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Morning view of Mount Thielsen from
the junction with the PCNST.
Mount Thielsen from the PCNST (west side).
The climber's trail breaks out above the timber.
The footing becomes less stable.
Talus slopes below the summit pinnacle.
Mount Thielsen summit pinnacle and the
notch leading to the south face.
Ted on the climber's trail above the talus slopes.
The trail follows firmer rock
above loose talus slopes.
Another view of the pinnacle.
The notch leading to the
summit pinnacle's south face.
Another view of the pinnacle.
Mount Thielsen summit pinnacle.
Ted on Mount Thielsen summit.
Paul on summit.
Mount Thielsen, south ridge.
Mount Thielsen, East Peak.
Descending talus slope.
Pinnacle high on Mount Thielsen's west side.
Erosion has exposed layers of ash or cinders.
Copyright© 2001-2003 by Paul J. McClellan. All Rights Reserved.
Route: South Face via Mount Thielsen Trail
Start at the Mount Thielsen Trailhead on the east side of Highway 138 near Diamond Lake. Note that the Mount Thielsen Trailhead and the trail, itself, have been relocated since the USGS Mount Thielsen 7.5 minute topo map was published in 1985. Take the Mount Thielsen Trail east 4 miles to the junction with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCNST). Find a climber's trail here and follow it up along the West Ridge.
Above timberline the trail climbs scree slopes. Generally bear left at multiple trail junctions to stay near the top of the ridge. Above a yellowish band of poor footing follow a trail up a slabby ridge. The trail then traverses east (right) below the summit pinnacle and above loose talus slopes towards an obvious notch below the South Face. Climb up through this notch to find a ledge below the 80' South Face.
This face has several climbing variations on generally sound rock. From the ledge climb up about 10 feet to a rising traverse on ledges leading left 40-50 feet. Then climb up and to the right, passing above an overhanging block, to the ridge line. A ramp leads up to the left to the blocky summit.
As always in the Oregon Cascades, test every hold and keep three points of contact with the rock at all times. Hand and foot holds can dislodge at any time.
On the descent downclimb the same route on the South Face and follow the climber's trail down to the PCNST and the Mount Thielsen Trail.
--Paul J. McClellan
Webmeister's Note: Paul McClellan gave me permission to post his images of his recent climbs of Mt. Thielsen and Broken Top. Paul has his own website, GlassMountains. He states, "The purpose of this site is to share some of my recreational interests, trip reports, and plans with my family and friends, and to provide links to related resources on the web."
Paul is a very experienced mountaineer, having summitted the Eighteen Major Northwest Peaks. He states, "These eighteen peaks are considered by both the Chemeketans and the Mazamas as the "Major Northwest Peaks" and recognize their members with awards who successfully climb these peaks on club climbs. The Chemeketans include all eighteen peaks; the Mazamas include sixteen of them, excluding Broken Top and Mount Thielsen. Linda joined me on our quest to climb these peaks. We shared most of the climbs together, often leading the climbs in order to get them on the official Chemeketan climb schedule. She successfully completed her goal in 1994 on Mount Baker. I completed mine in 1993 on Mount Shuksan."
Paul McClellan lives in Bend and is a member of Chemeketans and Bend's Cascades Mountaineers Alpine Climbing Club. Visit his site GlassMountains for more great photos and advice from a traditional mountaineer. He can be reached at email@example.com
WARNING - *DISCLAIMER!*
Mountain climbing has inherent dangers that can, only in part, be mitigated
Fallen solo climber on Mount Thielsen, saved by chance encounter
Climbing Mt. Thielsen, a traditional mountaineering summit
Mt. Thielsen exploratory climb
Mount Hood - Climber killed by summer rockfall
Mount Hood - Lessons learned from the latest lost Mt. Hood climbers
Mount Hood - Final Report to the American Alpine Club on the loss of three climbers in December 2006
Mount Hood - Veteran climber injured during ice axe arrest on Mt Hood
Mount Hood - Climber injured by falling ice, rescued by helicopter
Mount Hood - Three climbers, their MLU and a dog "rescued"
Mount Hood - Three North Face climbers lost
Mount Hood - What happened to the three climbers on the North Face?
