Thunderbird Wall

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
III, 5.7+
Rock Difficulty:
5.7 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

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Thunderbird Wall
Created On: Oct 1, 2006
Last Edited On: Mar 23, 2009


On the steep wall to the left of Twilight Pillar is a prominent crack system which crosses a ledge. Early season, there is a snow patch on this ledge which is shaped like a Kachina Thunderbird.

later in the year, the ghost of this thunderbird appears as a shadow during certain times of the day, when the lighting is right.

The Thunderbird Wall starts on this ledge and ascends the crack system to the summit in four pitches.

Getting There

This route can be reached by climbing directly up from the Norman Clyde Glacier. It is also possible to traverse to the left from the base of Twilight Pillar on a very loose fourth class ledge system to reach the base of the crack.

Route Description

Norman Clyde Pk. - Thunderbird Wall

See the attached route topo and photo topo.

Be advised that this route receives very little traffic, and as such, one may find an unbelievable quantity of loose rock while sampling these pitches.

Helmets should be considered mandatory, and a high degree of competence in climbing on loose rock (testing of holds, setting protection so as to keep the rope away from sharp or loose sections, etc.) will contribute to one's survival.

Be aware that the descent from the summit of Norman Clyde Peak is not a trivial affair, involving extensive 4th class routefinding, and attempting to downclimb after dark will likely result in an unplanned bivouac.

Impressive Knife Edge Summit of Norman Clyde PeakDescent from the summit of Norman Clyde Peak starts with the traverse of the knife-edge ridge pictured here. The routefinding gets less obvious after you lerave the ridge.

Essential Gear

Take a standard backcountry rack. We found a few BallNutz and some Alien Hybrids to be useful as well.

External Links

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