Mt.Thompson is Mt Gilbert’s neighbor not too far from South Lake in Bishop Creek. Although pretty close (by Sierra standards) to the road, this fine climbs sees very little traffic and offers several short fun gully climbs that end some distance from the summit. We sometimes pair one of these gully climbs with an ascent of Gilbert and this program is our scheduled Alpine Ice Climbing Seminar. Either way, this ascent makes for an ideal climb to a good central Sierra viewpoint in a pristine alpine valley.
This is our video description of what it is like to climb Mt Thompson:
Guidebooks include Secor’s “The High Sierra; Peaks, Passes and Trails”, and “Sierra Classics” by Moynier and Fiddler. The best of course is “Eastern Sierra Ice” by SP Parker. Also check out our unpublished guide to the Thompson Couloirs here.
We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000′) just prior to the trip. Spending a night in Mammoth would do the trick or better yet, camped at an even higher trailhead, such as the South Lake/Bishop Pass trailhead for a night just before the trip. Cardinal Village Resort in Bishop Creek near North Lake is also a good lodging option. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.