"Lackawanna"  
Condition Updates  
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-21, By: zootloopz
Info: If you like 8 different colors of wildflowers on your hike then Lackawanna is in right now. Summer conditions on ridge from Casco as well as NW ridge route. 87th centennial! W/ vertical_volume 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2022-05-05, By: Istoodupthere
Info: Ice axe and crampons mandatory. Had a decent freeze the night before but snow conditions were getting wet and unconsolidated in the late morning. Lots of sun hits the snow early above 12,000'. No avalanche scares. Mostly breaking through an inch of crust down into a couple inches of softer snow. A couple post holes in the steep areas were a bit startling. I tried to stay on the right side as much as possible to stay in the more shaded areas and avoiding the deeper snow in the middle. Going down, the snow was getting slick so had to go slowly on the steepest part. Was able to glissade from about 12k to 11.5k. Above that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to stop myself with the wettish steep snow. Also didn't want to smash my coccyx with the rapidly receding snow. Not sure how much snow it received Tuesday night. I wouldn't do this route again until next year unless there was a very hard freeze in the next few days. No sign of any other person doing this route recently. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-16, By: mijoflynn
Info: Spring snowmelt is done, so North Fork Lake Creek has come way down since the last CR on Lackawanna; crossing was a breeze. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to follow the trail; the route description makes it sound really sketchy, but it was perfectly clear all the way to treeline. Beyond treeline, actually -- the trail continues to traverse south across the west face of UN 13,660 after it clears the trees, so if you don't like the gully that Middlebrook went up, you can follow the trail until you find one you like better (I ascended one gully further south, and descended one gully further south than that). No snow anywhere. Quick and easy centennial hike -- 3:00 hours up, 1:45 back. Saw one other person as I was descending Lackawanna. Great views, as there are from any peak in that area, but the view straight up the North Fork Lake Creek valley is especially nice. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-19, By: jsommer
Info: Creek crossing was knee deep in the am and waist deep on my way back. Turned Lackawanna into a big loop adding Casco, Frasco, and French for a nice long ridge walk. Summer conditions on all peaks 1 or 2 small unavoidable snowfields (no spikes needed) and below treeline is a muddy mess 
5
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-11, By: MC.Ikema
Info: Be prepared for a creek crossing in knee high to thigh high water (2-2.5 ft deep). We did not find any log or rock hopping opportunities to avoid this. By afternoon the creek runs noticeably higher and swifter. In the morning we crossed at the GPX line, and in the afternoon we went 100 ft or so downstream to cross a broader section of the creek (pictured). Snow banks on the trail were hard enough for micro spikes in the morning and total slush by noon. As a two-man plow team, we did our best to blast a trench through those snow banks blocking the trail. Above tree line snow patches are avoidable if desired. Micro spikes taken but not used. 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-05-29, By: Carl_Healy
Info: Summited Lackawanna today with two others via Southwest Gully. Started at 04:20 and the temperature at the car was already in the high 30s. Bushwhacking up to the start of the gully was dry and thankfully when we got to the gully it looked full of firm snow... at first. Higher up the gully running water had melted the gully completely. We thought about turning around at the point but managed to go ahead sticking the the rocks and dirt on the side without issue. We made a decision point further up where we thought we saw better snow conditions and sure enough when we got there snow was firm and there was no running water. Not to say the gully wasn't looking pretty thin in spots, and once the sun started to hit the snow it softened up a bit but not enough to let us sink in. Summited around 9:30. Given conditions we decided to take the standard route down tagging "Unamed 13,660 B" on the way. This turned out to be a horrible decision. Conditions for the remainder of the route can be found on the soon-to-follow conditions update for that peak. daway8 indicated a Trip Report is pending. 
5
Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-05-15, By: Alrightmax
Info: Could not have asked for better conditions today. Started at a leisurely 7AM, snow was rock solid until 10. Even as it warmed, it only have enough to get a good bootpack. Summited at 11, was back down by 1. Not much avalanche danger for the moment, but if there's fresh snow that could change. Bring your ice axe and crampons, leave your floatation in the car. You can glissade from the summit ridge to treeline if you have the chutzpah... 
4
Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-04-19, By: DrSluice
Info: DANGER! An avalanche was triggered at the top of the coulior on our ski decent that was pretty sizable. Approximately 5 inches deep (wind loaded) by 400 feet long that went down at least 1000 feet. I would recommend extreme caution before going on anything with this snow condition. 
Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2021-04-21, By: adamorsubtractem
Info: 82 was open to La Plata TH parking lot. I parked and started climbing at 7am. The route description of "bushwacking" the first 500 feet is accurate. I left the road and headed into the trees 0.25 miles from the TH, but would recommend going farther up the road until you reach the huge clearing where an avy ripped through. Take this up to the gully. I started with snowshoes, but quickly took them off because there was very little snow in the trees. I put them on again around 11,300' and kept them on until the summit. Snow was supportive on the slopes, but became less so when I reached the ridges, approx 800' below summit. There was sporadic post-holing that wasn't particularly fun, but far from deal-breaking. There are some sizeable cornices on the summit ridge, so be safe (it's very easy to see where they start/end). I reached summit at 11:40am, spent 15 minutes on the summit, and began the descent down. Navigating the first couple hundred feet of descent with the snowshoes kinda sucked, so I ended up taking them off. The snow was supportive, but softening, making for perfect glissading conditions. I glissaded for the better part of 1500' and jogged down through the softening snow for another 1500'+, so the descent was refreshingly quick. I reached the road and got back to the truck at 12:05pm. Total time: 4:05 Total distance: 5.58 miles Total elevation 3688' 
6
Route: Southwest ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-11, By: blazintoes
Info: Parked at La Plata then carpooled 2 miles up IP to a pullout. Low angle surface tension cracks reminded skiing the south gully is not an option. The south ridge is full of unsupportive sugar snow. The longest 2 miles of our lives and we summitted on a chilly minimal windy day. The only thing that made this peak worth it was the company and a herd of bighorns that did a drive by. They are bold. My friends take better pictures. 
