Hiking Stats as of 11/17/2019
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Jun 7, 2015 - Thompson Peak / Peak 9647 / Peak 9620


Partners: (None)

Distance: 10.54 miles

Elevation Gain: 3,485 feet

Trip Time: 6:40

Maps and Stats:
I was back up in South Lake Tahoe, a recurring theme now that we have our weekend retreat up here. I've been looking at all of the named peaks (and also at unnamed peaks with 300+ feet of prominence) as hiking targets, and came up with a great hike of Thompson Peak, PK 9647 and PK 9620. I parked at Luther Pass, a mere 15 minute drive from the house, and started up the hillside opposite of Waterhouse Peak. There was no trail, so it was a matter of just working up the best route through the rocks, which was easy, and through the brush, which was a bit more work. It was some tough going, owing as much to the steepness as the brush, gaining over 1500 feet in short order. I eventually got to the top of the ridge, which thankfully was largely clear of brush and tagged the summit of Thompson Peak. Great views towards the SW, including Round Top. Below there were fine views of Hope Valley around the 88/89 junction and Hawkins Peak, nearly snow free.

From this point the going got much easier, following a gentle ridgeline for a while, eventually finding the Tahoe Rim Trail and taking that for a while as I headed towards Peak 9647. Along the route the views opened up towards the Lake, offering fantastic scenery to hike to. I continued on towards the peak, Freel looming largest of all in the skyline. The going was quite easy, with little bits of snow here and there but certainly nothing to slow me down. I left the TRT when I could see the peak off to the left and the TRT was heading right. This started off easy enough, but turned out to be the crux of the day. I continued on up, and found the ridgeline to be quite jagged, with the highpoint not obvious. I had some trouble finding the correct rock to climb, having first climbed one but seeing an obviously higher rock further along the ridge. It was quite airy on the ridge, with tremendous drops to the west side of the ridgeline. It was class 3 for sure, and I was a bit unsure if I would be able to get to the actual high point. By passing up the high point and circling back around I was able to ascend and reach the difficult summit. Great views all around, from the traverse to Freel. I was nervous on top, so I didn't stay long and circled back to where I left the TRT and started back, intending to tag PK 9620 on the return.

More fantastic views along the easy ridge, and I followed the trail for a couple of miles before veering off and climbing up the easy summit. The views were the same as I had been enjoying now for hours, so I didn't stay long, and went cross country back down to the trail, taking it back towards Thompson. Once back on Thompson it was time for the steep descent back down to the car. Another fine day in Tahoe!

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