Peak(s):  Unnamed 13722  -  13,722 feet
Unnamed 13631  -  13,631 feet
Date Posted:  08/12/2018
Date Climbed:   08/11/2018
Author:  alexhenes
Additional Members:   kristihen
 Choss Fest in the Elks   

A full report from this trip can be found at Choss Fest in the Elks on Merely a Flesh Wound

On a blue bird Saturday in mid August we decided to chip away at the Bi-Centennials by tackling Lightning Pyramid (Pt 13,722) and Len Shoemaker Peak (PT 13, 631).

We left the overflow lot around 6:00am and hiked the standard trail for close to 4 miles before breaking off and heading east toward Len Shoemaker Basin.

The Bells fro mjust below Len Shoemaker Basin

From the basin we located a gully that lead to the Thunder - Lightning saddle. The gully is located across a scree field just to the left of some white/yellowish rocks.

Climbing the gully was extremely loose and felt a bit dangerous. It was difficult not to knock rocks down. I would not want to ascend/descend this gully with more than two people. It could be disaterous if there was another group (or careless goats) above you in this gully. It is narrow enough that there aren't many places to go if rock were to come tumbling down.

While the gully was an amazing place to be... I can't say the climbing was enjoyable. It was more of a loose choss fest.

Kristi close to topping out to the Thunder - Lightning saddle

Once on the ridge the hike to Lighting's saddle was enjoyable. We spent about 25 minutes on the summit taking in the views and discussing our descent options. We came very close to traversing to Thunder instead of descending the loose gully.

Kristi on the ridge to Lightning's summit. Thunder Pyramid in the distance. Pyramid peaking out (top center)

We descended the gully just as we climbed it... one by one in pitches protecting each other from tumbling rock.

Although rotten... it was a pretty cool place to be. Next time I would opt for snow and skis.

Once at the basin, Kristi opted to rest and read while I climbed Len Shoemaker Peak.

From the basin I hiked to the obviouse saddle on the north side of the peak. The hike to the saddle was a bit tedious but once on the saddle there was quality class 3 scrambling to the summit.

The Bells and Len Shoemaker Ridge

Round trip on Len Shoemaker took roughly 2 hours plus 20 minutes of summit time.

After meeting back up with Kristi some locals escorted us out of the basin and the we made our way back to the TH. Our round trip was 14.7 miles and 7750 vertical. It took just short of 13 hours with 40 minutes of summit time.

The locals were friendly

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6

Comments or Questions
Woulda Waved...
08/15/2018 11:11
...had I been there a day earlier. I was on 13,140 & 13,180 the next day. Based on your account - I think I'll wait for a decent snow year to go get Lightning! Thanks for writing the TR up!

Good Call...
08/16/2018 14:41
I think snow would make Lightning an enjoyable route. Unless you want to traverse from Thunder.

On a side note... I think we met walking out from Lake Como a number of weeks back. Hope you are having a good summer and surviving all of the smoke!

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