Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt Laura via West Couloir--South Ridge  3/12/2020
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Trailcat
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PostFri Mar 13, 2020 8:05 pm 
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Lisa and I did a snow climb of Mt. Laura in the Keechelus Mountains on Thursday.  “Mt. Laura” is a provisional name for the 5606-foot peak located immediately east of Lake Laura and serving as the topographic twin sister of nearby Mt. Margaret.  It turned out to be a excellent destination.

Starting from the South Gold Creek Sno-Park, we basically took the winter route to Lake Laura.  This involved hiking up Lower Dungeon Road for 1 mile on crusty snow, then continuing up the Rocky Run Connector Trail, following blue diamonds as best we could, to reach Upper Dungeon Road.

We crossed Rocky Run and Twin Lakes Creek farther up-valley, then made a rising traverse to the bottom of the West Couloir, which provides an amazing avenue to the summit.  We booted up to the south ridge crest, leaving only a short traverse to the summit.

All in all, this unheralded peak offers a nice approach, great terrain, and super views.  Even though snowshoes were not needed for most of the day, it was one of the best "snowshoe climbs" I have done in recent years.

A few selected photos and a map are attached below.  My full trip report and photo gallery can be seen here:  http://trailcatjim.com/rocky-run-mt-laura-via-west-couloir-south-ridge/

1 First View of Mt Laura
1 First View of Mt Laura
2 Looking Up West Couloir
2 Looking Up West Couloir
3 Climbing West Couloir
3 Climbing West Couloir
4 High in West Couloir
4 High in West Couloir
5 Top of West Couloir
5 Top of West Couloir
6 Traversing Summit Ridge
6 Traversing Summit Ridge
7 Summit of Mt Laura
7 Summit of Mt Laura
8 Dungeon Peak from Summit
8 Dungeon Peak from Summit
Mt Laura Route Map
Mt Laura Route Map
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RichP
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PostSat Mar 14, 2020 7:46 am 
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Nice looking route. I thought I'd save this one for a summer hike one day but it looks like an excellent snow climb.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostSat Mar 14, 2020 9:09 am 
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That looks really nice, Jim, and neither too long nor too scary.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Type E
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PostSat Mar 14, 2020 9:22 am 
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I have wanted that one ever since I spied that couloir when doing a winter climb of the The Dungeon some years ago. Nice work!

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Please follow me at: http://alpinelakesaficionado.blogspot.com/
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Trailcat
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PostSat Mar 14, 2020 11:57 am 
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Quote:
That looks really nice, Jim, and neither too long nor too scary.

Exactly right, Doug.  This one really hit the sweet spot!
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puzzlr
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PostSat Mar 14, 2020 12:49 pm 
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This is really interesting. I wasn't aware that those old "lower dungeon" roads even existed, but it looks like a great way to get into the Rocky Run area in winter. It also avoids having to walk on the snowmobile route with all the noise and exhaust they generate.

"Running Rock" is another name proposed for this peak by John Roper, but Mount Laura is much better -- it matches the Lake/Peak combo of nearby Margaret.

I tried to climb it once by going up the ramp from Lake Lillian, but the approach to the final summit block from that side was too frozen over and steep so I turned around just below the top. I probably could have dropped down and come at it from the south like you did. But in general your route looks like much more fun and will be how I repeat this to tag the top.

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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Trailcat
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PostSat Mar 14, 2020 3:53 pm 
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it looks like a great way to get into the Rocky Run area in winter.

Definitely shorter and more enjoyable than the main snowmobile road.  I've used the Lower Dungeon Road and Rocky Run Connector Trail multiple times to access the area for skiing and snowshoeing, including Dungeon Peak, Lake Lillian, and Mt Margaret.  I don't know the history of the Connector Trail, but it appears to have been lopped out by someone many (20+?) years ago.  I nailed up a bunch of blue diamonds a few years ago to make navigation easier, and I intend to do a bit more lopping and put up some more diamonds this spring.  I see no reason why it shouldn't get well-established as a non-motorized winter route into that very nice area.  Maybe take back a little territory from the snowmobilers.
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Riverside Laker
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PostSat Mar 14, 2020 4:44 pm 
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up.gif  up.gif
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kitya
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PostWed Mar 18, 2020 11:18 pm 
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Why Mount Laura and Mount Lillian? Looks like the summit is equally close to both lakes.

I got curious and also hiked to the summit today using your route. It was very pleasant, but also very warm. The west culoir is now chocked by multiple loose wet avalanches due to all the spring melting.

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some name
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PostThu Mar 19, 2020 12:32 pm 
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Very nice trip and report! Looks like a nice/interesting route to a splendid winter view. Thanks!

Is this the same place listed as Rampart Ridge-Southeast Peak on peakbagger?

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Trailcat
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PostFri Mar 20, 2020 9:21 am 
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Why Mount Laura and [not] Mount Lillian? Looks like the summit is equally close to both lakes.

There is already a Mt. Lillian over by Blewett Pass, whereas Mt Laura is a unique name in Washington.  Also, the name pays homage to a local climber who passed away some years ago.
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Snowdog
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PostSat Mar 21, 2020 8:43 am 
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puzzlr wrote:
But in general your route looks like much more fun and will be how I repeat this to tag the top.

And I hope to tag along when you do!  biggrin.gif

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mt Laura via West Couloir--South Ridge  3/12/2020
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