"Thunder Pyramid"  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Standard Thunder Peak Route
Posted On: 2020-10-04, By: bryanpeck3
Info: Still no snow on this route as long as you head up Thunder (rather than Lightning which seemed to have a little bit but was probably also fine). 
 
Route: White Gully
Posted On: 2020-07-11, By: dwoodward13
Info: I rebuilt the cairn marking the turnoff from the trail. Not too bad to find, its just after the trail crosses the creek. Route up to Len Shoemaker Basin is marked pretty well. Upon reaching the Basin and making the ascending traverse on grassy ledges to reach the white gully the mountain or a goat sent down a mini fridge sized rock that was bouncing way high in the air. Even though you aren't in the gully, be on the lookout for falling rock. White Gully is pretty solid actually. Stayed on it until 13400, then crossed the gully and picked our way to the ridge. Stuff is the loosest in here, but not terribly bad. We didn't have much of an issue kicking stuff down, so if you are careful it is possible. There are no easily visible cairns so make sure to have route finding skills on point. Kept to left side of ridge to summit, which is probably the easiest way. There is a small amount of snow deep within the recesses of the gullies, but no reason to go there. Brought both traction and ax and there is no need to lug them up. 
5 1
 
Route: Over from LP, down white gulley
Posted On: 2020-06-20, By: dcruz654
Info: LP and TP couloirs are in excellent conditions for climbing right now as is the traverse. Nice and firm all morning, on snow at 6am off it by 1030 and it never softened for me. I could have started my hike an hour later and been fine. Thunder has snow from about 12300 to 13600. Will post a more detailed report with pictures when I get home. Just wanted to do a quick report for anyone looking to get out soon. 
2
 
Route: West Face (white gully)
Posted On: 2020-06-16, By: bunny256
Info: W. Maroon Creek trail is free of snow. Creek crossing is tedious but passable over large avy debris field shortly after S. Maroon trail cutoff. The route up through the cliff bands is mostly free of snow, just wet in places. Continuous snow in the gully begins around 12,200' until 13,600' and was in good shape minus a few thin and rotten areas near the edges. There was a bit of fresh snow/graupel on the rocks exiting the gully but nothing serious. Summit ridge is completely dry. Summited at 11am, snow softened perfectly for glissading or plunge-stepping on the descent with a few areas of postholing. Things are melting FAST, I wouldn't give the snow in the gully more than a week or so. 
8
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2020-06-15, By: angry
Info: Maybe we made the summit. Maybe it's the refraction horizon parallax theory. Maybe it's Maybelline. 
1 8
 
Route: West Slopes (White Gulley)
Posted On: 2020-06-05, By: jeffdmar
Info: Road still Closed to Maroon Lake TH (until June 8th) so I biked in 5.5-miles the night before and bivied by the TH. 2:45am wake-up and headed up. Found a good snow bridge just up-river from where the map shows West Maroon Trail crosses the creek; quickly over to get to the east side of the creek, bushwacked a little through some willows in the dark seeing the lowest snowfield at the bottom of the cliff-band. Trail was dry to that point. Snow begins not too far up from the creek. Was able to link about 4 snow-fields/gulleys to get up to Len Shoemaker Basin at about 12,000-feet. Crampons and ice-axe needed for sure as it gets steep. From the basin, gaining the main snow gulley leading to the summit was fairly obvious by getting above the cliffband by going looker's right and traversing over to the left. It was turfy enough that I stayed in my crampons during that dry bit. Once in the gulley, it's about a 1600-1800-foot snow climb in crampons, with just one short gap about 1/4 of the way up. Snow was firm with a few soft spots near the edges, but climbing was good and efficient. I exited very near the top by jogging right out of the main gulley. It's steep up there and definitely a no fall zone, as a self-arrest would be unlikely. Stepping off the snow about 150-200 feet below the summit, I took off the crampons and finished a pretty straightforward Class 2/3 scramble along an arrete and then the summit ridge. Note your exit/entry point to be able to regain the couloir on the descent. Summitted at 8am, 5-hours after starting. Descending was like descending a long ladder; I faced into the slope and had my climbing axe in one hand and a Whippet in the other for added safety. I liked this system a lot; first time using it. Front pointed almost all the way down. Snow was soft at 9am below the basin, and my crampons slid more and built up with snow-balls. Those lower gulleys are still steep and the snow was getting rotten, so I kept it safe and mostly front-pointed down the steeper parts with axes in both hands, although I was able to walk and side-point down some portions. Back at TH at about noon and a fast downhill bike back to the car! My take is that this is a good time of the year to do this peak as a snow climb, but time is running out this year as it was quite warm. I wouldn't have wanted to do this on the dirt and loose rocks; firm pre-dawn and early-morning snow made it pretty fun and safe! 
6 2
 
