Sunday, October 28, 2007

Climbing Mount Lassen

Yesterday my daughter and I drove to Mount Lassen to make our first climb. We had originally planned to do this two weeks ago but an early rain in the area brought snow to Mount Lassen and the roads were closed. With warmer weather returning to our area some of the snow had melted and the roads to the park were reopened.

We started our hike at the 8,500 foot elevation of the summit parking lot, (7 miles from SW. entrance, 22 miles from N. entrance) It is about a 2 mile (2,000 foot grade increase) uphill hike to reach the cratered summit of Lassen Peak at 10,457 Feet. The round trip distance is about 5 miles with a steady uphill grade of about 15%. During the winter, Lassen Park is well-known for having snow depths in excess of 50 feet, so this was a good time to climb.
The paths were covered with snow in only a few areas from the early snow storm. Only a few people were climbing today. The trail to the top of the mountain is maintained by the Park rangers and it’s comparable to a well established backpacking trail. The weather was warm and I was dressed in shorts. The weather was colder near the top and the winds were gusting about 25 miles an hour.

Lassen Peak (10, 456 feet), from the east, Lassen Volcanic Park, California. Lassen Peak, the southern-most volcano of the Cascade Range, is a volcanic dome formed of dacite. The sparsely-forested area in the foreground, called the Devastated Area, was destroyed by a lateral blast and ensuing large mudflow stemming during the 1915 eruptions. Lassen Peak last erupted in 1921.

Click pictures for a larger view. More pictures here.