Four Peaks L-R: North Thunder, South Thunder (behind Bell's Cleaver), Bighorn, Lone
The Hematoma Quad (AKA Bleeding Man) is the name given by SP member mtn runr
to a route which involves consecutively summiting North Thunder Mountain
, South Thunder Mountain
, Bighorn Peak (Upper Bells Peak)
and Lone Peak
. Several routes can be used for the ascent and descent depending on the preference of the hiker. A shuttle car will be required if the full circuit is completed as described. This route is usually done in late Spring or early Summer, when consolidated snow remains beneath the cliff bands. Be sure you have enough water and stamina to complete the route. There is water in Bell's Canyon if you have to bail and the spring water on the Bear Canyon trail coming down from Lone Peak will revive your aching body.
Ascent to North Thunder
The primary goal in the beginning is to reach the summit of North Thunder Mountain. The most common route is via Coalpit Gulch
. Other options would include ascents by way of Bells Canyon
or Sam Thomas Gulch
. The Coalpit Gulch route, which gains over 5000 vertical feet in 2 1/2 miles, and involves negotiating tangles of avalanche debris, slimy logs, stinging nettle and thistles, best expresses the spirit of the route and is favored by purists.
As you reach the top of the gulch the area opens into a wide North-facing bowl, the headwall between North Thunder's NE and NW ridges. Stay to the left and work your way up to the low point on the ridge where you will be treated to a spectacular view
into Hogum and the Pfeifferhorn. Once you have attained the ridge, follow it's line over boulders to the North Thunder summit.
Justin A (Gutloaf) and Asher (Matthew VH) on North Thunder. Photo by Grizz
North Thunder to South Thunder
The route from North Thunder to South Thunder is an enjoyable ridge scramble of approximately one mile with occasional semi-technical sections. There is one segment that is impassible from the ridge and requires a short descent down and around pinnacles on the Thunder Bowl side. The summit of South Thunder is accessed by climbing back to the ridge to the south after this short section.
Approaching South Thunder Mtn.
South Thunder to Big Horn Peak
After reaching the summit of South Thunder Mountain drop down into the south west saddle and continue to follow the ridge to the west. This is a good place to enter Bells Canyon if there are any issues that may inhibit the completion of the planned course. The ridge leading to the top of Big Horn Peak requires a little route finding among the granite, but is basically straight forward as the summit is attained.
Bighorn Peak viewed from upper Bells Canyon
Big Horn Peak to Lone Peak
The ridge leading to the saddle between Bighorn Peak and Lone Peak is likely the most technical area of the route. There is no clear path and careful route finding will be required. There are sections with considerable exposure, but danger can be avoided with attentive navigation.
Lone Peak viewed from Summit of Bighorn
From the saddle ascend to the west until the top of Lone Peak is nearly reached. When the top is in sight cut to the North and from here the true summit can be attained. There is a short section between the false summit and the true summit which requires minimal scrambling with exposure before the highest point is reached.
Descending North ridge of Bighorn Bighorn Peak is to the left, out of view. Follow the ridgeline to the true summit of Lone Peak on the right
Descending from Lone Peak
Any of the traditional Lone Peak trails can be followed as the final descent is made. These include; Cherry Canyon
Logging Trail, Jacobs Ladder
, Big Willow
or the South Face