Ascent of Luahna Peak on 2021-07-17

Climber: Linda Li

Date:Saturday, July 17, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Luahna Peak
    Elevation:8400 ft / 2560 m

Ascent Trip Report

3 day (2 night) trip to Luahna Peak. Approach via Little Giant Pass, the Napeequa river valley, and the Pilz Glacier.

Day 1:
0820 Hit the trail @ Little Giant Trailhead
1230 Little Giant Pass
1500 Valley floor
1645 Louis Creek Crossing
1745 Napeequa River Crossing
1930 Butterfly Butte Camp

Forded Chiwawa river just beyond trailhead. River was flowing quickly, depth up to upper thighs (I'm 5'4"). Well-established trail to Little Giant Pass. Descent trail into Napeequa valley was a bit bushwacky and difficult to follow in places, but not too bad. Breathtaking views of the valley. Lots of small creek crossings, also swampy bits, such that keeping boots dry was a challenge throughout. Found manageable Napeequa river crossing ~0.2 mi beyond Louis Creek (knee depth). Direct ascent thru woods to Butterfly Butte.

Day 2:
0600 Started hiking from Butterfly Butte
0730 Toe of Pilz Glacier
1000 Saddle below Luahna summit
1400 Summit
1730 Back to saddle
2000 Back to Butterfly Butte

Glacier in decent condition, stepped over a number of crevasse opening lines. Recommend topping off with glacial runoff - only sources beyond the glacier are intermittent snowfields. Sufficient snow to traverse around glacial ice. Nearing the saddle, bergschrund just starting to open on the southern periphery of the glacier (directly below summit). Significant routefinding challenges on the backside (SW face) of Luahna. Traveled on SE heading, parallel to Luahna-Clark ridgeline, looking for a line up to the summit. Dropped to about 7350' before finding a suitable class 3 line. Final ~50' to summit was class 3 with some exposure - I was happy to make use of a handline. Terrain very loose and chossy throughout.

Day 3:
0600 Started hiking from Butterfly Butte
1500 Back to Little Giant trailhead

Retraced steps from camp back to trailhead. Napeequa river crossing depth in the early a.m. was perhaps 5 inches lower than in the afternoon. Chiwawa crossing at around 3 pm was lower, inexplicably, than during the morning of Day #1.

Total distance: 28.5 mi
Total elev: 11,900 ft
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
On summit of Luahna, Glacier Peak looms to the west (2021-07-17). Photo by Linda Li.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Pilz Glacier
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Linda Li
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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