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[TR] Mount Thomson - West Ridge 07/13/2019

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Trip: Mount Thomson - West Ridge

Trip Date: 07/13/2019

Trip Report:

We left the car from the PCT trailhead at 4:40am. We decided to take the old commonwealth trail to save a mile, which soon had us hiking up the trail to red mountain. After backtracking and getting lost again, we bushwacked up to the PCT. Smooth sailing from there to bumblebee basin. The basin is completely snow free. There is still a bunch of running water in the basin. We climbed talus to the notch at the start of the west ridge, and spent about an hour looking for the base of the climb. We ended up traversing left into some trees at the notch, then went up, then right and up, then left around a ledge. It was weird and I'm sure there's a better way to get there. 

Set off climbing at 9:40am. The climbing was mostly easy with 5.6 moves, some loose rock, and decent gear. I found the slab to be well protected if one wanted. We climbed the ridge in six pitches with two small scrambling bits, and topped out at the summit at 1:40pm. Visibility was garbage the entire time, and with only brief glimpses of the surrounding environment.

We ate lunch, then let a guy who had climbed the east ridge use our rope with a sling harness to descend the 4th class moves at the top of the east ridge. We did two rappels down, down climbed a bit, and did a third rappel. Stupidly lost time here since we took off all our gear after the second rappel, and then decided the third rappel would be safer rather than down climbing. Apparently according to scrambler guy, taking the trail to the skiers left after the first rappel results in easier down climbing.

Slowly descended loose trail and scree to the basin. Got back to ridge lake at 4:40pm, filled some water, and got back to the car at 6:30pm with some on/off jogging and taking the old commonwealth trail without getting lost this time. Total time round trip was 13hr 50 minutes. Definitely a long day, but I wouldn't think it's worth camping at the basin just to do this climb unless you're really stoked to camp. There were no other parties on the west ridge, and only one other person on the east ridge. Very enjoyable climb.

Basin looking at Thomson:



On the slab:



Rappelling the 4th class move:


Gear Notes:
Cams up to #2, nuts, 60m rope

Approach Notes:
Shortcut works if you don't get lost
  • Rawk on! 2

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