Dayhike out of the Big Pine TH. I found the route-finding in the North Couloir much trickier than expected--so much for Bob's claim that I'd find it to be the easiest 4th class in the Sierra! It took considerable searching to find the easy way up, and I had a heck of a time trying to remember my exit point on the way back. The final portion up to the ridge looks like cliffs from above! I was starting to think I'd have to hang about and try to convince some other climber to let me use his rope and rappel... fortunately a key cairn and some more diligent route inspection saved me from embarrassment.
No views on Sill as the summit was socked in with clouds. A rather impressive lightning storm developed as I was heading up Gayley, so I bailed out down the drainage to Willow Lake without tagging that one. That was a mistake--I didn't find the use trail, and ended up doing way more talus hopping, bush whacking, and cursing than I'd have preferred.
Perfect day -- longer slog than expected. Outstanding view from the top.
Climbed this with Allan Bard, John Fischer, and a couple other folks from the Palisade School of Mountaineering as a diversion from the backbreaking labor of digging out our high camp equipment cache above the Palisade Glacier. We even had some politically incorrect fun trundling rocks down the east face. This route as definitely a classic. And the peak is awesome by any route. Highly recommended.
the last peak of one long day
august 2005... swiss arete with piotrek met on aconcagua... brought gear
Great climb. As of 8/23/2004, you can avoid all the snow in the "L" shape snow field by climbing around it on the left side. This involves easy class 3 scrambling and bypasses a lot of the scree in the gully.
I believe this route follows the approach to the Swiss Arete.
Also, you can avoid virtually all the snow and ice in the Palisade Glacier by sneaking around the left side.
ANOTHER SIERRAS EPIC ACCOMPLISHED!
By: Robert Vallera, Jochen Klinke and Jim Mason
Happy Birthday Jochen! (41)
Date: July 25-26, 2004
Route: Swiss Arete, III (5.7)
Equipment: 50 meter double rope, generous rack of TCUs and Cams, hexes #4-10, 1 set nuts, 1 pink tri-cam.
Summited at 8:00 PM after about 8 pitches. Fun climb, nice exposure, a classic, and for us - in more ways than one - an epic! Got back to our camp at the foot of the Palisade Glacier about 9:30 AM the morning of July 26th. (See trip report.)
Best view. I love the palisades.
As part of a ski tour around the Palisades.
Originally planned to skin as far as possible toward the saddle of Sill-Polemonium, but consensus veered us onto the more interesting class 3 talus and blocks SW of the summit. Needed to angle left more than we did lower down on the climb--we got on a rib that bought us to a false summit and forced us to rap down into a notch and continue traversing left. Either way, lots of fun and a great day for talus-hopping in telemark "rock slippers".
Climbed this with Sheldon Moomaw back in the day.
did a solo overnighter. camped in the palisade basin just below the
t-bolt pass. at the base of the climb, took the second chute (that culminates in a notch prominent even from the base). stayed along the ridge defining the left (on way up) of this chute. good solid rock for most part (class 2-3). climbing up the notch at the top (towards the summit) was a bit harder than the stuff before that, but not a lot more (and virtually no exposure).
looong approach from the south lake.
I hiked up from Elsinore Lake with some friends. We ascended up the couloir, then a scramble to the summit. I got tired of waiting for my friends at the summit, so I went did Polemonium, North Palisade, and Starlight. I new I would run out of sunlight if I went did Thunderbolt, so I headed back to Elsinore Lake.
In 1999, solo from Sam Mack up the North Couloir Route, then traverse to Polemonium.
Ooooh, the North Coulior! Visions from climbing in Norway and the North Cascades came to mind of rime covered rock, and blowing spindrift.
But in the Sierra, on a summer day, there is no such thing, just some nice patches of hard snow between sections of pretty solid rock. Eyed the Swiss Arete during the approach. Mmmm, looks tasty, guess I'll be coming back.
FINALLY did this route (after years of wanting to)!!! Great climb, with perfect rock, stimulating exposure, & fun & sustained climbing- to the top of a 14er! Mark was a great partner, too.
Due to starting late (got on the route @ 12.02), we also ended late (I topped out @ 19.11), but that allowed us to enjoy magnificent sunset views of the Palisades- how many people getta see that??!!
Tricky class 4 routefinding in the dark (we also only had 1 headlamp!), with sections of verglas & snow, made going back down quite 'interesting!' After getting to the notch between Sill & its subpeak, I thought it was easy from there- wrong! Class 2-3 N couloir was utter crap (sometimes it felt like half the gully was sliding down with each step!). At least we got to rap' past the bottom of the snowfield, w/o having to don crampons.
Unfortunately, we then couldn't find the notch leading to the variation we took to gain the plateau, & shivered & (somehow) slept until sunrise, when we found the 'easy' way back down to the glacier. Another Sierra epic!
Great climb. Took longer than expected, though, so we had to find our way down in the dark and ended up sleeping at the Glacier Notch until dawn.
We never encountered what seemed to be the 'reach around' move, but we did encouter a 5.8 (maybe 5.9?) crack on the left side of the ridge which was the crux of the climb for us.
A fun snow/ice climb up the Glacier Notch, L-shaped glacier, then some loose class 4 with some exposure to the top. Amazing views from the top, then traversed to Polemonium to scope it out for a future climb. Rapped off the ridge to avoid downclimbing the loose stuff to the saddle between Apex and Sill. Base camped in a large cave in the morraine on the way down to Mack Meadows. Nice.
Fun climb from Lower Palisade Lake via Cirque Pass.
The second day of the up and down Himalaya training camp. The route was fun and I think Sill has the best views in the Sierra. The current rating of 5.8 seems very generous, more like 5.7.
On my third try I finally made it up the Southwest Slope. Fun, but a looooong approach.
I climbed this route with Kenn Kenega after humping our full packs over Contact Pass, due to the threat of ice on the normal approach. Don't go this way.
The route was great, good rock, lots of ways to go. We probaly did parts of both of the "Dead Larry" routes.
Penelope May and I climbed Swiss Arete from our camp on the Gayley moraine in july of 2001. This was one of the most delightful trips I have ever done in the Sierra. My partner was a huge part of it. We had the most beautiful time up there. The descent via North Glacier was very difficult with aluminum crampons and ice axes as two years of drought brought very early ice to Palisades. There was hard alpine ice in the gully and we had to be very careful. But the climb was really great. I will never forget this trip.