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.
'Monkey climb' to the top of the summit block with a sling we put up. And yes, we removed it when we left.
On the descent, we where hit by a freak hail/snow/rain storm.
Skied the North Couloir the second time, and free climbed (bouldered) the summit block in my old leather double boots (great edging boots!)
Started from Bishop Lakes. Very rocky chute.
Saw a bear later that night at the lakes where we fried some Golden Trout.
Good times Bad times, you know we have our share.
Good: Some kind and gracious soul left a long knotted cordelette clipped into the bolts atop the summit spire. Thus, by doing a shoulder stand we were able to clip the lowest loop and skip the lassoing shenanigans.
Bad: Ahead of us was a party of nine, led by one professional, and courteous guide, and two other guides who were some of the worst I've ever seen. Not only were they arrogant and impatient, they were incompetent as well, getting off route twice and jerking their clients around. I'm so tempted to name the company, but lets just say that it sure wasn't PSOM.
But they left, and we had the summit to ourselves. What a joy, we glanced over at Starlight, the only 14er in California we still have to climb......
Day 3 of the Palisade Crusade, we had to get out of camp because my partner was eating all of the food. The route was just fine and the soon to be Himalaya hardman led the summit block.
Brian Johnson and I climbed the peak via the right Underhill Couloir in May 1994. We were forced to wait just bellow the notch for about an hour, because we were a bit early (9:30am) and the temperature was so low, we were worried about frostbite. This was my second time on Thunderbolt Peak.
In August of 1982, Miguel Carmona and I climbed the right Underhill Couloir unroped from our camp on Mt.Galey morraine. We got to the summit at 09:00. Downclimbed the same route.
Nice peak, but not the most comfortable summit block.
Climbed this peak with ScottyS on our one-day traverse of the Palisade Crest from T-Bolt to Mt. Sill. What a cool traverse! The 5th class is all moderate if your route-finding is good, and it is all fun. For more info and photos of this peak, visit my Thunderbolt Peak page.
I've climbed this route twice, both times taking people who have never climbed before, just to make it more interesting! I enjoy Thunderbolt's summit immensly!
This is a great climb. The class 3 ledge in the middle of SE chute 1 seemed more sketchy then getting up the class 4 section to the summit block. The views are amazing from the top.
2002 Sierra Mountaineers Challenge
Climbed the underhill coulair. The traverse was fun and the final summit pitch was a lot of fun. The summit log is not bolted to the top, which is dissappointing in that anyone can sign the log. Love the final moves to the bolt on top.
Day 5 of the 2002 Mountaineers Challenge. From South Lake, climbed Southwest Chute #1 to Thunderbolt, traversed to Starlight - North Pal - Polemonium, down the Southwest Chute from the U-Notch, then back to South Lake. 14hrs CTC.
Used a rope to aid the summit block. Thanks to Greg for carrying it up there! Trip Report.
Traversed from Thunderbolt to Starlight to N.Pal to Polemonium to Sill with bearbnz. We freeclimbed most of the route, with three rappels and three belayed (probably unneccesary) pitches total. Heavy packs and little route knowledge (Secor's book only) made for slow time --- OK, maybe lack of fitness contributed! Left the car around 530, summited Thunderbolt around 1100, summited Sill around 2100. Waited for daylight to decend an east couloir of Sill and walk down to the S. Fork Trail. Got to the car at 1330 on Aug. 18 and drove home to get some sleep.
Me & Ian climbed the right side of the snow filled Underhill Couloir to the notch. From here we picked a route following the ridge to the summit. Climbed the pinnacle to take some pictures then came down to sign in at the register, BELOW THE TRUE SUMMIT.
We finished the day by traversing to Starlight, N. Palisade, Pole, and Sill before heading down to trailhead.
The couloir was full of snow. I put in some good steps but the snow is melting fast. Could not find the register on the summit block or anywhere. Lots of snow/ice on the arete making it very tricky for free climbing to summit. I was going to do the traverse to Starlight, but too much snow/ice on the northside.
Climbed with Nick Clyma in mid August, 2001. This is an easy route with respect to technical rock climbing. Also, route finding is not an issue: Take the SW chute up and when you reach the notch at the top of the gully, climb to the right, straight up and then around the corner to the top. One 50 meter rope is recommended as well as a few pieces of pro for this 4th class climb. 2 rappels are needed to get back to the notch. From an excellent camp site just below Thunderbolt pass, the total time elapsed was about 5 hours (with a long rest and view on top). Excellent views of the Palisade and Dusy Basin regions and neighboring peaks. Also, beware of Marmots!
Started from Sam Mack Meadow, ascend up the East Face to the summit. ( This route is very exposed). From the summit
I continue to traverse south, hitting all the peaks untill Mt. Sill.