Awesome day. Went solo Came from SF and took about 12 hours. Because of the melted glacier and not really paying attention to the red rock route, to get up the cute I went about 70 to the left from the main approach and zig zagged up the class 4 ledge to get to the chute. Narly man I loved it. Trails closed till December 1st so just don’t get caught lol
Due to the condition of the glacier with the huge moat in place of the ramp (and not carrying suitable footwear/equipment for glacier travel anyways), we ascended the gendarme directly from the moraine to gain the left gully.
One approach note: as an experiment, my friend and I went separate ways for the descent from the glacier to Finger Lake, and we found the southern route that hugs the other side of finger lake (skier's right) to be far faster and more enjoyable than than traversing the boulder field skier's left between the outlet of Finger Lake and the terminus of the glacier. It definitely seems like it is easier on the knees/ankles to ascend that way as well.
The glacier is really dangerous to travel over to access the class 3 ramp. I attempted to gain the ramp from the top of the moraine and was post holing into deep holes/cracks while holding onto the rock face, so I retreated to the moraine and took the red rock route start instead with no issues.
After the sketchy start attempt the route was very straight forward and fun sustained climbing, be careful of loose rock.
My first Sierra 14er! The mosquitoes on the approach were horrendous, so I camped above Finger Lake to avoid them. I ended up joining Abby and Dalton on the climb and enjoyed every second of the route and their company. The rock was solid when it needed to be and the climbing interesting with easy route finding. The views from the summit has me dreaming of more adventures in the Palisades!
Camped at around 11,700ft on the ridge above Finger Lake. There are a few snowmelt streams that you'll cross up there on the way to the moraine. Right now, you need to cross snow to get from the moraine below Norman Clyde glacier to the ramp. There is also a brief snow crossing to reach red rocks that may require crampons and an axe if very early morning. It might be able to be bypassed on the lower side of red rocks, but there is exposure either way. There is a snow patch in the main chute that can be avoided on either side of the chute. The hike was fun and quite challenging, as the extended class 3/4 chute was littered with loose rocks and had a decent amount of exposure. Views from the top are incredible, which can be expected from a CA 14er!
Utiilized the red rock variation to gain entry to the main chute. Not bad at all. Weather was clear, near perfect, the summit was awesome!
Simple route finding as long as one doesn't wander into the right chute where it splits above the gendarme.
Day hike via south fork trail. Lots of mosquitos...
We tried to find an easy way up the ledges but it all seemed like 5th class. There was a long piece of webbing on the route that may have been used as a rap line since it didn’t have knots and made for a dicey hand line. Overall the red rock route looked more intimidating but was actually really solid once we wandered in. The rest was fun third class in perfect weather.
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.
Trouble at 5:00 AM 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 Lodge, 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.