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Middle Palisade Question

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Middle Palisade Question

Postby bobpickering » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:50 pm

We're planning to do Middle Palisade on 7-19. In the past, I've just walked on the snow up to the start of the standard route. Is that possible right now, or is there any unavoidable ice showing through? It would be nice to leave the heavier boots and crampons at home, if we can get away with it.

The first stream crossing on the way up used to be a bit of a pain. The last time I was there, the Forest Service had built a nice bridge. I heard that the bridge got washed out and wasn't rebuilt. Does anybody know the situation at that crossing right now?

Thanks
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Kahuna » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:50 pm

The bridge is intact.

Yes on the snow free access from Finger Lake to the toe/shrund.

I was up at the Toe/shrund just yesterday but turned around due to impending TSers. I touched no snow to access the moraine to the toe.

Here is a good photo from yesterdays run. Hope this helps:

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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:33 pm

Thanks for that post. I may be climbing Middle Pal next Friday.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Gafoto » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:34 am

I'm pretty sure that the bridge for the first stream (south fork, not first falls) crossing got washed out last year and had to be lifted out by helicopter last year. When I did Middle Pal last year the stock crossing, which is just upstream of the former bridge crossing, was much easier. You'll get your feet wet and it can be chilly, but you're not going to be swept over Vernal falls.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Kahuna » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:23 am

Gafoto wrote:I'm pretty sure that the bridge for the first stream (south fork, not first falls) crossing got washed out last year and had to be lifted out by helicopter last year. When I did Middle Pal last year the stock crossing, which is just upstream of the former bridge crossing, was much easier. You'll get your feet wet and it can be chilly, but you're not going to be swept over Vernal falls.


The first bridge at the Falls was repaired and is intact.

Crossed the stream (2nd Crossing) above the "stock" crossing at the higher crossing (obvious right turn just before you get to the main crossing) using three boulders. Not a drop of water on the shoes. Not a worry there.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Vitaliy M. » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:05 am

But, do we need the rope to cross the glacier?
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Kahuna » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:39 am

Vitaliy M. wrote:But, do we need the rope to cross the glacier?

Absolutely no need to "cross the glacier" this year VM.

Last year this time there was well over 10' of snow still covering most of the area from Finger Lake on up to the Toe then across to the start of the route.

This year, there is none, zilch, nada. The most one needs to touch/walk on any snow, may be 50-100 feet of sun cupped snow. Then cross the shrund in order to access the start of the East Face Route gully from the toe. From what I saw yesterday, looks like you can possibly hug the south end of the Toe to get to to start of the route. Never needing to touch any snow.

Taken yesterday on my run up to the toe:
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby bobpickering » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:07 pm

Thanks to all of you, especially A5RP. This is valuable information that will save us carrying stuff we don't need. I vaguely remember the hop across the boulders above the stock crossing. I think I've seen that crossing with too much water to cross safely, and I've seen it when it avoided wading across the old stock crossing. I'm sure we'll go that way.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Kahuna » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:41 pm

You are very welcome Bob.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby ska21 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:03 am

Does anyone have extra permit space for this weekend? 6-21 entry?
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby bobpickering » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:50 pm

We postponed our trip from 7-19 to 7-26. We hopped across the boulders on the south fork just above the stock crossing as A5RP described. It was easy yesterday, but I've seen enough water there to make it much more challenging. We only had to cross about 50 yards of snow to get to the start of the route. My partner is just beginning to tick off the California 14ers, and it was a great day for her. Thanks again for the information.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby Kahuna » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:21 pm

bobpickering wrote:We postponed our trip from 7-19 to 7-26. We hopped across the boulders on the south fork just above the stock crossing as A5RP described. It was easy yesterday, but I've seen enough water there to make it much more challenging. We only had to cross about 50 yards of snow to get to the start of the route. My partner is just beginning to tick off the California 14ers, and it was a great day for her. Thanks again for the information.



My pleasure. Glad the beta worked out for ya and you had a good, successful and safe adventure.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:25 am

bobpickering wrote:We postponed our trip from 7-19 to 7-26. We hopped across the boulders on the south fork just above the stock crossing as A5RP described. It was easy yesterday, but I've seen enough water there to make it much more challenging. We only had to cross about 50 yards of snow to get to the start of the route. My partner is just beginning to tick off the California 14ers, and it was a great day for her. Thanks again for the information.


I noted this discussion, but am not sure I ever noticed the problem spot. I just went across the place that had the remnants of the bridge. I had to crawl up on one boulder, but there was a ledge on the other side, which provided a platform to jump to the next boulder; it was a little awkward with a backpack. I later saw a man carrying a baby on his back, so I'm guessing he knew something I didn't.
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby bobpickering » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:16 pm

You're right. There weren't any problem spots, but there could have been.

If the flow in the south fork is occasionally sufficient to destroy a bridge, it can also make hopping across somewhat challenging, if not downright treacherous. It's usually easy to skirt all the ice on the approach, but I've been there when I needed crampons.

I asked my question to see whether either of these spots would pose a problem, A5RP confirmed that they wouldn't, and we had a nice day hike. Isn't that what SP is for?
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Re: Middle Palisade Question

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:18 pm

bobpickering wrote:I asked my question to see whether either of these spots would pose a problem, A5RP confirmed that they wouldn't, and we had a nice day hike. Isn't that what SP is for?


That is exactly why SP is useful.

I troll these boards for real-world conditions -- e.g. as in this discussion of the east couloir on Sill. The discussions of current Sierra conditions in the forums are often way more useful than the old, terse, mountain pages. Several of my friends wanted to take that east couloir because Porcella and Burns called it class 3, easy -- and I pointed them to this discussion. We value what you guys say more than what the book says.
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