Route: white gully
Posted On: 2020-05-26, By: cottonmountaineering
Info: Photos of Thunder and Lightning pyramid conditions as of 5/23, pretty dry in this area 
2 1
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2019-10-06, By: Grover
Info: In the words of jscully205, from last week, "Be ready for a choss fest." Nothing could be more profound. If you are thinking of getting this peak before snow falls, it is dry as of this posting. 
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2019-09-30, By: jscully205
Info: There's an avy debris field that you'll need to negotiate upon peeling off the main trail. Rest of the route was pretty straightforward. Be ready for a choss fest. Encountered a light dusting on the upper mountain. 
6
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2019-05-31, By: WildWanderer
Info: Conditions are not ideal. Don't attempt without extensive snow climbing, snow conditions, and avalanche knowledge. I started at 2:30am but would have felt more comfortable starting at 1:30am. Be back in the basin before 10am: that's when the avalanches start: Every gully on all surrounding peaks becomes an ice waterfall (and it's really cool to witness/hear them all drop at once). After Crater Lake (currently covered in avalanche debris) there is a lot of avalanche debris on the trail but it's not difficult to navigate. Bad news: the area near the first access gully avalanched. The good news: it's easier to see your path. There are a lot of hardened avalanche debris areas on the West Face as well as hardened roller balls. Everything slides when the sun warms up the snow: Pick your route carefully. I took the left gully. Final pitch to the summit was class 3 and clear of snow. Snowshoes, crampons, helmet, and 2 ice axes (or picks) for this one right now. 
13 1
 
Route: White gully (up)
Posted On: 2018-09-29, By: CarpeDM
Info: No snow or ice on the route. Same for Lightning Pyramid. Forecast says that may change soon, though. 
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2018-06-27, By: desertdog
Info: We got an early start with hopes to get some snow to climb. Unfortunately, it was super warm and what little snow was left was unsupportive. We opted to go to the climbers left at the white gully onto a rock rib. We then worked our way up a class 4 gully and then a low class 5 chimney. We came down the standard route on the red dirt. I couldn't imagine going up this way. This mountain lived up to its loose and dangerous rep. A good sense of humor is mandatory. IMO wait till next year when there's snow. 
10
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2018-06-24, By: HikerGuy
Info: Only snow remaining is in a NW-facing gully that branches right from the beginning of the white rock gully. Good snow from about 12,800 to 13,400. There's a 20 foot stretch that is melted out about 2/3's the way up the gully, no need to take off crampons. After getting off the snow, cross a short stretch of loose talus to gain a rib of more stable lichen-covered rock. This better rock will take you to the ridge. From this point it's an easy traverse to the summit. 
5 4
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2018-06-21, By: smrcka
Info: Dry trail conditions and no snow encountered except the white gully which still had plenty of good snow. Snow was dense but softening on the surface by 10am. The rock is still loose ;) 
2
 
Route: West face
Posted On: 2018-06-11, By: RWinters
Info: Most of the bottom third of the white gully is melted out. Upper two third's snow was/is bulletproof before sun hits it. Some reports can be confusing which gulley to take so I can simplify it. Once you are in the white gully The first chance (gully) you get to go right, do so. It will put you on the south ridge less than 100 yards from the summit. 
2
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2018-05-19, By: RyGuy
Info: Less snow than usual on Thunder, should be doable with decent snow for another week or two. From Maroon Lake, the trail has some mud and snow starting just above the lake. Then lots of snow/ice and from just below Crater Lake to the Thunder turn off. The snow was supportive in the predawn hours, but in the early afternoon, it meant a lot of postholing. Snowshoes wouldn't help, don't bother bringing them. Once you get to the turn-off, keep going for several hundred yards and you will find a good snowbridge to get across. From the creek crossing, quite a bit of snow all the way to just below the summit. Crampons and ice axe are needed almost immediately. Once you reach the summit ridge, not much snow left, but plenty of loose rock. It's a class 3 jaunt up to the summit from there. Take your time and make sure the rocks you are stepping on/grabbing are solid. 
6 1
 
Route: White gully
Posted On: 2018-05-16, By: cottonmountaineering
Info: Crossed snow bridge over the main creek a little bit farther than the regular turnoff. Bottom of white gully is melted out, I went up a grassy ramp onto a ledge system and traversed up and left into the white gully. The direct top out is kind of melted out, so went to a snow ramp leading right just before the summit. A couple of class 2+/3 moves to reach the summit from there - one ledge traverse with snow and one big leg up on the ridge. Snow was in excellent shape, but was a little featured for the last 500'. Did not need snowshoes, postholed a number of times in the valley but the snow is sporadic getting to the base of the route. 
6 1
 
Route: White Gully
Posted On: 2017-07-24, By: Shattuck311
Info: White Gully still holds a bit of snow. On the way up, we skirted on the right (south) side, and this wasn't the wise move. Stay on the left (north) side of the snow in the gully on the way up when avoiding the snow. A bit difficult finding the trail at 10,500' right after the stream crossing, as it's all snow. We ended up hiking the trial to 10,600' and cutting over there. Other than those two patches, all is dry. 
 
Route: West Face
Posted On: 2017-06-11, By: ColoradoKid
Info: Mostly continuous snow south of Crater Lake. Snow bridge still intact just before the Maroon Peak junction. Will need to hike a little to reach the gully out of Shoemaker Basin but otherwise snow is nearly continuous from the valley to just below the summit. Ridge is clear of snow and presented no surprises beyond a couple 3rd class moves. Firm snow in the morning that significantly softened by mid-afternoon. Never needed snowshoes. If you've wanted to climb Thunder Pyramid with a little less rock "thunder", recommend getting there soon. 
2
 
Route: West Gullies
Posted On: 2017-06-03, By: benglish
Info: On hard snow from the creek to the saddle. Softened up on descent. Happy. To have a second tool for several spots. No floatation needed. Final ridge was dry and LOOSE. 

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