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Ascent of Lassen Peak on 2014-07-06

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Alan Bernier
Date:Sunday, July 6, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Lassen Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:10457 ft / 3187 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is my 55th and last ConUS ultra in the West: just Mount Mitchell (which I'm to climb tomorrow on the way home) and Washington left for a Lower 48 States P1500m completion.

The peak has been closed the last five summers (!) for trail reconstruction; open holiday weekends only - a situation unthinkable in the UK. Accordingly, we're programmed to climb Lassen during Independence Day weekend, and with a settled forecast we do so on the last day of our trip, the day after our Mount Shasta ascent.

We're at the trailhead (N40.47458 W121.50599, 2578m) before 6 a.m. (first car there) and are hiking soon after. Very easy trail of course, plenty of evidence of ongoing work, suspended for the holiday. They seem to have brought in a lot of limestone blocks, not very geologically correct! Great views and lovely early morning light, so a fairly leisurely ascent, but even reading all the boards on the way up, our 1h16 falls well short of the signboard ascent time of 3-4 hours!

The highest point is a little way beyond the "tourist" viewpoint and involves a little easy YDS3 scrambling along a nice ridge (maybe bypassable at YDS2+). We take turns to balance on the little summit pinnacle xxxx for photos with yesterday's peak Shasta in the background. There's a trig plaque a metre away.

We follow the rough (YDS2+) trail round the crater in search of the Lassen Volcanic Wilderness highpoint - which thru lack of info we miss, but in the process complete the Lassen Crater Challenge (doubtless not the first to think of this). Anticlockwise these are:
1. Pinnacle above viewpoint (N40.48663 W121.50707, 3169m) (YDS2 but extra kudos for the YDS4 west face ascent!)
2. Lassen summit YDS3 (N40.48815 W121.50501, 3193m)
3. Summit at N40.49063 W121.50772 (3160m, small boulder)
4. Pinnacle (N40.49021 W121.50867, 3158m) YDS3
5. Outcrop (N40.48984 W121.50903, 3160m) with trig plaque
6. Pinnacle (N40.48890 W121.50862, 3165m) YDS4 (crux of route!)

We meet two guys who recognise us from Shasta (and I recognise his trailshoes - seems not many folk summit Shasta in them!). Eric from San Diego has just done the 220+mi John Muir Trail in a fast 9 days, including Half Dome as well as Whitney, also with Shasta and Lassen in the same two week trip.

We jog down in 28 mins with a few more quick photo stops. Round trip just over 3 hours. Then into the little town of Chester for breakfast then a quick detour to Shaffer Mountain en route to Vegas for our homeward flights.
Summary Total Data
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 3
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Time Up:1 Hours 16 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Time Down:28 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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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 resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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