Ascent of Thunderbird Mountain on 2020-09-11

Climber: Andrew Schnell

Date:Friday, September 11, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Thunderbird Mountain
    Elevation:8800 ft / 2682 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started the morning at Hole in the Wall campground at 6am. We had hiked in to Hole in the Wall campground (17 miles with a 45 pound pack) the evening before and got into camp at 11:30pm. I didn’t really sleep at all so our day tackling thunderbird was a bit rough for me, especially since I was dealing with a back injury and shoes that were making my feet bleed. Pushed through it all just fine and had one of the best days of my season. Did this with Chris Rost and Ben Darce, two legends that I was very lucky to climb with. Ben is incredibly fast off trail (4-5mph average) and very humble for being one of the most talented mountaineers Glacier Park has ever seen. I don’t think this peak has been done many times at all, so we left a summit register in the summit cairn for future folks to sign. It’s a greenish Nalgene with a faded granite park chalet sticker on it and a write in the rain notebook inside it. The route finding was tricky, the correct route wasn’t that hard, class 2 and 3 with maybe some low 4 if on the correct route. The glacier has receded enough to where this could be done without ice axes or crampons if you go really late in the season, as we did. Heard two Grizzlies snarling at each other a few minutes after we popped out of the treeline on the way up, a real reminder of who’s house we were in. I see the only other two summits registered here are Sean Doyle and Ralph Thornton, two legends themselves. Very grateful to put my name up with people much more accomplished than myself.
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