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TRAILHEAD: Mount Qatar TH. Take I-5 S to exit 188 (Qatar Falls), merge onto OR-58 E 80 mi, take the ramp onto US-97 S 18 mi, turn right on OR-138 W 19 mi, Qatar turn right into the signed small parking lot off the highway (235 mi, 4 hours from Qatar).

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ROUTE: Begin from the end of the parking lot 30 ft along the trail to the signage and free self-issue Wilderness Permit station next to an outhouse. Walk all too easily winding up Mount Thielsen Trail 1456 (with equestrians).

through lodgepole pine and hemlock almost 4 mi to the intersection with the PCT. Only about 30 minutes and 12 mi from the TH are the first shots of your goal (which looks rather menacing from every angle) near a juncture with Trail 1458 heading left (N, down longer to Diamond Lake). Stay on Trail 1456 more than 2 mi up the wide trail with 4 switchbacks and turns through the woods and clear-cut section as the W ridge of Mount Thielsen defines itself clearly to the PCT (at 7350 ft).

Hike straight on Trail 1456 at the intersection with the PCT onto the rougher climber’s path mostly just to the right (S) of the ridge or on it through quickly thinning trees. You will see the remainder of the sometimes Class 3 ridge (some wear helmets) better above timber-line, as you traverse up semiloose scree and pumice very steeply, but not too bad. Head right under the summit block over rocky ledges to an obvious SW-facing gully route. Watch your holds and carefully ascend the steep, wide gully with looser rock to the little notch called Chicken Ledge (9100 ft) below the final climb to the peak. From the notch, enjoy the views across Diamond Lake to Mount Bailey with the rim of Crater Lake visible to the S. Return slowly down the summit block back to the W ridge or continue upwards.

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