Peak:  "Thunder Pyramid" (13er)
 Route:  std
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  Rainier_Wolfcastle
 Date of Info:  06/08/2013
 Date Posted:  06/10/2013

After mistakenly climbing unranked pt 13,820 (center left of pic #3) last Saturday, I had to give Thunder another shot. It was shocking how much snow had melted in the past week! I maybe stepped on snow for 20 steps until crossing the snow bridge where you leave the West Maroon Trail to head up towards Thunder. Leave the snowshoes at home!

Snow is mostly avoidable until getting to the two short steep gullies getting you up to Len Shoemaker Basin. I used crampons/axe to ascend these, but scrambled on the rocks to downclimb them later in the day.

Pic #1 shows much of the route from the edge of the Len Shoemaker Basin. The "White Gully" is not so white any more (diagonal left to right in upper middle of photo). From ~11,200 to ~12,500 I did not use the points, just climbed grass and rock ledges.
Pic #2 is from a little further up.

At 12,500, I put the points on and followed the gully up and to the right (learning from last week). The snow was good, unless you get within 4 feet of rock (which many times was hard to avoid)...then you punch through. The gully breaks into a bunch of fingerlike couloirs above 13,200...Im not sure what the correct one to take is, just not the middle left one !

It was dry, loose scrambling to the summit from here.

Pic #3 is from the summit looking at unranked 13,820 to the left and on to Pyramid to the right.

Pic #4 is of (from left to right): Maroon, N. Maroon, Snowmass, and Capitol.

For the descent, I took the ridge North to the saddle (site of our wrong turn last week). Then it was a scree run for 500 or so feet. From here it was a mixture of face-in cramponing, glissades, and scrambling down to treeline.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

 Comments or Questions
Brian Thomas

06/11/2013 00:48
You have it. After last weekend's orgy of pain, impressed you went back for it and got it. Well done, sir.

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