Thor Peak (N#67, T#1)
Nathan Day 57, Travis Day 1: Thor Peak
The day to begin had finally come. There would be no more waiting around in various coffee shops for the snow conditions to become favorable. No more waiting around in my van obsessing over route plans and weather forecasts. The waiting has been difficult for me, I'd find myself bouldering with my friends unable to keep my gaze from the lofty Sierra peaks. Or halfway up a sport climb wishing I was far away in the mountain world. As much as I loved following Nathan's peak bagging adventure, it was also challenging, I wanted to be out there with him.
Finally on April 17th, Easter Sunday, we would ascend a route called Stemwinder (5.4) on Thor Peak.
After meeting in Bishop, we drove down to Lone Pine. I was so excited I hardly slept before eventually waking to my 6:30am alarm. I opened Nathan's van door to reveal him cooking up a classic eggsadilla.
"Good Morning!" I shoved the GoPro in Nathan's sleepy face. It was at this point he realized his mountain adventures would have just a bit less peace and solitude. Muahahaha.
We drove up to the gate a mile from Whitney Portal, threw on our packs, and biked the rest of the road.
We stashed our bikes at the trailhead and set off at 8:30am! It was a warm spring day, the creeks we're flowing, the ice was dripping, and Nathan seemed to be thawing out.
The trail rose through a valley of elephant gray granite and at last we arrived at the base of Thor Peak.
From afar the climb looked steep, but beneath the rose quartz wall an acceptable path of cracks revealed itself.
The whole climb was fun with a fixed nut and an old piton at the crux. Nathan thought it felt more like 5.8. I guess all that skiing made him soft?
Further up the climb we found a corridor through a red tower, very cool, and then a ramp took us to the top.
I had reached my first official summit and it tasted like a breath of fresh mountain air. From now on, and for the next few months I could just focus on doing what I love: exploring planet granite.
The summit views revealed the peaks we would climb the next few days. Bring it on!
On our descent, of course, Nathan could not resist the snow. He boot skied most of the way down. I followed as well and had a blast! I guess he is on to something with the whole skiing thing.
Back at the portal we soaked our feet in the freeeeeezing creek, grabbed our bikes, and coasted back to the van. I can confidently say Thor is the best Easter egg I've ever found.
View the activity here.