| Mount Lady Washington by the East Longs Peak Trail
I want to post a quick conditions report for anyone who plans to head up the East Longs Peak trail to Chasm Junction, Granite Pass, or Mount Lady Washington. I don't see any weather in the 7-day forecast that would significantly change the conditions from those reported here. I have many photos of the East Face routes on Longs Peak and North Face couloirs of Mount Meeker. Contact me if you want additional information.
Hike Date: January 10, 2010
Summit: Mount Lady Washington (13,281 ft.)
Trailhead: Longs Peak near Meeker Park
Distance: 10.6 miles roundtrip
Vertical Gain: 3767 ft.
The entire hike from Longs Peak TH to the summit can be done in just boots. The trail is hard-packed and snow fields are firm.
I wore microspikes from the parking lot to the trail junction sign for Battle Mountain. I used the skier's cut-off just before the "lightning" warning sign so I don't know the conditions through the drifts that form in the small trees past the sign. The snow on the cut-off was hard and postholing was minimal. From the Battle Mountain trail junction, the Long Peak trail is mix of rock and snow to Chasm Junction. I removed the microspikes and booted it to Chasm Junction, up to Granite Pass, on to the summit of MLW, and back down to my vehicle. I carried snowshoes all the way but never used them.
I climbed MLW's north ridge from Granite Pass. There was no snow on the wind-blasted route. I pretty much hopped from boulder to boulder to the summit. Traction was excellent. My first time up MLW - I was impressed by the size of the boulders up there. Really locked in too. Made for some fun 2+ scrambling. Thoroughly enjoyable day. Great weather, with no wind.
Captions on top of photos.
Sunday, 8:30 AM. On the left, Longs Peak, and on the right, Mount Lady Washington. The view is from Hwy 7 near Meeker Park.
The sign at the TH tells the story. I start up the trail at 9:30 AM.
The trail through Goblins Forest is well-packed.
I take the winter cut-off trail, which follows a small stream bed.
The trail leads to a small open bowl and ski slope. Longs Peak hides in the trees.
I climb the firm snow slope. At the top of the rise, the view opens up on Mount Lady Washington and Longs Peak.
I locate the standard trail and follow it towards Chasm Junction.
Mount Lady Washington stands bare. My route is shown in green.
I continue on the trail towards Chasm Junction.
Near Chasm Junction, I turn right and follow the trail to Granite Pass.
A group of hikers descend from Battle Mountain.
I approach Granite Pass. The north ridge rises (on photo right) towards the summit of Mount Lady Washington.
The lower slope of Lady Washington is covered with basketball-sized blocks of rock. I watch my step as I hike up the ridge.
To my right is the north face of Longs Peak, the Boulderfield, and Storm Peak.
The boulders get a lot bigger while approaching the summit.
The final pitch steepens but with minor routefinding upward progress doesn't exceed class 2+. The view towards the eastern plains is outstanding.
To the west, the view of Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular.
I arrive on the summit of Mount Lady Washington at 2 PM.
The Diamond dominates the view.
The view of Broadway, the Notch and Kiener's Route.
Lamb's Slide couloir.
I could hear the two climbers who were descending Lamb's Slide
I descend the mild rocky slope into the Boulderfield.
A group of bighorn sheep graze peacefully near Granite Pass.
It's 4 PM - the sun drops below the mountain top. I turn and give thanks to Mount Lady Washington, and then hurry back to my vehicle, arriving at 5:30 PM.