Thielsen- W Ridge

Page Type
Trip Report
Oregon, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Mar 1, 2005
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72.08% Score
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Created On: May 10, 2005
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On a spring road trip, we planned several Cascade objectives on our way to Utah for some sun
and red rock. However, once we arrived in Bend, it was obvious the weather was not going to
cooperate. I awoke the first morning to tackle Middle Sister. I was at the Pole Creek Trailhead
at 4:am. Despite the one hour drive and desire to get high in the Cascades, I turned back due to
ferocious winds. Later, I was told they reached 140mph on the route. We finally bailed and
headed south to Shasta. On the way I took on Thielsen as nothing more than a scramble, but
enjoyed the day just the same.

Park at the Thielsen Trail head due west of the peak on the right hand side of hwy 138 across
from Diamond Lake. We (wife and dog ascended to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) intersection
for a family picnic) hiked in 4 miles to the PCT. With snow on the ground, you can lose the
trail. But you are basically ascending due east gaining a north-south ridge perpendicular to the
southwest summit ridge. You intersect the PCT at this point. I skinned up in back country
skis until the rock exposed final 1000' (top right). The scree was frozen making for an easy
steep hike at this point until the last 200' which was an exposed scramble that some will require
rope for. You must swing over to the southeast section of this last pitch to find the easier

In poor visibility, it is always important to continually look over your shoulder for genomes,
rock outcroppings, etc. As with most any summit, atop of Mt Thielsen would not be the place
to get lost. One could ski down the west face (middle right), but this slope does avalanche and
was in questionable condition so I skied the ridge back, staying in the trees. Don't drop to low,
keep the ridge in sight and intersect the PCT again to return. I don't necessary recommend
skies. For a faster round trip, with snow conditions I was faced with, I would just take
crampons (in case there is ice towards the summit). I had snowshoes, skis, skins, TV, kitchen
sink....kind of felt like I was on an expedition, but hey, the Cascades are not my back yard, so I
did not know what to expect. Summit pictures below. On to Shasta!


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JoelSkok - Jun 3, 2012 9:59 pm - Voted 10/10

Happy you climbed Thielsen, "The lighning Rod of the Cascades"

Did you see the fulgurites on the top? (lightning catalyzed rock)

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Thielsen- W Ridge

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