Southeast Ridge (a.k.a., standard descent)
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This route is actually the standard descent route. But by itself it can make for an enjoyable part of a day up in the alpine for non-climbers with an experienced climber.
A description of the route as climbed from below ...
P1: Ignore the interesting looking short pinacle to the SE of the pod. Instead, head in the opposite direction up the SE Ridge towards the summit of The Thumb. The angle of ascent will lessen to almost horizontal towards the end of the pitch to a point where the ridge significantly steepens. Belay at a tree. 2nd class, maybe 3rd; ~130 feet.
P2: Continue up the ridge via a very obvious ledge system on climber's left of the ridge line. 4th class, ~150 feet.
If the return involves down-climbing the route or you are descending after climbing a different route, the lowest ledge of P2 is not obvious until almost down to the very top of that ledge.
A description of the route when down climbing ...
Find the healthy tree on the right side of this Photo (i.e., south side of the top of The Thumb). John Kear indicates this tree is about 150 feet south (SE) from the summit (agree).
Down climb immediately next to that tree to a sloping dirty ledge that trends to skier's left (SE). A dozen or more feet down this "dirty" ledge is a tree with a half-foot or so diameter trunk; there is a nice flat ledge on the ridge line a few feet above the base of this tree. Although that ledge looks inviting, continue traversing to the SE just below the tree and find the beginning of a third ledge (clean) that trends downward to skier's left - follow it.
The rest of the way down pretty much stays on the ridge line.
Head up boulder fields and sparse forest above the La Luz Trail towards the SE end of The Thumb; see description of this Photo. Gain the ridge proper at a localized low point in the ridge where there is a ~2 foot wide notch standing about four feet off the forest duff. This deposits you in a mostly flat pod - roughly 8 feet diameter - on the ridge proper where the party can drop any gear not being taken to the top.
If making traditional leads out of this, take a half dozen or so pieces of pro ... there's a couple trees for belay anchors plus a large block on top to loop the rope around.
|Photos of Southeast Ridge (a.k.a., standard descent) Slideshow
BETA PHOTO: The notch leading up to the start of SE Ridge rout...
BETA PHOTO: The photo ain't much to look at, even if the camer...
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