An exciting climb, I found the chimney difficult due to the altitude. We made the mistake of bringing only one nine mm rope. The snow conditions in the U-Notch were perfect in early morning. By afternoon we encountered slush over hard ice, and rockfall. It took us forever to rappel the couloir with only one 165 foot rope.
Still, it was a great day. I'll never forget the view from the top!
Soloed U-Notch, then climbed the chimney. Added Starlight and Polemonium for a 3 peak day.
Great climb. One of the best 14ers in the Sierra. The summit puts up a good fight.
Climbed up from the notch separating Starlight and North Palisade. Part of a day hike from South Lake where we tagged Thunderbolt, Starlight and finished here. Climbed with my little bro Curt and Matthew Holliman.
Was planning on bagging Polemonium next, but got chased off by thunderstorms.
Fun snow climb. Snow is getting harder. Tagged the summit and the got pounded by a fierce snow storm all the way back down to camp by the terminal moraine.
Very fun climb, a challenge to surmount the bergschrund, then hard neve to the notch. The chimney pitches were fairly easy with a minimal rack. One of my favorite summits. Stayed too long and had some rockfall in the couloir coming down.
Great Climb! Getting across bergshrund was a bit tricky, but our semi-large group (6) was able to get up and back to camp by sunset.
Windy, cloudy and cold, cold on top.
I climbed North Palisade in June of 2000, along with guide Brendon Cusick of AAI, via U-Notch. We climbed Mount Sill the next day.
Did this with Sara Steck on a day off from our duties with the Palisade School of Mountaineering. Swinging that ole' Chouinard wooden piolet into the ice, and a wierd little Salewa ice hammer. A great route. Ice went all the way to the notch then, haven't seen it several years, but form pictures it looks like rock the last few yards. Pity of that's the case, it had a real kick in the pants finish!
By far the best part of our traverse from Thunderbolt to Polemonium. We stayed on the very edge of the ridge that featured some 5.7-5.8 moves. Free-solo.
Click for the trip report.
After an awesome night camped at the U Notch, watching the Perseid meteor shower, we headed up. Some nasty weather was moving in quickly so we took in the views and headed off toward Starlight. A terrific summit.
Cloudless sky, good snow bridge in about the middle of the 'schrund. From the top of the chimney we dropped off the ridge about 100' and traversed over then up to the summit. This was easier and less exposed than staying right on the ridge.
Fabulous day, from a bivvy near terminal moraine of Palisade Gl. I climbed the couloir direct - all the snow & ice I could find (did not move onto the rock as suggested in Secor, & Roper). Couloir was quite straightforward until near its top where there are 3 chockstones, which gave me body-length vertical ice steps - exciting when one is soloing (had 2 ice tools, & used 'em!). Once out of the couloir traversed up & left on steep ground until hitting the top corner of the N. Face snow field, then straight up to the summit (again, steep rock). On the traverse I discovered an old Chouinard oval with 2 pristine Chouinard nuts slung with perlon - sweet find for my alpine museum.
Downclimbed the U-Notch, which had a lot of exposed blue ice for that early in the season.
Perfect snow climb, sunny day!
Solo from Sam Mack Meadow up the U-Notch. On the descent, I went did Polemonium.
June 20th, 2010 - The last peak of a very long day as Steph and I made a good effort at a Palisade traverse. We descended the E Couloir of the U-Notch in the dark.
September 30, 2005 - Ascended via the U-Notch/West Chute with fresh snow in the chimney! Leading that pitch was cold and snowy as spindrift kept blowing up the E Couloir of the U-Notch. Our rope was too short to rappel, so we descended Clyde's Variation.
September 20th, 2003 - Excellent climb. While the approach was a pain, the climbing from the U-notch to the summit was very nice. While Dirk was more adventurous than me by jumping over a gap on the ridge to gain the summit, I found a nice hole to wriggle through to get there.
P.S. If I had to spend a night on the summit of a 14er, North Palisade would definitely be the peak of choice - there are a maze of cracks in the summit big enough to crawl through for shelter, and there are plenty of goodies (such as sweaters) left in them from previous climbers.
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!