NOTE, This entry on Thunder mountain is meant as a supplement to the entry that already exists. I'm gearing this page more towards alpinists and climbers than casual hikers.
A subridge of heintzelman ridge, thunder mountain offers MANY steep snow and ice couloirs on its west face, a solid multipitch ice line near the glacier visitor center, a wonderful powdery bowl for back country skiing, and 3 walk up routes for those who wish to take it (relatively) easy.
get into the mendenhall valley.
the couloirs are accessible from the under-thunder trail, which can be accessed by following almost any road in the valley as far west as possible.
The ski bowl/summit can be attained by 3 ways, the thunder bowl trail (hike up the east glacier trail to the top of the high point and bushwhack south over steep creek and up the bowl), from the end of Jennifer drive (this trail is pretty rough, and can take the piss out of you quickly in deep snow), or from the DOT facility near Fred meyers (by far the easiest route).
Steep creek can be accessed by following the trail of time from the visitor center up to the second bridge over the creek. Follow the creek for about 25 minutes from here up to the start of the first pitch.
CONDITIONS!!!!!!. Do not attempt the couloirs after fresh snow, I was almost taken out several times by several large avalanches. These chutes are 2500 feet tall, and a little spindrift at the top has dire consequences. Wait until the conditions are perfect, or youll most likely regret it.
Other than that, watch for avvy danger in the ski bowl, and falling mountain goats in the couloirs ( a much more real threat than you would think).
go for it. expect to get wet no matter what.
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