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Matthew HollimanRoute Climbed: North Couloir Date Climbed: July 3, 2004  Sucess!

Matthew Holliman

Dayhike out of the Big Pine TH. I found the route-finding in the North Couloir much trickier than expected--so much for Bob's claim that I'd find it to be the easiest 4th class in the Sierra! It took considerable searching to find the easy way up, and I had a heck of a time trying to remember my exit point on the way back. The final portion up to the ridge looks like cliffs from above! I was starting to think I'd have to hang about and try to convince some other climber to let me use his rope and rappel... fortunately a key cairn and some more diligent route inspection saved me from embarrassment.

No views on Sill as the summit was socked in with clouds. A rather impressive lightning storm developed as I was heading up Gayley, so I bailed out down the drainage to Willow Lake without tagging that one. That was a mistake--I didn't find the use trail, and ended up doing way more talus hopping, bush whacking, and cursing than I'd have preferred.
Posted Nov 16, 2004 12:10 am

bechttRoute Climbed: Southwest chutes via Scimitar Pass Date Climbed: 25 Sep 04  Sucess!


Perfect day -- longer slog than expected. Outstanding view from the top.
Posted Nov 10, 2004 12:34 pm

Steve LarsonRoute Climbed: Swiss Arete Date Climbed: July, 1981  Sucess!

Steve Larson

Climbed this with Allan Bard, John Fischer, and a couple other folks from the Palisade School of Mountaineering as a diversion from the backbreaking labor of digging out our high camp equipment cache above the Palisade Glacier. We even had some politically incorrect fun trundling rocks down the east face. This route as definitely a classic. And the peak is awesome by any route. Highly recommended.
Posted Nov 5, 2004 9:27 pm

ripper333Route Climbed: traverse from thunderbolt Date Climbed: sept 2004
the last peak of one long day
august 2005... swiss arete with piotrek met on aconcagua... brought gear
didnt use....
Posted Oct 24, 2004 5:07 pm

BranchWhitneyRoute Climbed: North Couloir Date Climbed: 8/23/2004  Sucess!
Great climb. As of 8/23/2004, you can avoid all the snow in the "L" shape snow field by climbing around it on the left side. This involves easy class 3 scrambling and bypasses a lot of the scree in the gully.

I believe this route follows the approach to the Swiss Arete.

Also, you can avoid virtually all the snow and ice in the Palisade Glacier by sneaking around the left side.
Posted Aug 24, 2004 11:04 am

Johnhl94563Route Climbed: Northwest Face Date Climbed: August 22, 2004  Sucess!


Did a variation of the North Couloir. This is called Northwest Face by Secor. Instead of climbing up to Glacier Notch, we ascended from the Palisade glacier to the notch betwen Mt. Sill and Apex Peak then followed the normal route from the traverse. This was filled with lots of loose rock.

Fun climb lots of weather (thunder/rain/snow/sleet) every afternoon. Found the 4th class pitch very obvious and simple.

For more information, read my trip report.
Posted Aug 24, 2004 12:19 am

Scott M.Route Climbed: Swiss Arete Date Climbed: August 11, 2004  Sucess!

Scott M.

What a fun route! Had camped below Gayley the night before and headed up the Swiss Arete as part of a planned traverse to Thunderbolt. We made the top in good speed and departed true to the traverse toward Polemonium. Nice clean rock on this route and the reputation about the view from on top is well deserved. It is great.
Posted Aug 13, 2004 4:57 pm

jimmasonllcRoute Climbed: Swiss Arete Date Climbed: July 25, 2004  Sucess!



By: Robert Vallera, Jochen Klinke and Jim Mason

Happy Birthday Jochen! (41)

Date: July 25-26, 2004

Route: Swiss Arete, III (5.7)

Equipment: 50 meter double rope, generous rack of TCUs and Cams, hexes #4-10, 1 set nuts, 1 pink tri-cam.

Summited at 8:00 PM after about 8 pitches. Fun climb, nice exposure, a classic, and for us - in more ways than one - an epic! Got back to our camp at the foot of the Palisade Glacier about 9:30 AM the morning of July 26th. (See trip report.)
Posted Aug 5, 2004 5:02 pm

gordonyeNorth Couloir from Elinore Lake  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 31, 2013


Climbed with Mike Chen, roping up for a class 4 pitch. Weather was cloudy and unstable the whole day, but we made it down before the thunderstorm hit in late afternoon.

July 2004: After a late start from Sam Mack Meadow, I made it to about 13300' above the loose rocks of Glacier Notch. My partner Vladimir made it to the summit. Gorgeous scenery but very long route made for challenging navigation when descending at night.

Dropped my ice axe somewhere along the glacier trail above Sam Mack Meadow. It's a black HB Glacier, about 2' long.
Posted Jul 26, 2004 2:32 pm

mt_daydreamRoute Climbed: North Couloir Date Climbed: July 1, 2003  Sucess!


Awesome peak! Great approach - 8 miles, gain about 6K feet, lots of lakes and scenery. View from the Palisade glacier was great. Even better was the view of the Sierra mountainscape from the top! Summited at 9 am - very calm at the top. The North Couloir had some moves that I thought were touching class 5 (really exposed too). Glissade down the L-notch was fun.
Posted Jul 15, 2004 4:41 am

Fred BagniRoute Climbed: North Couloir Date Climbed: June 21, 2002  Sucess!

