Ascent of Lassen Peak on 2013-09-02

Climber: Joseph Esparza

Date:Monday, September 2, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Lassen Peak
    Elevation:10457 ft / 3187 m

Ascent Trip Report

Category: Strenuous
Miles: 5
Elevation Gain: 2000'
Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Directions: Trailhead:

Description: Lassen Peak, a huge stratovolcano at 10,457' is the highest point in famous Lassen Volcanic National Park and a classic California peak. You can consider this peak the southernmost of the Cascade Mountain Range or the end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This mountain;s last eruption was in May of 1915, and it could still blow again at any time. Before it does blow again, HIKE IT! It is a very steep climb of 2000' in 2.5 miles and switchbacks right up the mountainside. You start in a sub-alpine forest emerge past the treeline at 9500', cross over large permanent snow fields until the last 200' in a Class 2 scrabble to the summit. From the summit, are views of the entire National Park in its full splendor, a volcanic devastated area, the summit crater, the Central Valley, The Sierras, Coast Ranges, and finally picturesque 14,162' Mount Shasta with its glaciers dominating the northern skyline. Currently the NPS ONLY opens the peak trail for about 14 days per year in the summer between Memorial and Labor Day weekends. Check Lassen NP website for details.

The Trail: From the parking lot you begin climbing up the trail. At the end of the first switchback, an Interpretive Site appears, heeding you to stay on the trail. Numerous Interpretive Sites like this line the trail every half mile or so, until near the summit and are very educational. Pass through the beautiful sub alpine forest mainly composed of Lodgepole pines and spruce. Soon you will receive great views of Lake Helen and stunning Brokeoff Mountain, which was once part of 11,500' Mt. Tehema (once a giant volcano). This is a very high and windy trail, so soon you might want to put on an extra layer, even in the summer. Soon you leave the trees behind as you bench 9500', and the snow fields in the Lassen Bowl (looks similar the to Baldy bowl in So Cal), begin to show themselves. I counted about 8 or 9 during the entire hike that I took in September . You will wind over and over again over the rocky mountain, passing scores of chipmunks, until you arrive at the last Interpretive Site near the top of Mount Lassen. Read the interesting signs and descend into Lassen Peak's largest permanent snow field and carefully cross the snow and its creek and follow a faint climber's path to the summit, traveling the last 200' in an extremely steep

Class 2 Rock Scramble. Allow at least 3 hours for the entire trip. And be careful in was in the high 30's-50 F with 20 MPH winds 35 MPH Gusts almost the whole time for me on Labor Day. Thank you Creator for his stunning scenery and return back the way you came, or explore the summit crater and jumble of volcanic rocks, which resemble the rocks of Mordor.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2000 ft / 610 m
    Elevation Loss:2000 ft / 610 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2000 ft / 610 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:Lassen Peak Trail
    Trailhead:Lassen Peak Trailhead  8457 ft / 2577 m
    Time Up:1 Hours 57 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2000 ft / 610 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Trailhead:SAME  8457 ft / 2577 m
    Time Down:1 Hours 

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