My final CA 14'er. First crux was crossing the bergsrund and the second one was the summit block - not that hard but I really didn't want to fall... North Couloir was all snow this time of year. Overall, very fun, no people.
Successful on our 2nd Attempt. On the first try we spent a lot of time finding a way around the boulder choked section of the chute. Doing this as a day hike in October means starting and ending with headlamps.
1st time in the palisade. Very nice route.
Beautiful mountain, fun summit challenge ... great traverse to Starlight.
First time, climbed it with Mike Graber and a couple of clients while we were both working for the Palisade School of Mountaineering. Underhill Couloirs were kind of grungy, the the climbing above was superb. Summit block didn't seem all that hard.
Second time was with Oriole Sole-Costa and Janet Kellum (two other PSOM employees). Booted our way up the north couloir in plastic ski boots carrying heavy alpine skis. Left the ski gear at the summit ridge, put on rock shoes, and did the traverse. That wasa hoot! Summit block still not as hard as I'd been lead to believe. Returned the way we came and had an awesome ski run down to the Thunderbolt Glacier.
Did it a third time up the Underhill route. Can't remember who with, though. Dates are rather approximate.
Climbed with Pavel (kovarpa). No summit, as we ran out of time just a few hundred feet below. Still, very cool climb: snow, rock, ice. Very windy conditions.
tricky summit block
Climbed with Kris - NE Couloir is a fun climb that has it all - snow, ice, rock... Fresh snow made for slow going and we bailed out at 4pm, with still maybe an hour to go to the summit. Descent via N Couloir, crossing the 'srund was fun. The climb turned into an epic - back at TH at 12.30am, back in Bay Area at 8am, took a shower, went to work....
Really not as bad a slog as I'd expected, with mostly fairly solid footing. The little class 4 scramble out of the notch was exposed, a bit tricky, and seemed like it could be called 5th class without too many quibbles on my part.
But what really sticks in my mind is the summit block. That thing is way cool and was a blast to climb... at least with a toprope! The 5.8 route on the backside seemed surprisingly easy for the rating. Climbed with Glenn and Curt on our way to North Pal, as a dayhike out of South Lake.
I still have about 15 feet to go... Next time I'm up there I'm climbing the summit block. Headed up from T-bolt pass up the chute and back out to the cars on Sunday. Then, drove home to OC. It was quite a long day.
There's still snow in the chute.
A lot of snow this year, got to love the burn! Felt good once I got high enough that I wasn't sinking in to my nuts. Guess I should've brought skiis;)
Excellent. Had a great time with Rick.
Climbed SW Chute #1 and then did the 4th class variation up and around the front side of the peak. At least 4 groups were en route to the summit via the chute. The group of three ahead of us (and the first to summit) was lead by SMC guide Ed Boddy who was kind enough to belay my partner Courtney and I on the 5.9 summit block before they headed down. We didn't end up using any of the gear we brought except for harnesses. Note, there's no cheater sling on the summit block right now.
Fun fourth class coulior. A convenient snow bridge across the schrund. The summit block had a cheater sling ----yea
Penelope May and I climbed Thunderbolt Peak via the right Underhill Couloir on August 8th, 2004. We started from the edge of the Morraine below Mt.Gailey where we camped. There is little if any water in this, the traditional camping spot. All the sources of water have dried out. I had to hike some 400-500 feet down toward Third Lake to get our water supply. The glacier in early Agust looked like the glacier I remember from my October visits, hard ice, dry glacier, almost no ice in the "V" Notch and blue ice all the way in the "U" Notch. The Underhill Couloirs have a lot of loose scree and that caused us some difficulties on the way down. But the upper part of the route from the notch up is really nice. We started rather late from our camp and got cought by darkness some sixty feet above the schrund on our way down. In the dark, I could not find any rock anchors (in the rubble) and not having even one ice screw, I didn't want to commit us to downclimbing the schrund unroped, so we bivied on a small ledge just above the schrund. I totally endeared myself to Penelope for providing her with her first ever unplanned bivi. In the morning, frozen stiff but safe, we downclimbed the ice easily to the glacier.
August 17th: Weather was less than desireable with a little rain and hail right around the time we summited about 1pm. Came up from Dusy basin, and got a late start, but the view was incredible, can't wait to go back and hit the whole traverse over to Starlight and North Pal.
September 5th: Went back and dayhiked T-bolt, Starlight, and North Pal. out of South Lake with Matthew Holliman and my little bro Curt. Actually did the summit block this time after Curt freed the west face and set up the rope for Matthew and I.
Summited Thunderbolt Peak around 2pm after a very long hike in from Bishop's pass. We did it in a day, but it would have been a little easier on the legs to camp somewhere along the route. There must be a dozen slings around the chokestone, it seems everybody adds one for "extra" protection on the rappel.
First summit on our mini Palisade traverse. We scrambled up Winchell Col from Dusy Basin (West) and followed the ridge (5.5) unroped to the top of Thunderbolt. Do not underestimate the length of this route, it is plenty long and features a rappel half way up. Very much a classic!
Click for the trip report.
Day hiked solo using the South Lakes TH approach and climbed the SW Chute #1. Departed via the RH UH Couloir then to Glacier Lodge. Used a sling found on summit block. Descended summit by way of the chimney, the bottom 20’ of which didn’t look good for a free climb. Climbed back up about 6’ and transitioned over to the slabs for an easy descent to the notch.