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Lion Head Winter Route Additions and Corrections

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marcminishRoute Comment


Hasn't voted

The route info has "under two hours" given as an approximate time for completion. My estimate would be 6-8 hours.
Posted Nov 25, 2002 12:02 pm

GuitarWIzardRoute Comment


Hasn't voted

The Lion Head Winter Route itself is very short - I've done it in under an hour.......it's merely a connector between the Huntington Ravine Fire Road and the Lion Head Trail, which is more avalanche-prone in the winter time.

I guess I should've clarified that the trailhead to summit takes 4-6 hours....but the actual Lion Head Winter Route takes less than 2. Sorry 'bout that.
Posted Feb 13, 2004 12:33 pm

sewardj60-70 degrees misleading

Hasn't voted

This description seems to incorrectly imply a 1,000-foot snow and ice climb of 60-70 degrees - a far different proposition than the Lion Head trail.

An ice axe may be warranted on this route assuming one knows how to use it, but there is almost no "exposure" in a mountaineering sense.

There are a few ledges or steps that might briefly approach 60-70 degrees, but these bits are of almost trivial length.
Posted Dec 21, 2008 12:19 pm

ForemanRe: 60-70 degrees misleading


Hasn't voted

I agree with Sewardj with particular regard to the 60-70 degree comment. This is a very misleading. I would estimate a sustained slope of around 30 degrees or so on the route in snow where crampon work and step-kicking is rather easy for an intermediate - advanced mountaineer.

In full-winter conditions, I would say that a classic ice axe is mandatory. Anything more aggressive is overkill and to impress the ladies.
Posted Aug 5, 2016 2:08 pm

nixoriugisHow to justify an ice axe?

Hasn't voted

In planning for a climb this winter, I have trouble justifying bringing an ice axe unless there is freezing rain. Can someone point me wrong?
If this is the technical crux, I would rather strap my axe on my pack and get handholds on rocks and trees than hooking on roots (LNT!) and rocks. Or use hiking poles if I want a cane.
If this is representative of the slopes higher up, and I would believe so since on my GPS track the slope never goes beyond 50% above tree line, it would be hard to fall and arresting would be easy with poles.

I will probably still bring an axe since I have one and everyone seems to bring it, but what if someone has never practiced self-arrest and has to shed money to rent one? Are we only bringing the axe for mountain cred, with guides overselling the route? Again, barring freezing rain.
I will update this post after my climb.

On another note, I'm considering using touring skis above tree line. Anyone know if there is usually enough snow for this?
Posted Oct 31, 2017 2:20 am

sewardjRe: How to justify an ice axe?

Hasn't voted

Probably crampons and hiking poles make the most sense and would offer the most benefit over all. Seems to be the preferred set-up of most winter hikers on this trail.There are MAYBE a couple of places where a properly executed self-arrest could be useful in event of a fall, but maybe not. LACKING crampons, one could, with an axe, cut a few useful steps...... There is no viable skiing on the route.The southeast snowfields (to the right, above "alpine gardens") offer limited skiing when filled in, but there isn't necessarily much point to lugging skis over there.

Posted Dec 30, 2017 1:20 pm

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