We drove to the trail head on Friday night after work and pitched our tent next to the car in the parking lot. Wake-up time was set for 5:30am, in other words, due to the phenomenally short approach, we got to sleep in for this climb.
The approach to Mt Thielsen was relatively easy with low elevation gain for the first few miles until we reached the climbers trail. From there the elevation gain increases on moderate (30-40*) slopes until the final push to the base of the spire (approximately 50*). The spire itself is about 80′ of mostly class 4 climbing, but a fall would almost certainly be fatal. We protected this section and found ample opportunities for good gear on solid rock. The rope was also greatly beneficial for rappelling this section. We found rap stations with good slings and cord in two locations, but a 60m rope reaches the base easily with one rap from the top.
Overall, this is a fun and fairly easy climb. As mentioned above, the approach is relatively short (4 miles) and the technical climbing is moderate and protects well if desired.
Equipment List- West Ridge
- Identical to Saint Helens, plus
- 60m rope
- 4 slings/cord of various lengths
- 0.5, 0.75, 1 Camalots
- ½ rack of stoppers
- 5 alpine draws
- Belay devices