Unicorn Peak 5.6 South Face via Snow Lake
So the weekend after doing Lane and Plummer, I wanted to climb The Unicorn because I heard it had a fun easy technical climb at the end. Plus, it is the highest peak in the Tatoosh Range. So I called up Max to see if he would be interested and he was so early Saturday morning the first weekend in Map we headed out with a perfect weather forecast. At 7am we arrived at Narada Falls and began hiking the Stevens Canyon road for 3 miles to the Snow Lake trailhead. From here we left the road and began hiking on snow breaking trail through the large flat area known as the Bench and arriving at Snow Lake a couple hours later. From here we could see the gully we were going to climb and the north face of The Unicorn looking hellish. We continued slogging in ankle to knee deep snow up the gully into the upper bowl where the snow conditions radically improved and we were able to make very good time up to the saddle between The Unicorn and its lower west peak. From here we took a short break and finished the hike up to the base of the summit pitch. I was happy to see it completely dry and I led up the 5.6 crack right in the center of the 50 foot south face of the summit block. I only placed a couple pieces as it was so short but fun indeed. I belayed Max up and we relaxed in the sun on the summit with perfect views of Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, and all of the Tatoosh Range. What a sight! When we had our fill we rappelled down (30 meter rope is the perfect length for a single rope rappel) and retraced our steps back down. Might I add we glissaded nearly the entire way down to Snow Lake which was some of the best glissades I have ever done as the snow conditions were beyond perfect. The final hike back across the bench and back up the road was long but still pretty. What a great day!
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