Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Mount Thompson/West Ridge

Had a party of 6, none of whom had ever done the climb before and mostly relatively new trad leads.

Hiked in to Ridge Lake camp in about 4 hours and about 3 hours later after lunch and setting up camp arrived at the base of the climb (7 hrs trailhead to base of climb). Not sure about the best way to do the 4th class scramble to get to the base the parties found about 3 ways to get to the base (up and over the gendarme and a couple ways up the notch between the base of the climb and gendarm).

Between the 3 parties it took about 7 hours to get everyone up on the summit, a bit longer than expected and the last person up topped out at sunset. The routes went about as expected based on the available beta and route photos. Using almost exclusively double slings is recommended on most of the route, and a triple at the start of the 4th pitch to minimize rope drag. We had to break up the 4th pitch into two pitches since a 60m rope from the belay in the trees didn't reach the top of the false summit and needed about another 1/3 of a pitch. That part probably could have been scrambled, but it is very exposed.

Topping out at sunset also meant rappelling down in the dark. We spent 7 hours getting everyone off the route and down the scree and boulder field and back to Ridge Lake camp in pitch dark. Have to be careful to keep everyone out of the fall line and be very careful to not knock anything down. A lot of the time descending was sending people down one at a time and waiting for them to get out of the rock fall area. Luckily the weather conditions were perfect and it was a warm and calm evening so we decided to just keep going slowly rather than wait for sunrise.

Having headlamps and previous trip gps tracks to help navigate out in the dark were helpful, otherwise we would have had to hunker down for the night.