Type: Trad, Aid, 1000 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Daniel McCool, Brad Esser, JP (can't remember his last name)?, and Britt Basset
Page Views: 298 total · 5/month
Shared By: Ken Trout on Feb 4, 2014
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

1 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


This was the fourth route up the main face of the Pope's Nose. One member of the first ascent team, Dan McCool, wrote an article in Summit Magazine (Nov. 1982). The team from Arizona had a friend, Britt Bassette, who owned a horse ranch nearby and helped get the gear in. McCool didn't mention the names of his partners though.

Daniel McCool described the Pope's Nose as: "...blessed with long vertical cracks and exfoliating flakes" and "The rock definitely had that bold, clean Yosemite look...." They fixed ropes and got rained on every day.

Route Description

Thunder Road climbs the "...left cheek of the main face..." and "The first 600 feet provided beautiful free climbing."

Photo by Mountainproject contributor SamP.

The following pitch by pitch beta uses Dan McCool's words from his article in Summit Magazine.

P1: easy.

P2: challenging.

P3: bisected by a roof bypassed with tricky face climbing.

P4: airy, aesthetic, disappears over a roof and followed cracks and flakes for a full rope.

P5: perverse aid over roof and up rotten chimney, then free for 100 feet.

P6: ends at cramped stance in chimney.

P7: jam deep in chimney to big ledge.

P8: strenuous offwidth to summit.


Be ready for wide.


- No Photos -
Other climbers: Brad Esser (me) and JP (can't remember his last name)? Britt Basset's father worked for Colorado Fish & Game. He packed our gear in along with a vertical-walled canvas tent and a sheepherder's stove. In return, we had to buck hay bales for two days on his ranch. Britt & Dan had experience aid climbing; I was the young, free-climbing rope gun. The hike out was miserable. Britt's dad brought in the pack string and a bottle of bacanora - the rougher rawer version of mescal and told us that the number one rule of the wilderness was that you never pack out alcohol. I remember hiking many, many miles (was it 17?) with a hangover. Jul 16, 2014