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Author Topic: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake  (Read 2523 times)
sam18802
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February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« on: 02/06/16, 09:30 PM »

Yet again I remain defeated in another attempt to bag Mt Lena and this area seems to be keen to rob me of any personal possessions I own. Still, it was great to get a good workout in and check out the conditions with recent rain and snowfall. Ron and I started early and passed Lower Lena Lake just as the sun came up, made great time passing by the spot where I had turned around two weeks ago. Changing weather patterns has caused some slides as the trail begins to climb towards Upper Lena and there is no recognizable trail to follow whatsoever. Post-holing in deep snow and we turned around (I just looked at the map) .5 miles below the Lake. After today I'm convinced it can not be done in a day, but certainly would be a cool overnight in the near future when conditions are right.
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« Reply #1 on: 02/07/16, 10:01 AM »

Were you on skis? How far in can you drive this time of year?
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sam18802
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Re: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« Reply #2 on: 02/07/16, 11:51 AM »

I had my splitboard, but this trail is pretty inconsistent for skinning. Snow free from the road until just before the log crossing over Lena Creek. The closer we got to Upper Lena, the deeper the snow became. Snow free at Lower Lena Lake. I always love hiking up trails to reach the snow level, so in that way this trail is pretty cool. If weather doesn't work out in the Enchantments next weekend I may try again as an overnight. This time we were close enough to see Mt Lena itself which made it more frustrating to turn around.
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RonL
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Re: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« Reply #3 on: 02/08/16, 08:36 AM »

Thanks for the tour Sam. It was a good time with a couple of good turns, a couple of really chewy ones, and lots of exercise it a pretty place. Keep after it because in faster conditions I think it could be a really cool summit.
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Martyg
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Re: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« Reply #4 on: 02/18/16, 09:43 AM »

Sam - respectfully... Check that trail out in summer or on Google earth. I have traveled extensively in that area and the approach (up to Upper Lena) could be an area of significant hazard from slides.

One year in July I went to Upper Lena - full-on pack with float tube, waders, fins, etc. to fish, only to find the lake frozen. It was great training - in and out in one day. I think that (for me) in and out in one day to bag the peak, with ski gear, would be too much. Type # fun maybe...

I often through that a June trip - when you can camp on dirt and have access to some open water to Upper Lena or a few other lakes up Hamma Hamma Rd - setting up a base camp and hitting close objectives would be a great trip. Hit a big high pressure system, take a few days, one full day in with big pack and lots of food... That may be the way to rock it.
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RonL
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Re: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« Reply #5 on: 02/18/16, 03:03 PM »

Hey Marty,

I would say there is certain avvy danger just before the lake. I only traveled with him on his last attempt but the weather that day was following a warm rainstorm the day before and so we both felt comfortable approaching it afterward with a forecast of cooling. The main avvy chute that the trail first approaches was pretty settled and had a lot of debris which was a good sign but as we neared the lake the crust about a foot down became less bomber. By the time we called it the sun was getting on the slope and things became more of a concern. Since the day before had cleaned out a lot of hanging cornices and regular start zones it felt ok, not great, to be in that area but around 3pm that day I would have felt like it would have been a bad place to be. In that regard the fact that travel was too slow to make it to the peak I think saved us having to call it on avalanche concerns because had we made it past the lake we could have been crossing it later in the day when something above might have gone off naturally. I did get one small pocket to move about ten feet where it stopped on a bench. Around the corner from where we turned around there was a man size old crown that cleans out that entire drainage periodically. I don't believe it went off the day before but probably during the rain storm which created the crust about a foot down. I would put it on the scale of having to be the type of forecast where they are using a helicopter to blow up the phantom on Mt Snoqualomie for that one to be on my mind and it would certainly take a portion of the trail with it when it goes. It is a little more sun protected than the slope we stopped at which is why it probably builds up a bit before it really goes big.

It is certainly a long haul for an obscure peak. I believe firm spring conditions or a solid crust would make it a fun possible day trip but my fun to hike ratio maybe more skewed than the average bear. It is a beautiful area and a few really nice lines appear as one travels up. It's more of an exploring on skis type of trip rather than a classic line. Both have their charms in my opinion.


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Martyg
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Re: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« Reply #6 on: 02/23/16, 06:06 PM »

Ron - Check out Lake of the Angels. That always struck me as an awesome place to head up to for spring turns. It is basically the next trail head up the road. There is a great overland high traverse back to Lena.
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RonL
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Re: February 6, 2016, Lena Lake
« Reply #7 on: 02/24/16, 09:32 AM »

Thanks, that does look like nice access. It goes on the list. If I don't manage to make spring turns up there I will try to at least check it out in the summer for some scrambling around.

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