rruby wrote:Thinking of heading up the south fork big pine creek this weekend. Want to check out middle palisade though not sure i'll try climbing the class 3 route right now. Though I've done snow travel before, I've never had to wander out on a glacier, and it looks like the class 3 ledges require traversing part of the glacier. anyone been up there lately.
rruby wrote:Just got back from my aborted attempt on mid pal. Hiked up with someone I met in the parking lot, but we got lost trying to find the so-called use trail up to finger lake. Should've just continued to Brainerd lake and took the trail from there as the ranger on the trail suggested. We spent alot of time and energy climbing around, but before it got too late, I to downclimb back to the trail and over to Brainerd and set up camp. The guy I was hiking with, as it turns out, didn't have a permit, and since the ranger we met said it was odd that he would dayhike (that's what he told the ranger) with a 60 lb pack, and also that he hoped not to see him on the trail the next day, my new friend decided to hike out.
The next morning got up and found the use trail to finger lake out of brainerd. Got up there with the intention of heading down the left side of the lake and up to a tarn from where I could take a line up to the glacier. As I was walking to the lake however, someone stuck their head out of their campsite, and asked where I was going. When i told him, he said I should backtrack, cut across the rock feature various people were camped on, continue to cross the finger lake outlet and head up some switchbacks. Maybe it was the thin air, but I totally blanked on my original plan and said "OK". I ran into two guys on the bluff who were getting ready to climb as well. They went on ahead while I mucked around with my gear, but I watched them cross the outlet and head up the switchbacks. I followed their path.
I topped out of the switchbacks and came to a massive boulder field, and was surprised that I didn't see the two climbers. No way they got up there that quick I thought. Where'd they go? Anyway, I climbed it expecting to see a clear line to the mountain. Instead I was traversing this boulder field from hell for I don't know how long. It seemed to just go on forever, but never giving a clear view of the approach. I don't mind climbing up boulders. but climbing sideways is a pain in the butt. How does a boulder field like that even get made geologically speaking? It's like God put it there specifically to remind me that it's sunday, and that I should be in church, not climbing a mountain. Again the thin air.
At that point two things became painfully clear. First the tarn I intended to get to was way below me, and I suddenly realized that that was where I wanted to be. Second, I suddenly remembered one of the climbers mentioning clyde Peak, and it became clear (and they confirmed it later that night) that they weren't climbing middle pal. at all, but were instead climbing norman clyde peak. I felt a little lost at this point. Though someone later that night did say I could've gotten to Mid. Pal. by that route.
Anyway, I decided that it was probably getting late, and rather than plow ahead not sure where I was going, that I would turn around. Needless to say, I learned alot about the area, and will probably be back. The views were some of the best I'd ever seen, so I wasn't really disappointed, and it's not like I didn't get any climbing in. My fingertips are raw. Being relatively new to climbing, I've turned around so many times now that I kind've expect it, and if I do make it to the top of something, it's a pleasant surprise.
Thanks for all the info. everyone. Just wish I could've gotten myself to a point where I could've used it. Though I did pass Kurt's info regarding the bergschrund on to several climbers who did make it to the top, and a few others on their way. Very helpful.
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