Mount Thompson

30 Jun 1999 - by Mark Adrian

First, this is Mark Adrian "reporting" from Bishop. I'm visiting eric and lori beck. It's been very very warm here and as I look out to the west, the moon is just setting over Humphrey's about 8:30 AM.

Anyway, Tuesday night we (rob langsdorf, ken olson (w/plushy motor home) and I) camped at north lake and dayhiked Emerson Wednesday. I saved some GPS route UTMs for this sometimes-elusive route which we did seemingly without any glitches per RJ and beta from Richard Carey. However, the mosquitoes were unprecedented and anyone visiting/backpacking is advised to bring a tent as bivy sacks could be misearable. Views from the summit were far reaching and we agreed with RJs cl3 rating which goes "swell" as you near the summit area. Register is in good condition, two books, aluminum can. Our casual pace yielded a nine hour round trip and those cold adult beverages at ken's motor home never tasted better.

So, wanting to acclimate some more and enjoy the area, I suggested to rob that we attempt to dayhike Thompson, so rob and I (ken headed home) left sabrina about seven AM thursday and arrived at the thompson-powell col around 2 PM where we descended about 100 feet to discover there was still plenty of snow in thompson's SW chute. Since it was late and we were concerned about some ice-ing issues in the "shadowing" col on descent (1st rule, come back safe), we instead just savored the views of the palisades and then returned to the trailhead at 8:30 PM. A good day's workout (perhaps 20 miles?), but the final 100 or so feet into the col has a recent rockslide and presents some ice issues combined with some slushy muddy dirt. Crampons would be usefull for about 20'. Otherwise, the snow is perfect for kick/plunge stepping.

Also, Point Powell's NE chute is much cleaner than it was last year when I was there, but there was still evidence of much debris. I believe this is a poor and unsafe route perhaps at any time, due mainly to the debris falling into the chute which "attacked" me last season. So, beware. I believe Steve Eckert's report in the archives went in over the col and then up Point Powell's south slopes, which while longer, is safer, IMHO. The mosquitoes are some of the worst I've encountered in several seasons and followed us up to Sunset Lake. Rob did an excellent job finding the old and elusive packer trail all the way to Baboon Lake. It took us three hours to get there from Sabrina.

I am curious to know if anyone has done the reputed 3rd class thompson ridge either via Sunset or South Lake. I'm getting annoyed with repeated visits to the thompson-powell col. When eyed from a distance, thompson ridge looks way more than 3rd.

Anyway, I just got permits for taboose pass and am heading there soon to meet steve eckert's pick-a-peak group. I am thinking it'd be smart to have dinner by five and then head up the trail a couple of hours and camp. The morning heat here in Bishop is HOT (105 yesterday high) and this seems prudent. OK, have a good fourth one and all. More later.

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