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Trip Report    

Mount Thompson/East Ridge

Took the Commonwealth trail cut-off which shortens the mileage 1.5 miles each way. Continued on the PCT to Ridge Lake where we refilled water. Bumblebee pass is a short jaunt farther down the trail from Ridge Lake. We donned helmets for the ascent of the Pass, and helmets stayed on for the remainder of the day. We followed a well defined bootpath into the basin between Bumblebee Pass and Thompson. There is a bootpath from there to col along the east ridge profile, however the 'path' can be easily lost. Best to approach the col from scrambler's left rather than up the middle.

From the col we proceeded along a bootpath through meadows, stunted trees, and a few short rock bands, before leaving trekking poles at the base of one rock slope. Said slope is easily ascended with friction and rounded holds. There is a tree with rappelling slings above this section, should rain come and slicken the rock. This section should likely not be attempted when rock is wet.

Scramble through two rock bands before traversing left past a climber's rappel station. Once past the said 'station' turn right and ascend steep scramble section. This 12 foot section can and should be protected with a hand line (for harness/prussic assembly). There is a secure rock fin above this scramble section that will accept a sling to anchor the rope. Short scramble beyond gains the summit. There is a summit register, but it would benefit from another document on which to record names. We tagged the summit and retreated from flying ants who were clearly irritated with our presence. Down'climb' the ascent route.

Loose rock litters this route. We often kept close to minimize acceleration of rocks, but we did tread carefully. 18 miles (with cut-off) and close to 5500ft gain. We took 12 hours to complete with several short breaks including water filtration at Ridge Lake both coming and going.