With some colder weather, consolidated spring snow following a warm spell, and a short weather window, I talked Colin into heading down to Rainier and getting on one of the couloirs of Lane Peak. When we got to the Narada Falls parking lot on Sunday morning at about 9:15am, I scoped out the face with some binoculars and it seemed like Lover’s Lane would go.
We hiked up the steep face to the road, went around to the bend, descended through the trees, and were at the base of the North face in about 35 minutes. We put crampons on and racked up on the flat before heading up the slope towards our couloir.
The snow was nice and firm, but still gave a little for steps. Since Colin is getting used to more wintery routes, we decided to rope up and throw in some protection along the way. Where the couloir necked down, I found a cam on the left and proceeded to put in one piece every 20 meters or so in order to always have one thing on our doubled-in-half 60m twin rope. The conditions were so much fun that I let out some whoops and was having a grand time. At the high constriction, there was even enough ice to pop in a screw and we got full swings into the neve above for another 50 feet or so.
At the top of the couloir, I descended to the far side and put Colin on belay from the tree anchor. We did the double rope rap down into The Zipper and then soloed up to the top of it quickly, doing our best Ueli Steck impressions. From there, we curled around to the South side and followed the gully to the top, where we ate our lunch and watched the clouds roll in.
The descent went smoothly and we were back at the car about 4h 45m after we’d started. Really fun climb in great condition right now.