Mount Hood - Two climbers become lost descending the South Side
Mount Hood - Solo climber falls from Cooper Spur
Mount Hood - climbing accident claims three lives -Final Report and our Analysis
Mount Hood - Notable mountain climbing accidents Analyzed
Mount Hood - Solo hiker drowns while crossing Mt. Hood's Sandy River
Mount Hood - Solo climber slides into the Bergschrund and is found the following day
Mount Hood - The Episcopal School Tragedy
Mount Hood - experienced climbers rescued from snow cave
Mount Hood - a personal description of the south side route
Mount Hood - fatal avalanche described by Climbing Ranger
Mount Hood - avalanche proves fatal for members of Mazamas climbing group
Mount Hood - snowboard rider dies on Cooper Spur
Mount Hood - fatal fall on snow, Cooper Spur Route
Mount Hood - fatal fall on snow from the summit
Mount Hood - climb shows the need for knowledge
Mount Hood - climb ends in tragedy
Mount Hood - rescue facilitated by use of a VHF radio
THE THREE SISTERS MARATHON
The Five Sisters Marathon by Pat Creedican
North Sister and Middle Sister spring summits on telemark skis
Middle Sister and North Sister exploratory
Solo backcountry ski to Broken Top Bowl and return
McArthur Rim - responsible climber slips on steep hard snow
A fine winter summit of Broken Top by Eric Seyler
Broken Top - climber disappears
Broken Top - climber slips on hard snow
Man rescued from crevasse just off South Sister climber's trail
Family of five and exhausted Great Dane dog rescued from South Sister Climber's Trail
Photos of a South Sister snow-climb in June 2006
A cross country circumnavigation of South Sister in September
South sister spring overnight snow climb, gear and skills
Middle and North Sister exploratory adventure
North Sister and Middle Sister spring summits on telemark skis
Middle Sister - climb proves need for equipment and experience
North Sister - Accident analyzed for ANAM by Fitz Cahall
North Sister - Trip Report June 2007
North Sister - Climbers swept by avalanche while descending Thayer Glacier Snowfield
North Sister - Climbing with Allan Throop
North Sister - Accident Report to the American Alpine Club on a fatal fall
North Sister - Fatal accident news reports on the loss of Dr. Shively
North Sister and Middle Sister - Trip Report, spring summits on telemark skis
North Sister - North Ridge Trip Report by Sam Carpenter
North Sister - AAC Report of fatal fall from east side by Martina Testa
North Sister - SE Ridge Solo, a Trip Report by Sam Carpenter
Smith Rock - AAC: Experienced rock climber Jim Anglin dies
Smith Rock - AAC: Leader fall turns climber upside down
Smith Rock - AAC: Warning!! ** Belayer drops climber off the end of the top rope
Smith Rock - AAC: Fall on rock - protection pulled out
Smith Rock - AAC: WARNING - Belayer drops climber off the end of the top rope
Smith Rock - AAC: Inadequate top rope belay
Smith Rock - AAC: Climber injured on the approach
Smith Rock - AAC: WARNING - belayer drops climber off the end of the top rope
Smith Rock - AAC: Belay error - novice sport climber injured
Smith Rock - AAC: Fall on rock, protection pulled out
Smith Rock - AAC: Fall on rock - poor position, inadequate protection
Smith Rock - AAC: Pulled rock off - fall on rock, failure to test holds, exceeding abilities
Smith Rock - AAC: Belay error - fatal fall on rock
Mount Washington - AAC: Matt and Joanne, Accident on traditional North Ridge Route ends with helicopter rescue
Mount Washington - News: Matt and Joanne, News reports of their serious accident
Mount Washington - AAC: BC and JWS, Leader fall, good belay, self rescue and extraction by helicopter
Mount Washington - AAC: Seifert-Gentz, Report on fatal accident while setting rappel anchor
Mount Washington - Rock and Ice, analysis of double fatality on Mount Washington
Mount Washington - News: Seifert-Gentz, Oregon tragedy claims two lives
Mount Washington - News: JM, Injured climber rescued from Mount Washington
Mount Washington - AAC: Seyler-Smith, Leader fall, protection pulled out and anchor fails - Epic accident
Playing Icarus on Mount Washington, an Epic story by Eric Seyler for Climbing Magazine pdf
THREE FINGERED JACK
Trip Report: Climb of Three Fingered Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness
News - Three Fingered Jack - OSU student falls on steep scree slope
AAC Report - Fatal fall from Three Fingered Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness
AAC Report - Three Fingered Jack - Fatal slip on snow patch
AAC Report - Three Fingered Jack - belayed fall from The Crawl
Trip Report: Photos of climbing Three Fingered Jack, a deceptively dangerous fifth class summit
Trip Report: Photos: Climbing Three Fingered Jack
TR: Three Fingered Jack experience by Ben Siebel
TR: A violent fall on Three Fingered Jack by Julie Zeidman
A violent fall in Spain on caught on video mpeg file - WARNING - This may be disturbing! The climbers did recover.
Mount Jefferson - two climbers rescued by military helicopter
Mount Jefferson - climbing accident recounted
Mount Jefferson - downclimb proves fatal to solo climber
A fine Mount Adams summit by Paul Chance
Mount Adams, a fine traditional alpine mountaineering summit
MOUNT ST. HELENS
Snowmobiler survives 1,500ft. fall into Mt. St. Helens
Snowmobile access to Mt. St. Helens questioned by Mountaineers
Mt. Shasta climb highlights need for arrest skills
Five Seconds (on Mt. Shasta)© 1996 by Mike Sarmiento
Climber on Mt. Rainier dies, others injured
R.J. Secor critically injured during a runaway glissade
Mount Rainer, eventually, with R.J. Secor
Mount Rainier climber killed by falling rock
Another Mt. Rainier climber dies on Liberty Ridge
DENALI AND HUNTINGTON
"Mount Huntington's West Face" by Coley Gentzel, ©2005 by AAI."
Friendship is the rope that binds us"
Fatal climbing accident at Meadow Crags near Bend Oregon
Climbing the Snow Creek Route on Mt. San Jacinto, California
Cheating death on the Snow Creek Route on Mt San Jacinto, California
Mt. Ritter 1971 tragedy provides experience for a generation of climbers
On Being and Becoming a Mountaineer: an Essay
Climber dies on the steep snow slopes of Mount McLaughlin
Report: R.J. Secor seriously injured during a runaway glissade
Mount Rainer . . . eventually, with R.J. Secor by Tracy Sutkin
Mt. Whitney's East Face Route is quicker!
Mt. Whitney's Mountaineer's Route requires skill and experience
Sierra Club climb on Middle Palisade fatal for Brian Reynolds
Runaway glissade fatal for Mazama climber on Mt. Whitney
Slip on hard snow on Snow Creek route on San Jacinto
Notable mountain climbing accidents analyzed
California fourteener provides an experience
The Mountaineers Club effects a rescue in the North Cascades