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Ascent of Thunder Mountain on 1999-10-19

Climber: John E Sarna

Others in Party:my wife Marcia
Date:Tuesday, October 19, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Thunder Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:9410 ft / 2868 m

Ascent Trip Report

Marcia and I started out between 9:30 am and 10 am on the Horse Canyon Trail which went slowly uphill on the Silver Lake side of Thunder Mtn then Thimble Peak until it reached a side trail marked that is was the old Emigrant Trail and 50,000 pioneers came over to California this way. We followed this old Emigrant Trail road up toward the top of Melissa Cory Peak, which was marked with a plaque honoring this early emigrant. Marcia and I climbed the class 3 gandarm, but it was a bit lower than the peak with a small radio tower. We continued on to try a couple different high points that could have been Covered Wagon Peak. Near the top of Thimble, we took out the rope and pro and Marcia belayed me (using double rope technique) to the top. I was the first to sign the register in 1999, but I didn't read back to see how far old it was. The register was in a small jar with a tight lid. Marcia decided not to climb this volcanic plug after watching me finding it difficult to protect myself. We continued along the long ridge to Thunder Mtn, but it was getting late, near sunset when we finally found a good trail near the peak and followed it up to the top. We started down to the grave which seemed to be the ridge Schaffer's book indicates is the use trail down, but it looked very steep, so we backed off and went to the next ridge to the east, which looked like we could drop down to a meadow and follow the drainage out. We found the trail following the next ridge to the east, so we followed that north to pass near Martin Peak and the two Sentinels and then close to highway 88 past the Carson Spur to a trailhead a couple miles from the car along highway 88. The last couple miles on the trail and the walk along 88 was in the dark. While on the ridge, we could see the lights of the Kirkwood Ski Resort.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:500 ft / 153 m
    Elevation Loss:1300 ft / 397 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Grade/Class:2
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:500 ft / 153 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:ridge walk
    Trailhead:Thimble Peak  8910 ft / 2715 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1300 ft / 397 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:8110 ft / 2471 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Mellissa Cory to Thunder (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Melissa Coray Peak1999-09-19
2Covered Wagon Peak1999-09-19
3Thimble Peak1999-09-19
4Thunder Mountain1999-10-19



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