed up directly towards the summit with a looming rockband, eschewing the traverse across the slushy slope to the summer south gully summit route.

 

The strong sun had softened the snow considerably, and any number of wet snow slides were beginning. I followed the fresh steps up the steep slope, but as a few moats began to appear and it looked like a bottleneck would develop at the rock step, I veered left onto a rock rib and scrambled up some 4th class loose rock to the top of the false summit. From there it was a sweet walk along a snow rib and some more sketchy steep glop, then the summit proper.

 

Lane_Peak_04_-_small.jpg

My old friend and partner on the summit

 

Lane_Peak_05_-_small.jpg

Peak 5919 to the south has an interesting line on it

 

Lane_Peak_06_-_small.jpg

Did I mention wet slides?

 

I plunge stepped down the gushy stuff and encountered the group who was retreating from their nasty rock step (looked sketchy to me when I looked down it) and they traversed over to follow my descent line up to the top. Bidding them farewell, a combination of sitting glissades and sloggy marching led me down to the valley. Where other reports remarked on cliffy zones and bushwacking, I encountered a snow covered BW-0 route with just a little steep snow. I wrapped up with a march back up stream and back up to the road.

 

Walking back along the road I encountered a curious older couple who really wanted to share their excitement about rolling snow balls down the slope below the railing. This was all very charming until the gentleman expressed his wish to have a tire to roll down the hill.

 

Anyway, it was a great day out in the mountains. The snow will only consolidate over the coming weeks, and there's ample coverage to keep this side of Lane Peak appealing for awhile.

 

lane_peak_07_-_small.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

Axe

Crampons (didn't need 'em this time)

 

Should've brought poles with snow baskets

 

Approach Notes:

Parked at Narada falls, went up slope to road, walked on freshly cleared road until road bends to the left. Go over the side, descend to creek, walk down creek valley until below peak.

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It's possible I have the number wrong. I had thought that peak was Wahpenayo when I took the photo, but looking in Brown Beckey (tan pebbly surface edition) last night, he remarks on a peak with a number like that south or southwest of Lane, in the description of Lane Peak. It's off the main line of the Tattosh crest, you'd get to it by going over the Lane-Denman saddle and down the other side.

 

The guide mentions some "interesting snow ridges" but says nothing about the obvious gully.

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Thanks for the TR, OW. FW and I were thinking of doing this one over the past few weeks. I've never been up it myself, and it looks fun.

 

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OW-

Nice pics and entertaining read. Looked liked a spanking day out there!

 

PS: That old axe is rad, man!

 

PPS: Is the double-bandana Mountie-certified? :)

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It's possible I have the number wrong. I had thought that peak was Wahpenayo when I took the photo, but looking in Brown Beckey (tan pebbly surface edition) last night, he remarks on a peak with a number like that south or southwest of Lane, in the description of Lane Peak. It's off the main line of the Tattosh crest, you'd get to it by going over the Lane-Denman saddle and down the other side.

 

The guide mentions some "interesting snow ridges" but says nothing about the obvious gully.

 

Thanks. Great pictures!

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Nice TR, Off. We had ambitious plans to go up to Wa. pass yesterday, but decided to sleep in and go to Erie. That led to many hours of muddy scrambling, not finding the routes we were looking for, pulling off several head size holds, and climbing a grand total of 2 (short) routes for the day. Thanks for the pics.

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Great TR OW. Anything in the Tatoosh makes for a fun day in the park!

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Fantastic. Don't suppose you found a chock stone to scramble over half way up? The route on 5919 appears to have an exciting exit.

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No chockstone that day, though I'd read of one in other TR's. Lovers Lane is also well filled in - no rock steps that I could see. The traverse from LL into The Zipper looked a little sketchy but doable.

 

From what I've read in past trip reports, I think those gullies are as full as they ever get, ya'll should head out there and have some fun.

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Hmmmm. There was a lot of scemeing going on there.

I'll remember that.

 

Nice TR and pics.

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This is a picture of Pt. 6040+ (200P) immediately southeast of Wahpenayo Peak. I don't believe it has an unofficial name but it is impressive. Certainly it is more prominent than Boundary Peak south of Unicorn Peak, and yet it is unnamed.

 

Lane_Peak_05_-_small.jpg

 

This was my 3600th post, not counting moderator deletions.

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...This was my 3600th post, not counting moderator deletions.

The klenke has been moderated??? WTF is this world coming to?

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Ya know, Bala, I never put 2 and 2 together on those pics.

Figures that a smart guy like you would do the math! :tup:

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OW_small.jpgOW_bear.jpg

 

Pretty close... ;)

 

Nice TR and pics OW!

Yes. Now that you mention it, they are NOT identical.

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The parting of the hair would give it away, but he's shielded it from view with the non-Mountie-certified double bandana scheme.

 

Curses, foiled again!

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Pt. 6040 is actually called "the Butt Cheeks" and the sweet looking route up the middle is called the "poop chute"

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Pt. 6040 is actually called "the Butt Cheeks" and the sweet looking route up the middle is called the "poop chute"

 

Wrong on both accounts.

 

I will be proposing that this fine little mountain be named "Akebronka Peak" after two legendary hikers and climbers in the Park:

Ake and Bronka Sundstrom, Bronka being the oldest woman to summit Rainier.

 

"Poop chute?" C'mon. Have some dignity. Have you ever been out there?

I took a little journey to "Pt. 6040" and it was quite a little effort to get there (we ascended the west face) and quite the nice narrow summit. I have yet to meet anyone who has actually climbed that central gully on the east face.

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I have been to the base of the poop chute several times, but have yet to climb it due to conditions. I'll catch it soon. Oh and by the way Raindawg, lighten up, smile every once in a while, it's fun!

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