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Trip Report    

Mount Thompson/West Ridge

Team of 4 began the hike in on Friday afternoon, about 4pm. The Commonwealth Basin shortcut saves a mile or two of hiking vs the PCT approach. Stream crossing in Commonwealth Basin is doable, and trail isn't too hard to follow. More snow in places nearing the upper portions of Kendall. Crossing steep, exposed snow slopes is unavoidable in places. Katwalk is partially melted off, but there is still one dicey section where we scrambled below to avoid the steep exposed slope. Solid snow from this point on.
Camped at Ridge Lake. Arrived at camp about 9pm.
Left camp at 7am. There is a moat to negotiate about 10-15 minutes from camp. Took a little time to find the correct start, and began climbing about 10am.
The climbing route is clear of snow and in good shape. Fun, easy climbing and the views are phenomenal. Rope drag was a problem on pitch 2 and 3, bring doubles. The rock can be a bit loose.
Descent of east ridge still has a lot of steep snow as well. We added an extra rappel off of some trees to get back down to the scramble trail.
Ice axes and boots were needed for the descent, so we carried these up and over the climb.
Descent from Bumblebee Pass is steep, use caution. We had one member slip and fall here. He slid for over a hundred feet. When he came to a stop, he was conscious with only minor injuries, and was able to walk out slowly under his own power.
I would recommend waiting a few more weeks for this climb. While it is certainly doable, the approach is pretty adventurous at this point. Ice Ax and crampons are a must.

 

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Jim Pitts
Jim Pitts says:
Mon, May 23, 2016 11:45 AM

<p>Team of 4 began the hike in on Friday afternoon, about 4pm. The Commonwealth Basin shortcut saves a mile or two of hiking vs the PCT approach. Stream crossing in Commonwealth Basin is doable, and trail isn't too hard to follow. More snow in places nearing the upper portions of Kendall. Crossing steep, exposed snow slopes is unavoidable in places. Katwalk is partially melted off, but there is still one dicey section where we scrambled below to avoid the steep exposed slope. Solid snow from this point on. <br />Camped at Ridge Lake. Arrived at camp about 9pm. <br />Left camp at 7am. There is a moat to negotiate about 10-15 minutes from camp. Took a little time to find the correct start, and began climbing about 10am. <br />The climbing route is clear of snow and in good shape. Fun, easy climbing and the views are phenomenal. Rope drag was a problem on pitch 2 and 3, bring doubles. The rock can be a bit loose. <br />Descent of east ridge still has a lot of steep snow as well. We added an extra rappel off of some trees to get back down to the scramble trail. <br />Ice axes and boots were needed for the descent, so we carried these up and over the climb. <br />Descent from Bumblebee Pass is steep, use caution. We had one member slip and fall here. He slid for over a hundred feet. When he came to a stop, he was conscious with only minor injuries, and was able to walk out slowly under his own power. <br />I would recommend waiting a few more weeks for this climb. While it is certainly doable, the approach is pretty adventurous at this point. Ice Ax and crampons are a must.</p>