Climbed this excellent route with Andrew, Etsuko,Michael Graupe and Sam Mills. We camped at the small tarn above Finger Lake. Instead of following the talus slope to the base of the glacier, we went on through the fun Class 3 chimney. Finding the ledge above the glacier was much easier than anticipated. We used crampons and ice axes to cross the iced up snow in order to get to the ledge. It was probably doable w/o crampons but not desired. Once in the Secor chute, climbing is sustained and very pleasant. Michael and Sam went on to bag Norman Clyde that day, while Andrew, Etsuko and I decided to take it easy and enjoy the summit views for nearly 2 hours! I read through both of the summit registers, they go back to 1993. Found lots of entries from SPers and a couple of Peter Croft's from last week (he climbed it twice within 3 days:). Definitely an A+ mountain and route!
Miguel Forjan (aka George of the jungle) and myself climbed this mountain in one long day from Glacier Lodge. Fantastic class 3 climbing on good rock. Found the ramp leading up from the glacier to Secor's Chute by ascending aprox. 50 yards up and onto the glacier. Snow was soft enough so no crampons were needed. Down climbed from the summit as fast as possible with lightning and thunder all around us. Felt a little bit uneasy about the idea of becoming human lightning rods. Made it to the glacier before we got rained on. Took our time boulder hopping on slippery terrain all the way to Finger Lake. From there we picked up the pace and were back to cars by dusk.
Day hiked Middle Pal in 16 hours roundtrip with mdostby (Mike). Started from Glacier Lodge trailhead parking lot at 4:00am.
We decided to take Secor's chute. To get up to the chute from a distance I saw a small 20 foot dihedral and thought it was class 4. I was wrong. It was more like 5.2 and with exposure. I took a risk free soloing this; however, when I was in it I knew I couldn't downclimbing it and now had to commit to get up it. After clearing this, the rest of the climb was very fun class 3 and sustained all the way to the summit. Reached the summit at 1:10pm. We left the summit at 1:50pm after dark thunderstorm clouds quickly developed. Luckly we got rained on right by the ledge and glacier's 'schrund/moat---wouldn't want to downclimb the class 3 rock wet. Next crux was crossing the creek now in the evening with tons of water (this creek grew more than 1 foot in depth from when we crossed it in the morning 'til we crossed it again in the evening). Mike got wet as he crossed with his tennis shoes on. I bushwacked and monkey-climbed the willows/trees there and only got my left foot partially wet. We got back to the trailhead a few minutes past 8:00pm, and then drove to the Pizza Factory in Bishop to pig out. A long day, indeed.
On July 4-5 a group of 4 people (Taras Usyk, Max Gusev, Elena and Rinat Shagisultanov) climbed Middle Palisade via class 3 NE Face. We had a base camp at the high lake (Elev 11500 ft) above Finger Lake.
Started hiking along the moraine at 4:30 am on July 5, came to the upper section of the Middle Pal Glacier at 7 am. After careful reviewing we found out the starting ledge where you have to travel on the glacier for 20-25 min. It was not difficult, but one has to be careful going on the"sun cups" without ice axe. There is a moat at the rock base, but it is easy to cross before heading up the Secor's chute. The routefinding is easy, the route has a lot of loose rock that can be bypassed if you go on more technical rocks. We did it because we wanted to avoid throwing rocks on the groups below. The group reached the summit by 10:40 am and we were the first group on July 5. There were 2 groups of 6 people (total) below us.
The returing to the base camp was uneventful, except for the retrieval of a backpack that fell into the moat due to the plastic plate. So this became a kind of a glacier resque training with rope and hauling.
Returned to the base camp at 4 pm and hiked out by 9 pm to the trailhead. The creek crossing was a bit tricky, we completed it safely.
The temps during the daytime were ~70-80F, the nighttime temps were above the freezing.
As side notes: 1) WEAR A HELMET (nevermind how careful you are, you cannot count on the same thing with the people above you on the chute with loose rocks). 2) BRING ICE AXE to travel on the glacier (it is worth its weight) 3) BRING REPELLENT to keep the mosquitoes out. They were terrible until elev 12000 ft. All people who had a camp at Finger Lake suffered from the bugs. 4) BRING A SHORT ROPE/PRUSSIK and some pro for the summit ridge as it requires some class 3+ - class 4 move to the summit and somebody without experience may find it difficult to downclimb it on the way back. 5) There a several good spots for camping at 12000 ft before the terminal moraine with a lot of streaming water.
