Just got back from 4 days at the Palisade Glacier. A little conditions summary video: http://youtu.be/H0MAIrsuOdY
Chad and I approached to the "Fischer Camp" on the west moraine of the glacier. Continuous, suncupped snow from Sam Mack up.
The second day we climbed the L-Shaped Snowfield route on Sill and the "Yellow Brick Road" on Gayley in perfect conditions.
Day 3 we did the U-notch in challenging conditions. On descent we cleaned up 12 pounds (not 20, as I suggested in the video
) of old rappel slings, rattly pins, jingus nuts, and even a 1974 quarter, a camelback nozzle, and some other contraband. Some of the highest "stranded" anchors were out of reach and remain as reminders of an older, fatter U-notch ice climb. And I am sure there are anchors buried under this year's layer. There are now good rock-based anchors in the lower 3rd of the route. The upper 2/3rds is currently down-climbable, but will soon be safe to descend on v-threads. Let's keep it clean up there. Be safe, but remember all the "LNT" descending options: Specifically, run these skinny ropes directly through v-threads, or come down on bollards. A bollard chopped into the lip of a couloir-wall moat can be real fast and secure.
Here's our pile of "tat". I am just realizing that the photo is out of focus, or is that my computer screen? Chad, have a better one?
In summary, the Palisades couldn't be in better condition! Fast, consolidated snow, cruiser approach, dry rock, and relatively good weather. Awesome! Enjoy.