Ascent of Mount Thielsen on 2014-07-29

Climber: Michael Wanberg

Others in Party:Greg M
Date:Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Thielsen
    Elevation:9182 ft / 2798 m

Ascent Trip Report

Climb and circumnavigation of (counter-clockwise) Mt. Thielsen from Thielsen Camp

We set a very leisurely pace on the ascent (via path), then descended directly down the scree fields to SSW. It went from clear to thunderheads in approximately 1 hour from noon to 1pm during our descent from the summit and ascent of South Thielsen.

The climb is very easy low-5th class. We used a small diameter rope as a hand-line for added protection, strung from an old yellow "Obsidians 12ft" piece of webbing that appears to have been placed in 2011. It appeared solid, though I wouldn't rely upon it as fall or body-weight (full rappel) protection with all of the lightning activity that the peak experiences. The 'rope' was slightly helpfull for the descent, though we would have felt comfortable descending without it. A 100' length would have been just sufficient to reach from the webbing to the 'landing' below the summit block.

Though this may not hold true in each case, it was interesting to note that the thunderheads that occurred on July29 and July30 first built north of Holly's Ridge and east of Sawtooth Ridge, rather than directly over Thielsen's summit. On both days they eventually extended above the main summit, but only after a time. Regardless, the main summit is a terrible place to be with any measure of lightning activity (or even threat) in the vicinity.

The summit register was not in any of the 'obvious' places, and there was a swarm of insect/wasp bugs (harmless) on the highest summit rocks that discouraged a prolonged attempt to find it.

2 others (from CA) joined us on the summit - Jaime & Laura(?)

15#OT44,K,R3,1P,5mmX50'+~6mmX30'(on location)
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2293 ft / 698 m
    Elevation Loss:7650 ft / 2331 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Rope, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy
Clear Early, Thunderstorms Late
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2293 ft / 698 m
    Extra Loss:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:PCT to Mt. Thielsen Tr
    Trailhead:Thielsen Camp  6939 ft / 2115 m
    Time Up:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:7600 ft / 2316 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.2 km
    Route:direct to SSW
    Trailhead:Approx .3mi due west of South Thielsen Peak  1582 ft / 482 m
    Time Down:30 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: 2014-07 Thielsen (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Thielsen Camp2014-07-28 a
2Mount Thielsen2014-07-29 a
3Mount Thielsen-South Peak2014-07-29 b
4Mount Thielsen-East Peak2014-07-29 c
5Central Sawtooth Ridge Peak2014-07-30 a
6Howlock Mountain2014-07-30 b
7Howlock Mountain-West Peak2014-07-30 c

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