Great climb, roundtrip from the trailhead in 14 hours. Caution needed above the glacier: loose rock nearly took our heads off more than once.
Leaving camp at Brainerd Lake @ 5.40, Sebastien and I ditched our seeming ton of climbing gear when we got worried that we'd run out of time on the Ryan/Mendenhall route. Instead we did the bad-ass E-face route (class 3), summiting at 12.36. Leaving the summit @ 14.00, by the time we got back to camp, got our belongings packed up, left from there, and made it back to the trailhead, it was already 22.50. Long day... Check out my trip report.
Climbed w/bearbnz as part of our 2002 14'er tour. Fun 3rd class, but the approach seemed to drag on and on...
See photos from this hike and more at my homepage: http://www.unr.edu/homepage/strachan
Fun Class 3 climb up the chute. Beautiful setting.
Long dayhike from Glacier Lodge with plenty of boulder hopping. Ascended one of the coulairs and negotiated the final ridge traverse. Beautiful summit.
Dayhiked Middle Pal with ScottyS from Glacier Lodge up the South Fork of Big Pine Creek on our summer quest to climb all 15 CA 14ers. The 3rd class climbing on the lowest part of the buttress was actually 4th, so we may not have taken the easiest way. Some scum-of -the-earth took a dump about 10 feet below the summit, right on the access ramp, and wiped their a** with their luggage claim tag, and left it all for everyone else to walk over. What a low-life! This peak is fun, and very worthwhile.
Easy, pleasant climb.
Day 6 of the 2002 Mountaineers Challenge. 10:45hr CTC from Glacier Lodge. Ran into four germans near the bottom on the way down who weren't very good rock climbers, but knew how to maximize rockfall! Trip Report.
Wild Tom, Nancy, and I climbed this amazing peak in a one day blitz from Glacier Lodge. It made for a long day, but the climbing was fun and the view is fantastic!
Of all the CA 14ers, this is the most fun. Camping at Brainerd lake is wonderful, the talus is a slog, but the face itself is really fun 3rd class. We were the only people on the route, good thing too cause we didn't have helmets, and bozos above would be bad news on this route.
A real enjoyable climb & a fairly short approach hike, when compared to the N. Fork trail. We camped at Brainard Lake, which was the nicest camp I've stayed at while attempting any big peak in the Sierra.
Solo from the South Lake Trail-Head to the bottom of the face where I met Patrick. Ascended the East Face to the summit. Total ascent time 4:15 hrs. Descended the West Face to the PCT next to the Palisade Lakes. Followed PCT over Mather Pass,then cross-country to the West Face of Split Mt. Met up with fellow climber, Nancy, on summit of Split, then descended the North East Chute to the Red Lake Trail-head.
With Vladimir. We were planning to follow the "Northeast Face" route described here. When we reached the top of the moraine splitting the glacier we met a party who pointed to us a shorter route: starting from the southern half of the glacier, then follow the chute directly to the summit. This chute was to the left of the main chute outlined in the picture posted by snwburd. The band of rocks was reddish but were surrounded by whitish stuff, however, we bypassed it.
Then we changed route again when trying to climb up from the south half of the glacier. We saw a 30 feet long class 4 chimney up the cliff face marked with ducks. So we picked this one instead of the supposedly class 3 ramp further to the left. Above the crack it was mostly class 3 clean rock with good holds, sometimes with short class 4 sections. There was no loose rock whatsoever. This was my first 14er and first experience with class 4 climbing. A beautiful peak with a nice challenge, this was a very fun mountain.
This was the sixth peak of my CA 14er tour.
After descending the East Couloir of Mount Sill, I scrambled over to the Northeast Face of Middle Palisade. In order to avoid some snow at the base of the route, I headed straight up to the right of the real start of the route. After a hundred feet or so, I joined the real route and followed it to the summit. The textbook Class 3 climbing was a lot of fun.
On the descent, I was faced with the task of finding my way down the South Fork of Big Pine Creek. I had never been up this way before, and I didn't see any trails. The guidebook was useless (as usual) and the topo didn't reveal anything noteworthy. So, I headed directly down to Finger Lake.
I'll spare you the details, but it suffices to say that after a few hours of scrambling, bush whacking, going back uphill in order to avoid swimming in the lake, and crossing back and forth across a steep stream, I found the real trail. It was getting dark, so I took out my headlamp. It must have twisted on during the day because the batteries were completely dead. So, I stumbled down the trail to my car in the dark.