Desperate escape from North Pal

Page Type
Trip Report
California, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Aug 1, 2004
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Created On: Apr 23, 2005
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We came from Thunderbolt and were in position to summit by 11AM or so. Then a good ol' T-storm came in and we just couldn't commit to the exposed ridge to the U-notch due to lightning danger. We tryed to wait it out until 5 or so and realized that we needed to take action - a wet night out at 14,000 feet would not be fun at all. We descended a reasonable looking coulior of the back of North Pal (away from base camp) and after much descent we found that it funnelled off an 800 foot cliff or so. Great. While rappelling we lost all of our webbing and were having to cut up our sewn slings. We passed some bad looking artifacts such as a signal mirror and some old webbing slugg around a marble size chalk stone in a crack. After 8 rappells or so we reached the base at dark. We couldn't find a route back to camp and had a cold night out curled under a rock. The next day we slogged Polemonium and Mount Sill on the way back to camp and then back to the car. A pretty sleepless night but 4 outta five isn't that bad.


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