Peak(s):  "Thunder Pyramid"  -  13,932 feet
PT 13,722  -  13,722 feet
Post Date:  06/14/2010
Date Climbed:   06/06/2010
Posted By:  Summit Lounger

 Thunder Birthday   

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Papillon (Kevin)
wooderson (Sarah)
sgladbach (Steve)
Summit Lounger (Greg)
Cooper (Steves Dog)

We left the trailhead at Maroon Creek around 3:15am, hoping to get on the snow before it got too soft. We made are way up past Crater Lake, through the avalanche runouts, the bottom of the Bell Cord, and on to find a way across Maroon Cr.

We kept following the creek until this great place to get across appeared

Stayed up high between the trees and the cliff bands to gain the basin below the peak. Thunder Pyramid is directly above the snow gully with the large waterfall at its bottom on the left side of the picture.

South Maroon in the background

In the upper basin.

We decided to ascend the south ridge from the top of the gully.

Looking up to where it narrows.

Kevin, Sarah, Steve, and Cooper climbing

7:56 a.m. Happy Birthday Steve

The angle eases near the top

But the snow was soft

So, onto the rock

And the sun at the top

Someone is watching us
Summit of "Lightning Pyramid"

North and South Maroon

Thunder Pyramid from Lightning Pyramid. We decided to try the snow gully up the center of the face.

Cooper contemplating life in the mountains

The snow was still firm enough to climb

To avoid the cornice on the left and the steeper than usual snow below the col, we climbed up ledges and steps to gain the ridge.

The snow was so steep up to the col, because it was all deposited by the wind. The begining of the slope now began 20 feet away from where the ground dropped away from the col. I'm glad we decided not to climb it in the warm conditions.

One last step up to the ridge.

Summit of "Thunder Pyramid"

Looking up the descent route from Thunder

We were able to glissade a good 1500 feet

Then traversed over 2 gullies to find more snow to glissade the rest of the way to the upper basin

Kevin descending down a gully that would not be much fun in dry conditions

Walking out below the Bell Cord

Crater lake was full

Happy Birthday
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  • Comments or Questions

Well, that‘s Tip Top!     02/05/2011 00:22
Snow looks like the way to go on these peaks.
Congrats to all, and Happy Birthday, Mr. Gladbach.


I‘m wth del_sur ...     06/14/2010 18:24
Maybe we should have done those in the spring. Hope you had a great birthday, Mr. Gladbach ... you were definitely in good company (Cooper included ... helluva dog you got there). Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


Cooper     06/14/2010 21:06
Is Cooper glissading without an axe ?


Steve said those are TOUGH peaks!     11/30/2010 17:28
And that couloir on Thunder looked steep. Kevin, did you have too much weight in that pack? Wowser, that's one ugly posthole.

Great job on 2 hard earned peaks!
(Happy Birthday you are as old as I am....for a week anyway.)


Looks like the reverse     06/15/2010 14:26
of the route we took on these peaks (we went Thunder to Lightning), except we only had snow in the White Couloir and so much of our traverse was ridge running. Way to get these and happy birthday Steve!


”Alpine Perspective”     06/16/2010 00:55
Thanks for everything, Greg - planning, organizing, coaxing, and punching us through to the ridge. Truly a great day.
Britt: The only extra weight I had at the time of that photo was what was in my pants after I saw what the traverse to Thunder would entail.
But all kidding aside, things always look worse from a distance. Hence, the alpine perspective.
Snow cover definitely assisted us. I tip my hat to anyone who has done these peaks dry.
Happy Birthday, Steve.


now thats how you climb Thunder     06/16/2010 06:18
in the snow. Don‘t have to deal with the handholds that you literally end up holding in your hand, hahahaha (sarcastic laughing). Good to see Thunder Pyramid getting the attention it deserves, that looks like a fun peak to ski, more snow up there than I thought. Hope you guys enjoyed some high alcohol content beers after that slog....


Moral Support     06/18/2010 02:25
Summit Lounger, thanks for organizing this little foray... it was sort of a ”graduation climb” for Papillon and I, and the moral support provided by you and Mr. Gladbach was invaluable. (Happy B-day Steve!)

And yes Helmet, the Modus did flow in the parking lot after the climb, with the tourists looking on disapprovingly (which is half the fun).

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