Fred Bagni

Best view. I love the palisades.
Posted Jul 10, 2004 7:03 pm

Scott PierceRoute Climbed: Southwest Slopes Date Climbed: Late may, 2004  Sucess!

Scott Pierce

As part of a ski tour around the Palisades.

Originally planned to skin as far as possible toward the saddle of Sill-Polemonium, but consensus veered us onto the more interesting class 3 talus and blocks SW of the summit. Needed to angle left more than we did lower down on the climb--we got on a rib that bought us to a false summit and forced us to rap down into a notch and continue traversing left. Either way, lots of fun and a great day for talus-hopping in telemark "rock slippers".
Posted Jun 19, 2004 3:50 pm

mtnfotoRoute Climbed: Swiss Arete Date Climbed: May 1977  Sucess!
Climbed this with Sheldon Moomaw back in the day.
Posted Jan 26, 2004 11:01 am

dvsanbtRoute Climbed: southwest chute Date Climbed: august 30, 2003  Sucess!


did a solo overnighter. camped in the palisade basin just below the

t-bolt pass. at the base of the climb, took the second chute (that culminates in a notch prominent even from the base). stayed along the ridge defining the left (on way up) of this chute. good solid rock for most part (class 2-3). climbing up the notch at the top (towards the summit) was a bit harder than the stuff before that, but not a lot more (and virtually no exposure).

looong approach from the south lake.
Posted Oct 12, 2003 5:50 pm

GuiltyRoute Climbed: East Couloir Date Climbed: 08/05/00 and 08/09/99  Sucess!


I hiked up from Elsinore Lake with some friends. We ascended up the couloir, then a scramble to the summit. I got tired of waiting for my friends at the summit, so I went did Polemonium, North Palisade, and Starlight. I new I would run out of sunlight if I went did Thunderbolt, so I headed back to Elsinore Lake.

In 1999, solo from Sam Mack up the North Couloir Route, then traverse to Polemonium.
Posted Oct 7, 2003 9:49 pm

Rinat ShagisultanovRoute Climbed: North Coulour Date Climbed: June 14, 2002  Sucess!

Rinat Shagisultanov

Climbed with Taras Usyk, Alex and Olga Kizler (San Diego, LA) under perfect conditions (weather, snow and glacier) from the base amp at Sam Mack meadows. Had not problem with routefinding and climbing though the other team members asked for the fixed line on short class 4 section. The major problem was the AMS on the way back (it is hard to do it in 3 days from the sea level). The mountain itslelf is a magnificient peak having the all reasons to do it as a technical one. I am dreaming of going over the Swiss Arete next time.

Posted Aug 31, 2003 10:36 pm

darinchadwickRoute Climbed: North Coulior Date Climbed: July 2003  Sucess!


Ooooh, the North Coulior! Visions from climbing in Norway and the North Cascades came to mind of rime covered rock, and blowing spindrift.

But in the Sierra, on a summer day, there is no such thing, just some nice patches of hard snow between sections of pretty solid rock. Eyed the Swiss Arete during the approach. Mmmm, looks tasty, guess I'll be coming back.
Posted Aug 30, 2003 4:20 am

DigglerRoute Climbed: Swiss Arete Date Climbed: 23 August, 2003  Sucess!


FINALLY did this route (after years of wanting to)!!! Great climb, with perfect rock, stimulating exposure, & fun & sustained climbing- to the top of a 14er! Mark was a great partner, too.

Due to starting late (got on the route @ 12.02), we also ended late (I topped out @ 19.11), but that allowed us to enjoy magnificent sunset views of the Palisades- how many people getta see that??!!

Tricky class 4 routefinding in the dark (we also only had 1 headlamp!), with sections of verglas & snow, made going back down quite 'interesting!' After getting to the notch between Sill & its subpeak, I thought it was easy from there- wrong! Class 2-3 N couloir was utter crap (sometimes it felt like half the gully was sliding down with each step!). At least we got to rap' past the bottom of the snowfield, w/o having to don crampons.

Unfortunately, we then couldn't find the notch leading to the variation we took to gain the plateau, & shivered & (somehow) slept until sunrise, when we found the 'easy' way back down to the glacier. Another Sierra epic!
Posted Aug 28, 2003 3:52 pm

PellucidWombatRoute Climbed: Swiss Arete Date Climbed: August 23rd  Sucess!


Great climb. Took longer than expected, though, so we had to find our way down in the dark and ended up sleeping at the Glacier Notch until dawn.

We never encountered what seemed to be the 'reach around' move, but we did encouter a 5.8 (maybe 5.9?) crack on the left side of the ridge which was the crux of the climb for us.
Posted Aug 25, 2003 7:26 pm

ocelotRoute Climbed: North Couloir Date Climbed: 21 July 2003  Sucess!


A fun snow/ice climb up the Glacier Notch, L-shaped glacier, then some loose class 4 with some exposure to the top. Amazing views from the top, then traversed to Polemonium to scope it out for a future climb. Rapped off the ridge to avoid downclimbing the loose stuff to the saddle between Apex and Sill. Base camped in a large cave in the morraine on the way down to Mack Meadows. Nice.
Posted Aug 11, 2003 1:09 pm

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