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Ascent of Unicorn Peak on 2015-05-02

Climber: Sandeep Kumar

Date:Saturday, May 2, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Unicorn Peak
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:6971 ft / 2124 m

Ascent Trip Report

Unicorn peak is the tallest (6971 feet) in the Tatoosh Mountain Range and offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier. It's top is somewhat jagged which looks like a Unicorn's horn, hence the name.

We parked our cars at the snow lake trailhead on Stevens Canyon Road. Usually this road is closed till Memorial day (towards end of May). But we were lucky, and the road was open just till the snowlake trailhead.

At 9.50am, we started on the trail which takes you south-east to the Bench Lake. At Bench lake you will see a marker to go down to the lake or keep going on the trail to go to snow lake. At snow lake you will see a sign that the maintained trail ends there. There were just patches of snow on the trail uptil this point and no navigation was really needed.

From snow lake we proceeded slightly south-west to the steep climb through a gully. Unicorn creek flows through this (and goes into snow lake below), but the creek was under the snow at this time. Keep going up, around the unicorn peak and you will reach a ridge on the south west side of the peak. From here you get good views of the south. On clear days you can see Mt. Adams and St. Helens. From here go left and continue up till you reach the summit block.

The summit block requires a rope to climb to the top. There are a couple of 5.6 routes on the south side which are easy enough to climb in Mountaineering boots. If you go little around to the south-east, there is a class 4 climb, which can be done without ropes, but it is very exposed. Another options is to start with the class 4 route, and then use the crack on the left which requires some class 5 moves but doesn't have scary exposure!

I am uploading the gpx, but my battery died during the descent. The ascent part is solid and we used the same route on descent.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Walking up to the ridge on the south-west side of Unicorn Peak. From here you get view of south. Mt. Adams and Mt. Saint Helens can be seen from top of the ridge (2015-05-02). Photo by Sandeep Kumar.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2397 ft / 730 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Trailhead:Snow Lake Trailhead  4574 ft / 1394 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Rock Climb, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Mostly clear with occasional clouds. Nice warm day.
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 50 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Sandeep Kumar
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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Unicorn Peak view just after crossing the snow lake. The gully/gap on the center-right side is what we took to go up (2015-05-02). Photo by Sandeep Kumar.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View while walking up to the ridge. The peak looks like a unicorn's horn (2015-05-02). Photo by Sandeep Kumar.
Click here for larger-size photo.


Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The summit block. There are a couple of 5.6 routes on the south face. South-east face has a class 4 scramble (2015-05-02). Photo by Sandeep Kumar.
Click here for larger-size photo.



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