Utah : Lone Peak : This Weekend?

Hawk

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
4
Hi All,

Im new to the forum and am looking to get away from work this weekend and do something adventurous. I recently moved from NC and am car camping in SLC as I keep costs low to start an online design business. My style is diy ultralight and Ive been camping since a youngster with sufficient mountaineering experience (chimborazo) for this hike. Lone Peak is close by and doable and this weekend looks pretty good as far I Ive learned so far. The only question I have is if there is snow that would prevent passage to the summit. Maybe someone here knows? Im looking to do at least a 1 nighter but could do 2 as well to make the hike more relaxed. The internet says its a 12hr hike up difficult terrain to a summit of 11,253'. Im looking for at least one comrade but the more the merrier! And someone with a youtube channel would be great. There are some rules with Lone Peak: no fires and parties over 10 are the most relevant restrictions. These look like pretty good directions for the hike that I will rely on http://www.yourhikeguide.com/lone-peak/. The weather is low chance of precip for fri and sat with lows in low 30s although its probably lower high up. https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Salt+Lake+City+UT+USUT0225:1:US. Ill be bringing my diy bivy, down bag, top quilt, 4-season pad and cuben tarp as my sleep system. I can leave early friday or saturday and can take more time or make it a longer trip if anyone suggests. Let me know if you want to get coffee a day beforehand to meet and go over the plan. Anyway, I hope this can happen!

Best,
Matt
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
840
Welcome to the forum.

Lone Peak with snow is not a first time winter climb.
I have not sumitted in winter, but been up to the cirque and shoulder multiple times in the snow. It is beautiful, but it is a buttkicker. Instead try Olympus or Grandeur if you want to summit one of the front range peaks, or the many other trails in the canyons that already start with some elevation gained. You can still camp once you are in wilderness and still have a great time.

For Lone Peak, once you hit snow, you are looking at 3, 4, maybe 5+ miles on snowshoes with a pack, up what is an always climbing trail on steep, avalanche prone terrain. As well, the peak is going to be heavily corniced this time of year.
I have not had any friends go up recently, so no current beta on the upper reaches.

Utah Avalanche Center should be your friend for this trail and every winter trip as they do an excellent job, and today their forecasted danger is considerable for wet slides. Which to me, on relatively untracked snow and high potential risk, is a No go. Even when the forecast is green this is a higher risk trail.

As for additional information.
The normal route of Jacobs Ladder is not currently available without adding a bit of mileage to walk to the trailhead from either of the following trails, Traverse (no overnight parking, park at the church and cross the street, road walk and then hit the road/trail), or Ghost Falls, Annes Trail or the BoSho/road walk from the Orson Smith Trailhead.
The gate to Corner Canyon road was still closed at the Orson Smith trailhead as of Monday. Once they open the first gate, the second gate is usually not open until mid-April or later until the snow runoff on the front side stops running.
This means you have two "shortest distance is a straight line routes" available. Both start from the Orson Smith trailhead.
Cherry Canyon trail or Trail of the Eagle. Both are a beatout until you get up the initial shoulders of the mountain and gain a few thousand feet. Then it is a steady continuous climb.

I was up part of Trail of the Eagle earlier this week and the snow is really soft once it starts to get sun -even on snow that was previously tracked out, I only went to about 6k feet there was some postholing in the morning and a muddy mess before that. Cherry Canyon is going to be more tracked out, but again the snow is softening.

Lone Peak is beautiful and full of running water all spring and early summer until the snowpack fully melts off, and saving the extra effort by going up the steep, but shorter Jacobs Ladder makes sumitting a lot "easier".
 

Hawk

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
4
Since you're new to the area, keep an eye on the avalanche conditions and know how to assess conditions and travel paths, and use a beacon/probe/shovel. You'll need at least one other knowledgeable and equipped person if you expect a rescue. Also, if you haven't already, have a look at the Lone Peak Winter Climbing paragraph on Climb UT for what to expect.
Hi Fossana, thanks for the advice and links, along with the other posts itll be better to post-pone this hike until the snow clears, glad I checked in here.
 

