Ascent of Thunderbolt Peak on 1999-07-03

Climber: Greg Gerlach

Others in Party:R.J. Secor
Asher Waxman
Nancy Pallister
Maria Roa
Larry Gibson
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 3, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Thunderbolt Peak
    Elevation:14003 ft / 4268 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a California Mountaineering Club trip led by R.J. Secor. On day one, our group backpacked in over Bishop Pass and then Thunderbolt Pass, camping at a tarn at about 11,900' in elevation. The next day, we climbed the peak via the Southwest Chute # 1 route. Our group started up the route, running into ice at a narrow section of the chute; R.J. climbed up to the top of the ice along its edge next to the rock, set up a fixed line, then each of us used a prussic and an ice ax to get to the top. Once above the ice field, we followed various chutes up to the notch between the north and south summits. From the notch, R.J. was belayed up a steep, class 4 face, then he belayed each of us up. We then made our way over to the base of the summit block, where Nancy free climbed the 5.8 rated block. Once on top, she set up a belay anchor by using the bolt on top of the summit. When my turn came, I struggled to get up to the top of the summit block in my hiking boots, so I ended up just pulling myself up using the rope. R.J., who wrote the guidebook, The High Sierra-Peaks-Passes-Trails, was asked if he was going to climb the summit block: he said, "no, that's ok, I've climbed it before -- just pass down the summit register". On day three, I backpacked out to the trailhead as the rest of the group stayed to climb other peaks in the area.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5935 ft / 1808 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5935 ft / 1808 m
    Round-Trip Distance:18 mi / 29 km
    Grade/Class:Class 4/5.8
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5035 ft / 1534 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4235 ft / 1291 m; Extra: 800 ft / 243m
    Loss on way in:800 ft / 243 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:Southwest Chute # 1
    Start Trailhead:Bishop Pass trailhead  9768 ft / 2977 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5135 ft / 1565 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4235 ft / 1291 m; Extra: 900 ft / 274m
    Gain on way out:900 ft / 274 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:Southwest Chute # 1
    End Trailhead:Bishop Pass trailhead  9768 ft / 2977 m

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