Though our original plan was to go up the U-Notch couloir to the chimney variation, my partner Mark (aka Pellucid Wombat) & I decided to reevaluate our options, after being told by everyone we asked that the conditions were awful. Having forgotten my helmet in Oakland, being brained by loose rock didn't sound like my idea of a fun climb. Having wanted to do that particular route for a long time, after some soul-searching & deliberation, we decided to do the necessary thing (as peak-baggers) & do a different route, changing our permit from N. Fork of Big Pine Creek to Bishop Pass.
Next morning we got a semi-alpine start of 5.55 from Bishop Pass, arriving at the W-side U-Notch chute at 8.45. After some mundane talus & scree slogging, we attained the U-Notch. Went up the chimney variation (a lot of fun- wish I wouldn't have clipped into the 2-pin belay, though- would've 3rd-classed it otherwise!). Scrambling from the top of the chimney was great fun, too. Summited at 13.50.
Great views from the top of this amazing peak, with perfect Sierra summer weather. After chillin' at the top, & soaking up the grandeur of that moment, started down at 14.38. Only bummer was we couldn't find the summit register! Nice to have a good partner with which to do this mountain. Great peak, fun climb (from the U-Notch, anyway), & beautiful day!
Made a one day approach to the moraine and summited the next day. It was a bit more challenging with leather boots, smc strap on crampons and a hickory shaft axe. I have repeated the peak twice since 79. It's a classic.
Scott Bailey and I climbed this great alpine route from out tent on Palisades Glacier in 1980. I came back in Feb/March of 1994 with Brian Johnson and climbed the same route. In August of 1996, Don Brosnahan and I climbed up the Swiss Arete of Sill and traversed the ridge to Thunderbolt Peak.
Second attempt. Intimidating mountain that is worth all the effort.
North Pal was peak #3 of the day for ScottyS and I, we started with Thunderbolt, went to Starlight, and then North Pal. This is a fun traverse, but if it's your first time, route finding is tedious. From North Pal, we continued on to Polemonium, and then Sill. The really fit guys continue on to Middle Pal, and sometimes even to Split Mountain.
Really enjoyed this route - the Catwalk, Chute, and summit scrambling were definately highlights of the trip. Planned to traverse to Starlight, got about 1/4 of the way across, and decided against it. With 3 people, we had only a 30m rope and minimal gear, and were moving too slow. Nonetheless it was a really fun climb!
Kind of a hairy traverse from Starlight. We stayed mainly within 60-80 feet of the ridge with several exposed Class 5 moves along the way. Reached the summit at 4:30 in time to rappel down the U notch.
Day 5 of the 2002 Mountaineers Challenge. From South Lake, climbed Southwest Chute #1 to Thunderbolt, traversed to Starlight - North Pal - Polemonium, down the Southwest Chute from the U-Notch, then back to South Lake. 14hrs CTC. Trip Report.
Traversed from Thunderbolt to Starlight to N.Pal to Polemonium to Sill with bearbnz. We freeclimbed most of the route, with three rappels and three belayed (probably unneccesary) pitches total. Heavy packs and little route knowledge (Secor's book only) made for slow time --- OK, maybe lack of fitness contributed! Left the car around 530, summited Thunderbolt around 1100, summited Sill at 2130. Waited for daylight to decend an east couloir of Sill and walk down to the S. Fork Trail. Got to the car at 1330 on Aug. 18 and drove home to get some sleep.
Ian and me traverse from Thunderbolt, to Starlight, to North Pal, to Polemonium and then Sill. Oh, we never touched a rope.
Jesus Malverde, Wally Longridge and I left camp near Sam Mack @ 4:30 am, topped out at 4pm and got back to camp at 3am. Perfect conditons, 'schrund was bridged with snow. We were moving pretty constantly, how come we were so dam slow?
Had a difficult time with route finding, especially near the summit. Wasted a couple of hours just trying to figure out if we were on route.
Got back to camp right before dark, and hiked out the next day. Had planned to do Starlight and Polemonium, but we ran out of time and food. Those mountains will be a goal for another summer.....
Started from Sam Mack Meadow at 7:35 for E. Face of
Thunderbolt, traverse the Palisades; T-bolt, Starlight,
N. Pal., and Mt. Sill and then headed back to the meadow.
Climbed this with mconnell. I thought the hardest climbing was the bypassing of the bergschrund on the right side. I wished I had my climbing shoes while I stood in the open book there, desperately looking to place a piece of pro before I slipped off.
We also attempted to descend the class 4 Clyde Variation back to the U-Notch. Eventually we had to admit we couldn't downclimb class 4 or we were off-route, so we ended up rappelling the last 20m down.
A full trip report if you care. :)
I started from Lake Elsinore in the South Fork of the Big Pine Creek area, headed up Mount Sill, traverse to Polemonium, North Palisade, and Starlight Peak.
I headed back the same way.
This was the third summit of my CA 14er speed climbing tour! Check out the trip report here.
One of my favorite peaks. A really nice climb.
Single day solo traverse of Thunderbolt, Starlight, North Palisade and Polemonium. Started at the parking lot at 5:30am....didn't get back until 9:30. Hauled a 30lb pack full of snow/ice gear all day. That sucked big time on the 5th class rock sections. The traverse from Starlight involves some tricky routefinding. If you rope up and place pro, the traverse will take forever. Better to free solo, but beware of loose rock!
Climbed North Palisade via the U-Notch+Chimney Variation on May 7th, 2001. Apparently we were the first to sign the summit log since October of 2000. The snow was firm in the U Notch, and skiers has kicked in steps all the way, making the ascent easy. The chimney above it is class 4 with some easy class 5 moves on the second pitch. The traverse of the arete to the summit was actually the tricky part because many ledges were covered in snow at that time of year (hard class 3 probably). A long and strenuous day, and a gorgeous climb....
Check http://www.stanford.edu/~wacziarg/climbing/NPalMay01.html for more.