Ascent of Mount Thomson on 2018-09-29

Climber: Karthik Krish

Date:Saturday, September 29, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Thomson
    Elevation:6554 ft / 1997 m

Ascent Trip Report

Attempted this as a day trip. Left the PCT TH at Snoqualmie pass by 6 am. Took the Commonwealth trail shortcut to save some miles and joined back the PCT in less than an hour. The turn off to Bumblebee pass is not hard to spot (its approximately 0.4 miles from Gravel/Ridge lake) and we made it to the basin by 10 am.

You will see an obvious climbers trail leading up to the talus field below the west ridge of Thomson which we followed. The talus field itself is not bad but it does get a bit loose towards the top. Shoot for the obvious gap between a big gendarme and the summit block which will let you get on the W ridge proper. Then head right towards the summit block till you cannot go any further.

The next step was to find the start of the climb. This was not obvious. If you head right, you will see a path heading down to the a chimney with a lot of vegetation. This is not the start of the climb. After some searching around, we headed towards a small clump of trees to the left instead and scrambled up leading to a big ledge (class 3). We then pitched out a small section to another small ledge which involves an exposed traverse (class 4). This is the correct start. You know you are the start of the climb when you see an exposed traverse to the left leading to a chimney (there is will be a smooth foothold here).

P1 - Involves an exposed traverse into a chimney (5.6 moves) after which it was easy climbing.
P2, P3 - We had to break this down into 2 parts since we did not have enough rope length (3 people climbing with one 60m) and route finding issues (it was hard to see where the slab traverse starts). The end of P3 did put us at the start of the class 3 slab traverse. Both P1, P2, P3 have a few 5.6 moves but are otherwise pretty low 5th class.
P4 - This is a exposed class 3 traverse. Slab has good friction and leg holds. You will also be able to see slings at the top of the vertical summit block beyond the traverse which is your eventual destination.
P5 - From a belay tree at the end of traverse to the slings at the top you saw at the start of P4. Has one exposed move but there are nice jugs to the right for help. Easy overall (5.4-5.5). Note that this is not the false summit but about 20 ft below.
P6 - This was a short pitch but you will essentially top out on the false summit.
P7 - From the top of the false summit to the bottom of the true summit block (you don't have to pitch this out but it does involve some loose down climbing)
P8 - The final pitch. We went left here to a nice gully that goes all the way to the nice big summit area. The first couple of moves here are pretty exposed.

We descended via the east ridge. The first rap station is around a tree which involves some walking on the east ridge (maybe 20-30ft) from the summit area (easy class 2/3). We did 2 raps which put us on easier terrain which we down climbed to the climbers trail that will eventually get you back to the basin. The path crosses a boulder field which can be hard to navigate in the dark with headlamps but we had gpx tracks which helped. We made it up and over Bumblebee pass by 8:30PM.

The hike back was uneventful. Got back to the car by 12 AM.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Route:West Ridge
Descent Statistics
    Route:East Ridge
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Karthik Krish
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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