11
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-30, By: durkan
Info: Donned microspikes just after the cabins, was slipping more than expected but could have been my balding boots. Snow varied up to a few inches below treeline, the maybe bootlength at and above depending how you choose to tackle the slopes. Once on the ridge, snow thins out and it's choose your own playground. Ridge between 13,660 and Lackawanna lacked alotta snow. All thin or avoidable. The slopes back down, however, was either too warm or thin to plunge step properly, so it was more like boot skiing. Routefinding was interesting as I definitely broke trail, but it is easy enough to make it if you have the map (definitely use it to avoid some of my silly mistakes). 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-19, By: PeakSixTD
Info: Most of the recent snow is gone. I was totally fine from TH to summit in approach shoes without traction. There were still a few snow fields to cross, but they were non consequential and probably could be mostly avoided. Creek crossing was a non issue. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-26, By: CaptCO
Info: Not the most fun route, but views are good. Creek crossing are interesting but no issue descending them true to gpx (different story going up). Minimal amount of bushwhacking, saw scat/tracks just below treeline. Lots of loose rock/soil after the rain as expected. Descended the grass hill because I didn't wanna deal annoying talus again. Weather held and clouds moved in around 11. Did this back to back with horseshoe 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2020-05-21, By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Lackawanna is quickly on its way out for the season. Per previous report, snow is in from about 11,000 to a couple of hundred yards from summit...for climbing that is. Descending is another issue. Great turns to be had from about 500 yards down from the summit to base of upper slope. From there, there are several growing patches of rock that can't be avoided. After walking a bit, you can ski/ride another couple hundred vertical feet down to about 12,000 but below that its a rock field in the snow and even with the world's "rockiest" skis, is not skiable (shown in pics) Very hard freeze which allowed me to start late and drop in around 12:00 from the summit. Down to the car in 30 mins from there . Beautiful day and glad to have finally checked this one off the list, even if it was on its last legs for the season. 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2020-05-16, By: Danger_D
Info: Basically the same as the previous report, and a fun day of skiing. Unbroken snow from 11,000 to just under the summit, but the wider area around 12,500 will probably quickly melt out in a few spots. I was able to ski from just below the summit down to about 11,500, but the snow got too crappy/rocky after that. I saw 10+ people on the trail today, so not exactly super isolated. Pic 1 - The crappy snow at the bottom of the gully near 11k Pic 2 - Looking up at the steeper basin from around 12,500' Pic 3 - Looking north to French and Casco (fellow Cents) Pic 4 - Looking south over highway 82 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2020-05-09, By: Reg0928
Info: The gully is in and the climb is strait forward if you've got crampons and an axe. Not sure what time we left the truck (5:30-6:00?), but we hit the summit at 8:45. Ski line currently begins 20ft or so off the summit, and is ride-able most of the way to the road. If you've got old skis/board you don't care about wrecking you could possibly still ride all the way down to the road, but the last bit wouldn't be fun. 
Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2020-04-27, By: Marsh
Info: Southwest gully solo ski. Parked along hwy 82 at the "trailhead". 7:30am start, 10:30am at the summit. Excellent conditions for skinning (crampons) then booting (crampons). Bluebird skies, light winds at the top, amazing views. 35 mins to ski continuous 3,400-foot line back down to my truck on the hwy. Stayed skier's left at the top. Plenty of snow in the gully for wide open turns the whole way. 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2020-04-26, By: supranihilest
Info: Echoing what CheapCigarMan said. Snow in the gully is continuous top to bottom. I wore microspikes from the road up "Lackawanna", over to 13,660, and all the way back to the road. Snow near the top of the gully was soft and I was postholing about knee deep breaking trail. On descent the snow was crazy sticky and balled up underfoot. A couple of splitboarders caused an avalanche that ripped out the top of the gully, perhaps 100 feet wide and 600-1,000 feet long. Beware of worsening conditions as the heat and sun bake the gully. An ice axe was not strictly necessary but was nice for the traverse to 13,660. Flotation was not necessary at all. Last shot shows the traverse to 13,660. 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2020-04-25, By: CheapCigarMan
Info: The gully is in perfect condition. Continuous snow from the highway to the summit. No flotation needed. Used crampons from TH to summit. Gate is open at the La Plata Peak Trailhead. 
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Route: Southwest Gully
Posted On: 2020-04-11, By: bludwig
Info: Amazing conditions from the choke to the summit, snow is not continuous below the choke. Ice axe and crampons were required for the entire hike. Parking spot by the trail is open. Hurry before this melts out. 
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