Solo Mountain Climber Missing After Attempting Five 14,000-Foot Peaks in One Day in California

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the North Palisades and the five 14,000′ Peaks that form it. image: stephabegg.com

Thomas “Tom” Fennessy was last seen on Wednesday, August 9th leaving camp to solo climb five 14,000-foot peaks in one day in the Palisade Glacier area of California – the most alpine region of CA.

Tom’s plan was to solo climb 14,009′ Thunderbolt Peak and then traverse to 14,159′ Mount Sill climbing five 14,000-foot peaks along the way in one push:  

  • 14,009′ Thunderbolt Peak
  • 14,200′ Starlight Peak
  • 14,272′ North Palisade Peak
  • 14,080′ Polemonium Peak
  • 14,153′ Mt. Sill
14,157′ North Palisade peak on the left, 14,200′ Starlight Peak on the right. image: Inyo Country Sheiff

His friends reported him missing to the Inyo Country Sheriff’s Office Thursday, August 10th. 

Tom is still missing as of today, August 11th.

The Palisades Traverse route. image: stephabegg.com

A mountain climber was killed in a fall in this exact region on 14,200′ Starlight Peak on Monday.

There have been at least the 7 climbing deaths on 14,000-foot peaks in the USA this year.

6 of the 14,000-foot peak climbing deaths occurred in Colorado.

Map showing location of North Palisade Zone, CA.

 

INYO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE PRESS RELEASE:

ALERT – Missing climber in the Eastern Sierra: Thunderbolt Peak to Mount Sill Traverse

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are conducting a joint missing persons investigation and search operation for a missing climber in the Palisades region.

We are asking for assistance from visitors in locating a missing climber: Thomas “Tom” Fennessy. Mr. Fennessy was last seen on Wednesday, August 9, when he departed from companions at Sam Mack Meadow, intending to complete the Thunderbolt Peak to Mount Sill Traverse alone. His companions reported him overdue to Inyo County Sheriffs Office on Thursday, August 10.

Mr. Fennessy is Caucasian, 55 years old, and 5’8″ tall. He was last seen wearing an orange jacket, red climbing helmet, yellow-green backpack, and black pants. He is an experienced solo rock climber.

Visitors to Palisades area and in particular in the vicinity of the Thunderbolt Peak to Mount Sill Traverse route are asked to be vigilant and report any sign of Mr. Fennessy to the

Inyo County Sheriff’s Department at 760-878-0383 or

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at 559-565-4351.


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