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Ascent of Luahna Peak on 2021-01-23

Climber: Ryan Stoddard

Date:Saturday, January 23, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Luahna Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:8400 ft / 2560 m

Ascent Trip Report

PLEASE NOTE: this is a winter trip; if you follow track in summer there will be miles of slide alder

With Eric

After three prior attempts fell short of Luahna success, I am so so stoked to finally get it, in the heart of Winter no less

Friday we met at Tall Timber Ranch around 3pm. Our plan was to snowmobile the road as far as we could, ski to the TH, then snowshow/crampon from the trailhead. Since conditions are very bad for skiing at the moment we reluctantly decided snowshows would be more efficient and safer than skis

The road is a junk show with down trees and debris everywhere. We chopped out many trees and limbs and after some delays we made it to 0.4mi before the TH where a large avy debris pile blocked the road. We decided to just snowshoe from there and made good time to our low bivy location at the White River x Boulder creek junction. In bed by 8:30pm.

Saturday we woke up at midnight and were moving by 12:30am. Climbing thru the nite in the crisp clear winter air was amazing; starts out, and glimmering moonshadows form the surrounding mountains <3 Approaching the Ridge notch there were difficult conditions with breakable crust and sugary snow underneath - I was treadmiling a bit and wasting lots of energy (this was the crux of the climb for me..). Eventually we made it too the notch and could see daybreak to the East <3

After some steep snow down the hidden gully, we cramponed up to Clark summit while the sun rose. My 3rd clark summit, was just here in December, nice to get the winter ascent! After eating another breakfast we went to check out the W face down-scramble.

What is a class 3 scramble in summer was just a steep snow downclimb. We downclimbed steep snow into the shadow on the W face while the wind was picking up. It felt bitter cold - at this moment we really felt that we were "winter mountaineering". After a mix of downclimbing and traversing we got into easier terrain to traverse over to Luahna.

Although the East face finish on Luahna looked in, we did not bring gear for glacier travel so chose the SW face finish. Steep snow brought us to a gully then a short mixed step to exit (tech crux of the trip), then easy walk to the summit. Wahoo!

There was some debate about whether to retrace our traverse and exit via Boulder creek basin or descend direct down to thunder creek and the white river. The reason people avoid the direct descent is due to miles of slide alder (which we both had experienced firsthand previously). However, it is midwinter, and slide alder is under feet of snow, we chose the direct descent. 6k' straight down from summit to white river, then snowshoeing open valley. There were some massive avy debris piles that we had to climb over and around.

Made it back to camp, packed up then snowshoed out to snowmobile. Long day - 19.5 hrs from camp to snowmobile. The snowmobile out to Tall Timber was very smooth since we had already chopped everything out on Friday.

First Known Winter Ascent for Luahna (5 FKWABs for me). 92/100

strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/4675757017

nwhikers: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8033375
Summary Total Data
Ascent Part of Trip: Clark / Luahna winter

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Clark Mountain2021-01-23 a 
2Luahna Peak2021-01-23 b 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Ryan Stoddard
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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