Last Updated: July 18, 2024


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  • Mount Truax - scramble (July 2023)
  • Blackcomb Buttress - rock climb (July 2023)
  • Whitecap Peak - scramble (July 2023)
  • Mount Hanover - scramble (August 2023)
  • The "Long Traverse" incl. Long, Tynemouth, Arrowhead, Tabletop & Anemone - hike/scramble (August 2023)
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  • Macleod Peak - scramble (September 2023)
  • Ben Lomond - scramble (September 2023)
  • Mount Killam & Gambier Island - hike (September 2023)
  • Lone Goat & Snow Camp Mountain - hike (September 2023)
  • Isollilock Peak - hike/scramble (October 2023)
  • Manson - Hatfield Traverse - scramble (October 2023)
  • Gargoyles & Columnar Peak - hike (October 2023)
  • Opal Cone and Lava Glacier - hike (October 2023)
  • Park Butte (WA) - hike (October 2023)
  • Trappers Peak (WA) - scramble (October 2023)
  • Rattlesnake Ledge (WA) - hike (November 2023)
  • Sauk Mountain (WA) - hike (November 2023)
  • Mount Daniel & Pender Hill (Sunshine Coast) - hike (November 2023)
  • Mount Dickerman (WA) - hike (November 2022)
  • Winter's End (Verona Peak) - hike/snowshoe (November 2023)
  • Dolomites (Italy) - snowboarding (December 2023)
  • Red Rock Canyon (NV) - scramble (January 2024)
  • Flute & Oboe - split tour (February 2024)
  • Whistler misc. (Train Wreck, Loggers Lake, Shadow Lake etc.) - hike (February 2024)
  • Mount Underhill - hike (March 2024)
  • Bombtram Mountain - snowshoe (March 2024)
  • Steep Peak - split tour (March 2024)
  • Ruby Mountain (WA) - snowshoe (April 2024)
  • Blustry Mountain - hike (April 2024)
  • Sowerby Peak (Barr East) - snowshoe (April 2024)
  • Picacho Peak (AZ) - hike (April 2024)
  • Kitt Peak Observatory (AZ) - (April 2024)
  • Mount Wrightson (AZ) - hike (April 2024)
  • Saguaro Nat'l Park (AZ) - April 2024)
  • Superstition Peak/Benchmark (AZ) - scramble (April 2024)
  • Mount Humphreys (AZ) - hike (May 2024)
  • Petrified Forest Nat'l Park (AZ) - (May 2024)
  • Piestewa Peak (AZ) - hike (May 2024)
  • Channeled Scablands (Columbia Gorge, Ancient Lakes, Potholes Lake, Palouse Falls etc.) - hike/bike (May 2024)
  • Rhododendron Mountain ("Pk. 2220") - snowshoe (June 2024)
  • Flora Peak - hike (June 2024)
  • Gibson Peak - snowshoe (June 2024)
  • Mount Urquhart - scramble (June 2024)
  • Rock Mountain (WA) - hike (July 2024)
  • Ladies Pass Quartet (Cape Horn, Ladies Peak, Snowgrass Mtn. NE Peak, Snowgrass Mtn.) - scramble (July 2024)
  • Old Snowy (WA) - scramble (July 2024)
  • Dog Mountain (WA) - hike (July 2024)
  • Mount Ratney & Mount Bardean - scramble (July 2024)
  • Torrent Peak - scramble (July 2024)

*As of 07/18/2024


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| Featured Trip Report |

Last Updated: Aug. 19, 2003

Mount Thomson - West Ridge, July 2003

Eric, John, Scott and I set out to climb the West Ridge of Mount Thomson. In store for us was a relaxed and enjoyable day on rock of moderate technical difficulty. Adding to the appeal of this climb was the fact that we shaved about 3 miles and 1100 vertical feet (one way) on the approach by taking a shortcut. Rather than hike the PCT starting at Commonwealth Basin, we instead continued eastbound on I-90 to the Gold Creek exit. We followed FSR 9090 (fortunately the gate was open) for a few miles to a sharp switchback at about 4100'. The unofficial trail to Kendall Peak Lakes begins here. We veered left off of FSR 9090 and drove northwest on a rough and somewhat overgrown logging spur for more than a quarter mile (might be tough on a 2WD vehicle with limited ground clearance). The logging spur ended at an intersection with minor spurs branching off in several directions. We followed the left spur a short distance to where it terminates at a logging platform. Eric parked his car here. We started hiking at around 7:00am following an overgrown skidder track upwards for several hundred yards (bears NNE along the edge of the clear cut), then headed northwest through occasionally brushy forest to more open forest above. We reached the PCT at a small timbered saddle after gaining about 400 feet.

The hike up to the infamous Kendall Catwalk went quickly (about 2 miles) with improving surrounding scenery. In another mile we reached Ridge and Gravel Lakes (Alaska Lake shown here). At about a half mile beyond the lakes we found ourselves directly below Bumblebee Notch, here we followed a steep climber's path on the right side of a watercourse to reach the aforementioned notch. We headed back down the north side and cached all unnecessary gear at a large boulder in the basin south of Mount Thomson. We stopped here for a brief rest. From the basin we headed NW up a talus slope and finally a loose gully to reach the West Ridge at about 6000 feet. We free-climbed up around a block (class 3/4), then made a short but exposed traverse on the north side of the ridge to a small notch. We set up a belay at this notch and Scott led out with a belay from John. Eric and I sat back and watched the action from cramped quarters. With John barely out of view, I began leading up the first pitch myself. The first pitch makes an exposed leftward traverse into a chimney, then leads up to a big ledge with scrub trees. Rather than stop and set up a belay here, I opted to continue up another chimney beyond the scrub trees (the traditional second pitch?) and set up a belay at the next grassy ledge. We stretched this pitch out to about 55 meters.

The second pitch starts out at the far right of the belay ledge. The pitch is short (30-40 meters), but climbs steeply with blocky holds on or near the crest of the ridge. A short "walk" up the low angle slab of the 3rd pitch leads to the next belay. Pitch four starts out with a couple of easy moves to a narrow ledge, then a short rightward traverse to reach the "crux". Climb up through the crux (5.5 - 5.6 for maybe a move or two) to reach another small ledge. Continue up a steep but short rock wall (note nut permanently stuck in crack) to yet another grassy ledge and a dead belay tree of dubious reliability. At the top of the fourth pitch, we coiled our rope and expected an easy walk to the summit. Scott and John apparently crossed to the left side of the crest while Eric and I went right. Going left seems quicker and safer compared to the loose and somewhat exposed route we took. By 1:00pm, we were all standing on the summit.

For the return route, we descended the East Ridge (class 3 and 4). It is possible to make two rappels down the trickiest sections, but isn't really necessary. We then located a climber's path that led to a notch before descending steep scree slopes and boulder fields back into the basin on Mt.Thomson's south side. Eric and John were waiting at our gear cache when Scott and I arrived. The hike out along the PCT was casual. Along the way, we encountered several backpackers out for an afternoon stroll. In contrast, we didn't see anyone on our hike in. We wondered if anyone was paying attention to the clouds that had been building that afternoon. Soon, we were back at the short bushwhack slope, for the final descent back to the car. We reached the car around 5:00pm. Hiking boots were exchanged for sandals and sweaty polypro was replaced with dry cotton. The last door was shut as the first drops of rain began to fall. By the time we reached I-90, the rain had turned into a deluge. Phew! We timed this one just right!

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