Hawk

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
4
Welcome to the forum.

Lone Peak with snow is not a first time winter climb.
I have not sumitted in winter, but been up to the cirque and shoulder multiple times in the snow. It is beautiful, but it is a buttkicker. Instead try Olympus or Grandeur if you want to summit one of the front range peaks, or the many other trails in the canyons that already start with some elevation gained. You can still camp once you are in wilderness and still have a great time.

For Lone Peak, once you hit snow, you are looking at 3, 4, maybe 5+ miles on snowshoes with a pack, up what is an always climbing trail on steep, avalanche prone terrain. As well, the peak is going to be heavily corniced this time of year.
I have not had any friends go up recently, so no current beta on the upper reaches.

Utah Avalanche Center should be your friend for this trail and every winter trip as they do an excellent job, and today their forecasted danger is considerable for wet slides. Which to me, on relatively untracked snow and high potential risk, is a No go. Even when the forecast is green this is a higher risk trail.

As for additional information.
The normal route of Jacobs Ladder is not currently available without adding a bit of mileage to walk to the trailhead from either of the following trails, Traverse (no overnight parking, park at the church and cross the street, road walk and then hit the road/trail), or Ghost Falls, Annes Trail or the BoSho/road walk from the Orson Smith Trailhead.
The gate to Corner Canyon road was still closed at the Orson Smith trailhead as of Monday. Once they open the first gate, the second gate is usually not open until mid-April or later until the snow runoff on the front side stops running.
This means you have two "shortest distance is a straight line routes" available. Both start from the Orson Smith trailhead.
Cherry Canyon trail or Trail of the Eagle. Both are a beatout until you get up the initial shoulders of the mountain and gain a few thousand feet. Then it is a steady continuous climb.

I was up part of Trail of the Eagle earlier this week and the snow is really soft once it starts to get sun -even on snow that was previously tracked out, I only went to about 6k feet there was some postholing in the morning and a muddy mess before that. Cherry Canyon is going to be more tracked out, but again the snow is softening.

Lone Peak is beautiful and full of running water all spring and early summer until the snowpack fully melts off, and saving the extra effort by going up the steep, but shorter Jacobs Ladder makes sumitting a lot "easier".
Hi Ugly, thanks for the great instruction for this hike, in that case Im going to wait until the avalanche risk clears and chose Olympus or Grandeur instead. Ill use this info for a visit to Lone Peak at a better time. Much appreciated.
 

Kullaberg63

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
544
Poor timing for a ‘winter’ ascent: conditions are still winter like, but since winter is officially over there’s no bragging rights. Lol.
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,421
There's no need to wait for the snow to be gone, the Wasatch is a wonderful place for spring snow climbs. You need a mountaineering axe, you need to know how to use the axe safely, you need to be able to avoid avalanche danger, and you want a decent pair of light mountain boots. I used to do more ambitious climbs but since my snow climbing buddy retired I've been sticking to easy routes like this one, which I do most years:
https://blog.regehr.org/archives/553
This spring should be epic.
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,421
I should add that "spring" for purposes of climbing stable, consolidated snow in generally between May and July around here. Will likely be latish this year.
 

danger02ward

Love the Mountains!
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
384
Going to lone peak cirque is very beautiful this time of year. Best to go on a weekend with lower avalanche danger. I concur with regehr going in the spring when the snow is consolidated is much safer for the peak. That will be a little later than usual this year. I would go with someone who has done it before and wait until it’s been hit this year. I haven’t seen pictures of anyone hitting the peak yet. They have been up on the summit ridge but were blocked by the snow. Wasatch wranglers and wasatch peakbaggers are good Facebook sites for info but you have to join the groups.
9FF2A87C-7C69-4DD7-BAEE-A84E970322DF.jpeg

This is looking towards the cirque on March 16th of this year.
 
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