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TR: Lassen Peak (06 Feb 2016)

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TR: Lassen Peak (06 Feb 2016)

Postby pakoR » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:06 am

Hello all. Took a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park some weeks ago with the purpose of climbing the summit. The weather forecast for the weekend was temperatures in the 60s dipping into the 20s at night, sunny blue skies, and dry. I drove up on Saturday morning from the Bay Area to meet others in my group at the visitor center. We planned to hike to Lake Helen, camp overnight, ascend the summit on Sunday morning, descend to camp, pack up and go home. Here is the route on CalTopo: http://caltopo.com/m/G15N

Saturday started out with really nice weather, and it remained so through the entire the day. We followed most of the road, except for a section where we cut across over the west ridge of Diamond Peak. The road had been well traveled in the previous days by people with skis or snowshoes. When we reached Helen Lake, there were a few day hikers, but not many people planning to camp overnight.

There were some swirling clouds visible on the top of Lassen in the later part of the day. These created some surreal images as the sun set over the horizon.

Around 10pm on Saturday, the wind started blowing and continued on until about 5am on Sunday with consistent speeds about 25mph, and the occasional 40mph gust. At 4:30am, we geared up to head for the summit with headlamps lighting up the way. We were on snowshoes up until the parking lot where the trailhead begins to the peak. From that point on, we switched over to crampons. Just before rising over the horizon, the sun was painting the snow-covered slopes of the peaks in an incredible orange glow.

We didn't get very far up the peak though. At about 9500', we turned back. The wind never ceased; my guesstimate is constant 25mph from the east with a 40-50mph gust here and there to keep one focused on the task at hand.

On the way out, we veered off the road northwest of Diamond Peak to meet the road at Sulphur Works. Even though we didn't get to the summit, the trip was still very enjoyable, the weather was great for the most part, and the views were fantastic. Enjoy the photos!

Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center
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On the road to Lake Helen
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Sulphur Works
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Views of the surrounding peaks
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Mt. Diller, Pilot Pinnacle
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Brokeoff Mountain
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Lake Helen
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Lassen Peak
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Sunset at Lake Helen
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Heading for the summit
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Sunrise
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Lake Helen
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Brokeoff Mountain
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Re: TR: Lassen Peak (06 Feb 2016)

Postby rlown » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:38 am

Very pretty! Looks like you had great weather as well.
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Re: TR: Lassen Peak (06 Feb 2016)

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:05 pm

Very cool (pun intended) TR and photo's, subject was moved because Lassen belongs to the Cascade Range. :)
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Re: TR: Lassen Peak (06 Feb 2016)

Postby Jason » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:33 pm

Awesome looking trip! I love that sunrise photo. Thanks for taking the time to post a trip report.
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Re: TR: Lassen Peak (06 Feb 2016)

Postby psykokid » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:58 pm

Very nice TR! It's nice to see familiar sights cloaked in snow.

My father in law has been camping on the south side of the park in the national forest in the general area of Domingo Springs for about the last 50 years. His brother moved up to the area and got married on the shores of Willow Lake. They used to have a forestry cabin up at the Feather River Home Sites but when forestry bumped the lease rate up they sold the cabin and bought a fixer upper in Chester. His other brother lives on the Peninsula.
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