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Elevation: 14,003 ft
GPS: 37.098, -118.5176
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 49,160 total · 237/month
Shared By: karl wilcox on Feb 1, 2007
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description Suggest change

The last fourteener in the Sierra to be climbed, Thunderbolt Peak is the next peak northwest of North Palisade, it too is on the main Sierra crest. It's summit monolith if often the crux of the climb - a 5.9 move over and onto a slab. It's safer if the monolith is draped with a rope first. As such it's one of the hardest summits in the Sierra to get to.

The name "Thunderbolt Peak" commemorates an incident during the first descent, when a nearby lightning strike gave Jules Eichorn cause for concern.

Getting There Suggest change

The eastern approach:

From Big Pine on 395 drive up the road to Glacier Lodge; trailhead is signed on the right.

Hike up the North Fork of Big Pine Creek past Cienega Mirth, Lon Chaney's old cabin, and First, Second, and Third (spectacular views of Temple Crag) Lakes, then instead of continuing on to Fourth Lake turn south and up into Sam Mack Meadow. This is where I usually camp (6 miles, 3,400 ft of elevation gain). People staying more than a couple of days may want to cross the creek and head up the glacier trail to primitive sites either below the Palisade Glacier Moraine, or on the Moraine (1.25 miles, 1,100 more feet of gain).

6 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Thunderbolt Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b Mod. Snow
 5
North Couloir
Trad, Snow, Alpine
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
 32
Southwest Chute 1
Trad, Alpine
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 4
Austrian Arete
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 4
Southwest Buttress
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Easy Snow
 104
Thunderbolt to Sill Traverse
Trad, Snow, Alpine
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
North Couloir
 5
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b Mod. Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Southwest Chute 1
 32
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Trad, Alpine
Austrian Arete
 4
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Southwest Buttress
 4
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Thunderbolt to Sill Traverse
 104
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Easy Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
More Classic Climbs in Thunderbolt Peak »

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