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Routes in Norman Clyde Peak

North-Northeast Ridge T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Twilight Pillar T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft, 12 pitches, Grade III
FA: Don Jensen and Frank Sarnquist
Page Views: 3,902 total, 48/month
Shared By: scottthelen on Feb 25, 2011
Admins: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description

Twilight Pillar is a great route on a outstanding peak with no easy route to the top. We climbed the route in late May with lots of snow around.
We gained the ridge directly below the start of the Firebird Ridge. From that point we traversed below the major snow field left on to the bottom portion of the Twilight Pillar and followed the lower ridge (5th class) to a nice ledge below the upper headwall. From the ledge there are 5 or 6 great pitches up to 5.8 that take you to the summit.

Location

Follow the South Fork Trail to Finger Lake. From Finger Lake gain the glacier and pick your poison.
Descent- follow the summit ridge north until you hit the rap slings just past the Firebird Ridge. Continue down following cairns to a small notch. During the summer the route is Class 3-4 but when covered in snow can be much more challenging. We did 5 or 6 raps.

Protection

Standard Alpine Rack
If you go early in the year take mountain boots and an ice axe
Some old pins can be found on route
Fun route, but much shorter pitch-wise than suggested in the description. I believe most parties will avoid the glacier by scrambling up the long ridgeline to the northeast of the peak, traversing in below the large circular snowfield. Loads of 3rd and 4th class (with occasional easy class 5) will gain the steep part of the route where you will rope up. From the ledge at the base of the upper pillar, we did only 2 60M pitches and one 80M simul-pitch to the top. You can add a chossy 5.7 pitch by doing the "direct start" from the glacier, but this will require carrying crampons/axe 7 miles into the backcountry for less than 5 minutes of use. You could certainly make this route into 12 short pitches if you rope up for all the 3rd and 4th class, but expect the tricky descent to take significantly longer than the technical climb itself. Jul 13, 2015
rhyang
San Jose, CA
  5.8+
rhyang   San Jose, CA
  5.8+
I posted a picture of our approach; it was fairly straightforward fourth class and and mostly slabby, though I think there were one or two places where we engaged in some squeeze chimney antics (probably close to the end).

We belayed at the start of the 5.8/5.9 dihedral, and with a 60m rope climbed four pitches to a point just below the summit.

The descent probably took us as long as the roped climbing. We made 5 raps down the NNE ridge, then traversed across and back to the Thunderbird ridge (partially marked by ducks). After following the ridge back a ways, my partner found a descent path marked by ducks, leading to a rap station. This last one was spaced for two 60m ropes, but we found and reinforced a second rap station since we had a single 60m. This got us down to the moraine. Avoid rappelling when possible, the stuck rope potential is huge (as we found out). Aug 23, 2012
Hamid Aghdaee
Oakland, ca
Hamid Aghdaee   Oakland, ca
My partner and I had a hard time getting to the start of the route. We decided not to do the standard 5.7 start which starts at the very bottom of the pillar and at the top point of the glacier, due to the fact that this would involve a lot of snow travel. Instead we opted to go up onto the thunderbird ridge as early as possible and the traverse into the pillar at the bottom of the snow patch on norman clyde peak. My question to those that have done this is: How did you find the ridge climbing? We found it had lots of 3rd and 4th and one point where we had to rappel about 50 feet...am I missing something?

Thanks. May 24, 2012