10 routes · Alpine Climbing · Hiking
Mount Thielsen: West Ridge
The standard route on one of Oregon’s most recognizable peaks.
Alpine Climbing Moderate
- 14 km
- 1.1 km
- 1.1 km
- Low Point
- 1.7 km
- High Point
- 2.8 km
The route begins from the Mount Thielsen trailhead near Diamond Lake. From there, a hiking trail leads through the forest, starting out rather flat but gradually steepening. Eventually, it becomes a climber's trail going up the ridge and breaking above the treeline. The views get really spectacular, and the hiking remains straightforward until the base of the pinnacle.
Once there, the ascent turns into Class 2 and 3 scrambling, following a gully to a notch on the south face. The final 80 feet or so is much steeper, but should never exceed Class 4 moves up blocky basalt. The fall hazard is real though, so some parties opt for rope and trad gear. There is also a fixed anchor near the summit, so a rope could be used for rappelling this section instead of downclimbing. The top is a narrow and wildly airy summit, with a thousand feet falling away on all sides. From this vantage, one can see quite far up and down the Cascade Range, and Crater Lake is even visible to the south.
Note that this route is done in all seasons, but most commonly in summer when it’s snow-free, making a beginner-friendly alpine climb. Colder conditions can add significant difficulty and technical demand to the route. The peak is also notorious for lightning strikes, so be extra cautious of weather.
May involve slightly more complex glacier hikes, easy but possibly long rock ridges and steep snow up to 45 degrees. Equivalent to PD, PD+