This was my first 14,000' peak. Fred Rhoads, invited me and Jon Van Cleave to join his friend, Bob, from mountain rescue, to climb the easy, 3rd class, East Face route. We arrived at the trail head after sunset an hiked up the trail to Willow Lake in the dark. It had been a heavy snow year so the the next morning we continued mostly on snow up on to the Middle Palisade glacier, camping on platforms chopped out of the snow next to the moraine below the route. The next morning, after climbing to the summit, I scrambled to the ridge pinnacle just north of the summit which had a fantastic view of the rest of the party on the summit and snapped a picture. Returning was a blast, with long sitting glissades down the soft, mildly sun cupped snow back to finger lake, which was largely covered with snow.
Started from the Glacier Lodge road. Tricky creek crossing with fast moving deep water. Really beautiful and enjoyable scrambling near the top. Round trip was a little over 10 and a half hours.
15th and final 14er. Camped at the small lake above Finger Lake. Had the whole Mountain all to myself. On the hike in I had my first sighting of the elusive "Sierra Chicken". Great day to be in the backcountry.
Went alone but met nice people on the way.
Got an early start and with little more than water just ascended. The traverse along Finger Lake was gorgeous, and starting the climb at Middle Pal glacier was simple. After 5 years drought and one good snow year, glacier seemed nice and firm, but stuck to the Red Bands for Summit Route instead of Secor's Standard Route to avoid deglaciated ice. Incredible 3rd class for 1500 feet, sustained effort, but not much really committing. Hopped all the way down and back to car. River crossing was high (to hips) and turned back a few backpackers. Should have taken more pictures, it is really stunning to be on the Palisade Crest.
Has anybody climbed Middle Palisade lately (May - June 2016)? What are the conditions on the glacier? How hard is it to find the ledge? It is almost impossible to find any recent information online. Thank you.
Day 1 backpacked to Brainerd Lake. Day 2 summit NE face via Red Rocks. Day 3 return to trailhead.
Detailed trip report and photos here: http://peakbagger.com/climber/Ascent.aspx?aid=564163
Three of us made it to the base of the chutes on the East Face. We camped at the small lake above Finger Lake at 11,200 ft. At 11,400 ft. we encountered knee deep snow. We made it to the base of the chutes at roughly 12,900 ft. Option 1 was to go onto the glacier and look for the diagonal entrance ridge, but the glacier had 3 or 4 ft. of snow on it and looked treacherous. Option 2 was to climb the class 4 rocks with rope and gear, but this was treacherous too. We came back down to base camp.
No route finding issues. Nice clear day.
Very fun climb.
Excellent scramble, so fun I nearly climbed it twice in the same afternoon. Buddy was feeling the altitude at the base of the route, so I went up the first time alone while he took a nap. Took a 4th class route up from the middle of the moraine, then stayed on the rib at the left side of the chute that leads directly to the summit. Descended via the red chute, which has a lot of loose stuff in it, but also plenty of solid stuff to grab and stand on. Once down, buddy boldly proclaimed he felt better and wanted to give it a go, so up we went. But he inevitably started feeling sick again about half way up, and about 300 feet from the summit decided he ought to turn around as it was getting to the point of possibly making the downclimbing dangerous. Couldn't leave him alone in that state so didn't go for the double.
w/Robert. Great fun climbing thru thick clouds/fog on the way up, which cleared for awesome summit views! Experimented with red rock chute on the way down- pretty loose and sharp. Wouldn't recommend for the ascent.
Solo hike. Trouble at 5:00AM when I couldn't find then trailhead. I had no idea South Fork and North Fork started on the same spot. I followed the direction along the Glacier Ledge, got to the creek, had to take shoes and socks off to cross it, when on the other side there was a beautiful bridge over. It took 45 minutes to find the trail (but I'll write a trip report about that.) Thanks go to summitpost's Cab and his topo map; I was able to get to the mountain all right without wasting time. Lucky me, at the top of the moraine there were 4 hikers who pointed me to the elusive ledge (they never got on it.) A few difficult moves and got past the ledge and on the mountain. Summited at 12:50PM. Dark heavy clouds made me be quick up there. Back at the car at 7:00PM. I consider this one most difficult day hike I've done so far due to the infinity field of boulders from Finger Lake to the base of the mountain.
We left Glacier Lodge at 4:20 a.m. We were looking for the "hidden ramp" described by Secor, but had trouble finding it because the glacier has retreated about 20' that spot, now requiring a class 4 to low class 5 climb up to the ledge in question. After that, route finding was a simple affair. I think we spent over an hour on the summit, the views and weather were so good. On the way down I managed to lose my glasses down the crack between the glacier and the mountain, so I had to hike out with my prescription sunglasses until it got dark, fortunately we were on trail by this time, so it was easy to follow it without my glasses.
The whole route has long since melted out, this drought year.
Climbed the Red Band to the main chute. Followed the groove diagonally up and to the right side of the main chute, then went up and left, staying left at the two branches on the way up. 30 feet below the summit, traverse on the east side of the summit towards the left to avoid the class 5 boulders of the direct route. In the main chute, the left side is more solid, but class 4-ish, and is a better route to avoid rockfall when other climbers are below. Summit register is bolted to a rock 5 feet below summit.
W/ Scott & Yukon Jack
Training hike up South pass, with over night on the ridge at about +13K to see how I would sleep, not good! Traversed over in the morning and down climbed the standard route to the glacier.
My virgin trip to Middle Palisade Glacier. Began route by jumping from snow to Class 4 pedestal. Hit summit 65 minutes later. Absolutely loved this climb - like a granite ladder!
Alpine start, good conditions, ascended via standard route. Wandered into some stout fourth on ascent up both chutes, route was obvious on descent, should have paid more attention, but the spice was enjoyed. Took a shortcut(probably added 1+ hr. to descent) through the tarn-finger division and around the SE side of finger (NW doesn't work). Car-to-car in a little under 12 taking it easy. Highly recommended!
The only way we found the start to Secor's chute was with GPS coordinates. River crossing was really low this year so we rock-hopped accross. Camped by a tarn 11,300 ft up with strong winds. All in all a great climb in a beautiful wilderness area.