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Unicorn Peak

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Andrew Leader on 5/22/23 5:43pm

The road to the trailhead just opened the day before, so we figured we'd try skiing and climbing Unicorn! Overall, it's quite good! It's just the first mile of flat that's annoying (both on the way in and out). The blue section below was GREAT! It only took 16 minutes going down that 2,000 ft of descent, and that was with lots of pausing for photos. But the green section of skinning was like 50 minutes, it was still snow covered but some brushy sections and some steeper sections that involved some falling.

Walking to the base of the summit (short ~50' 5.6 climb, I brought a 35m rope and used a 0.75 and #1 cam, and wore trail runners for the climb, ski boots would have been kinda tough going up the 5.6 roof main route).

Had to boot up both of the steep sections


Annoying flat section of tree'd skinning (lots of flats with some ups and downs)


Thanks for the report.


Thanks for the conditions report on

"Ski it while you still can" Unicorn.

One option for  a  more meaningful exit

Is skiing west into the next drainage and /or traversing high on west side of Foss peak ridge. Summit Foss peak and then ski out north thru Sunbeam drainage. It requires a  walk to car or spotted car. Or a stashed bike or skateboard. Pretty much all downhill road from Sunbeam creek to snow/bench lake trailhead.




Robie, is this what you're talking about with Sunbeam Drainage? I saw someone's route on peakbagger going down there but didn't know anything more about it, it does seem like it could be nice! I'll have to try that if I do unicorn again, thanks for the info!




Pretty similar to that. My fav varies in the last third a little west from that

  I pass the tarn.,skip the first gulley on your left then slight left to gain the wide ridge and hook right to exit to road on west side of Sunbeam.

Occasionaly we ski this late winter with longer days and lots of flat work!

Gary Vogt and Ed Strauss introduced me to this drainage years ago. Leather boots and skinny skis era



Reply to this TR

Andrew Leader
2023-05-23 00:43:35