Photo: Chester Marler descending the south side of Lichtenberg on a mysteriously, misty day.
Lichtenberg Mountain offers backcountry skiers and snowshoers options for a north-side climb, a south-side route, or a circuit going up one side and down the other. Pick the route that offers the best (and safest) snow. Through much of the winter, the northern route will have the better quality snow. But not always. During sunny winter droughts and the corn cycles of spring, the south face may soften nicely in the late morning or early afternoon and offer great skiing.
Both sides of the mountain present an avalanche hazard to visitors who are on the slopes at the wrong time. The south side route in particular sheds massive slides from time to time. Regardless of which route you follow, know the avalanche forecast before leaving home and keep evaluating the snow stability as you approach the steeper slopes.
Activity. Backcountry skiing or snowshoeing.
Skill: 2 to 2+ (intermediate to advanced intermediate).
Fitness: 2- (easy intermediate).
North side route:
- Park at the bottom of the Smithbrook Road about 2 miles east of Stevens Pass (milepost 68.7). No permit is needed to park here. Note: Highway 2 is divided here and you must be in the west-bound lane. Park on the wide shoulder on the north side of this lane.
- Ski about 2.6 miles up Smithbrook Road. A few hundred yards before the road makes a big switchback (al an elevations of 3,970 feet) leave the road and follow a true bearing of 177 degrees up to Lichtenwasser Lake. This area can be deceptively tricky because small cliff bands that don’t show up on the map complicate traveling in a straight line.
- From the south end of the lake, follow a true bearing of 248 degrees up to a 5,640-foot saddle on the south side of the summit. Follow the southeast ridge to the summit 5,844-foot summit.
South Side Route:
- Park in the general Yodelin area about 1.3 miles east of Stevens Pass (milepost 66.25) or at Stevens Pass. If you park in the Yodelin area get permission from people at the lodge if you’re parking on the east side of Highway 2. Or get permission from a homeowner to use the private lot on the west side of the highway. Parking in these areas is usually not a problem on weekdays but you’re likely to be unwelcomed on weekends. On weekends you can always park at Stevens Pass and then ski under the powerlines on the west side of the highway to get back to the Yodelin area.
- From Yodelin Place Road (see map) , follow the snowed over road north and then west for 0.8 miles until it ends. Then start head up Nason Creek on a true bearing of 298 degrees until you reach an elevation of 3,720 feet. Here, follow a true bearing of 2 degrees to a flatter shelf at the 4,800-foot level. Above here the ground steepens considerably. Zig-zag upward in a northeasterly direction following little ribs to reach a notch at 5,640 feet. Now follow the southeast ridge to the summit (5,844 feet).
Map. See our topographic map of the route below. This map also has other ski and snowshoe trips to sample in the Stevens Pass area.
Photo: Touring up Nason Creek toward Lichtenberg.
Hazards. These route are exposed to potential avalanche hazard. Know how to assess and avoid the hazard.
Reporters. This information has been compiled with the help of Chester Marler, Andy Dappen, and Jamie Tackman.
Permits. None needed.
Additional Information. See the book 100 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes in the Washington by Rainer Burgdorfer (Mountaineers Books).
Snow conditions. Use our ‘Skiing’ Condition Reports under “weather” on our homepage to evaluate the snow and avalanche conditions before you head out. Also, check the Snow & Ski User Reports to see what others are reporting about the current backcountry conditions.
Leave It Better than You Found It. This should be every user’s goal. Do no damage and pick up trash left by others.
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.