Swiss Arête Climber's Log

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brackham - Oct 1, 2015 6:11 pm Date Climbed: Jul 6, 2015

Enlightening experience  Sucess!

What I learned: don't succumb to summit fever.

Lack of snow on the approach made for slow moving. Got to the start of the route at 10 am. Decided to go for it anyway.

The weather quickly built and the lightning bolts started flying when we were committed to the route. Spent as little time on the summit as possible, since the ice axe was buzzing, the rope was crackling, and hair was standing on end. Luckily, we made it a few hundred feet below the summit when the peak was hit.

Hail and sleet accompanied us the rest of the day, and made the descent pretty interesting. Crashed into camp about 10 pm that night, soaked and exhausted.

All in all, not really worth it. Should've turned around when we didn't get to the base of the arete until 10 am.


Darren9 - Sep 8, 2013 9:26 pm Date Climbed: Sep 5, 2013

A classic  Sucess!

Climbed with Vertigo Soul, as described in his post. The route is fun and protects well, with lots of exposure and great views. Glacier notch and all glaciated features in the Palisades are total ice and hard to travel safely this time of year.

Vertigo soul

Vertigo soul - Sep 7, 2013 7:32 pm Date Climbed: Sep 5, 2013

Classic route  Sucess!

Very fun climb, but not long enough (only 5 pitches). We stayed at Gayley camp so approach wasn't long. Also summited Gayley while waiting for weather to clear up on the Arete. Outside of getting off route on the descent - it was a great day!


mrchad9 - Sep 24, 2012 1:54 pm Date Climbed: Sep 8, 2012

Palisade Traverse Attempt  Sucess!

Nice climb with ElGreco as we attempted the Palisade Traverse from the south, but the traverse itself was ultimately aborted mid-way due to weather. Finished the Swiss Arete and nice outing on Sill though!


ElGreco - Sep 11, 2012 6:05 pm Date Climbed: Sep 8, 2012

Start of traverse  Sucess!

Our start to a Palisades traverse attempt, which we aborted due to weather (thunder, hail, whiteout the next morning) after bivying at the U-notch. Soloed the approach pitches to the arete proper (which felt like 3rd-4th class). From there, it was 5 more to the summit. The last two go very fast as the climbing is easy.

Solid rock with great holds and jams, and fun exposure! It's a classic for a reason. Protects extremely well. We had 7 cams (yellow Mastercam to blue Camalot and 8 nuts, which was more than enough. The nut placements are excellent. There is a stuck Friend right after the step-around that you can clip. You can even climb a couple of short offwidth sections to mix things up!

Where is the register??? The bolt hole is there, but the rest is gone. If someone took it maliciously, the mountains will punish you accordingly.


oliverkalt - Jul 7, 2012 11:12 am Date Climbed: Jul 3, 2012

From Third Lake  Sucess!

Short but amazingly nice climbing. The easy parts have still all amazingly good solid rock. What a joy to climb! This is a classic route for a reason, and it's not just because of the prominent summit.


Roymiller - Apr 6, 2012 11:12 pm

Swiss Arete  Sucess!

Really fun route. We stayed at 3rd lake for 10 days, had a great time.


fossana - Jul 25, 2011 6:20 pm Date Climbed: Jul 24, 2011

sra/galey/sill  Sucess!

traverse from temple (sun ribbon)/galey with Mike C

Vitaliy M.

Vitaliy M. - Jun 19, 2011 2:41 pm

great climb  Sucess!

cool climb with my friend Bryan in Sept 2010.


jspeigl - Aug 24, 2010 12:05 pm Date Climbed: Aug 22, 2010

Swiss Arete  Sucess!

A little windy and cold, but otherwise a great day in a great place.


Daria - Aug 15, 2010 10:38 pm Date Climbed: Jul 12, 2010

Dayhike   Sucess!

Day hike of Swiss Arete, long day but very fun route. Reached the summit at sunset, but had unique view of clouds swirling around the rest of the Palisades. Then we had to hike all the way back to the car for a one day push.


tonyo - Aug 9, 2010 10:06 am Date Climbed: Aug 7, 2010

Great Day  Sucess!

Awesome day climbing with a great partner in a beautiful setting. I got to lead the whole route. The climbing was comfortable, almost a cruise, really, the entire way, though I thought a few of the sections after the step around were more difficult than expected. Lots of rope drag- I've got to use runners more effectively! Very fun day.


rhyang - Jul 11, 2010 12:37 am Date Climbed: Jul 9, 2010

California gold :)  Sucess!

Climbed with Justin on a beautiful summer day. We did the standard start (I think) and belayed six pitches. I led p1, p3, p4 (crux) and p6.

A lot of easy climbing and scrambling, but gorgeous scenery and some great exposure. First time I have led anything with an ice axe & crampons strapped to my pack :) I think the route took us about 4.25 hours.

Spent the night at Gayley Camp (~12200') the night before (and after). The descent was a little devious to find, but a pretty easy downclimb -- there didn't seem like any need to rappel, though I can well imagine it if there's lots of snow & ice at other times of the year.


pratyush - Jun 21, 2010 12:05 am Date Climbed: Jun 19, 2010

Fun climb!  Sucess!

Climbed with Hamik Mukelyan, after climbing Winchell via East Arete the previous day.


Hyadventure - Jul 21, 2009 8:33 pm Date Climbed: Jul 4, 2009

Humm...  Sucess!

I lead 7 long pitches. P1:I reached the arête early via a nice 5.7 crack. P2 & P3: 4th and 5.easy exposed climbing on the arête. P4: The climbing goes vertical here. I started to the left of large belay ledge, quality 5.7 climbing to comfortable little belay. P5: Crux Pitch, I climbed up, then right to the “step around” which was protected by stuck nut. I barely noticed the exposed move. From there I climbed up a right facing corner until the climbing ahead of me appeared to be much harder then the 5.6/7 rating. I retreated back to the “step around” move and took a look at the other side of the arête. Looking up the south side of the arête in immediately recognized the, off route, 5.9 hand crack above me and I realized I had been on route before retreating. The crux hand crack was a bit of a grunt and is now protected by two stuck cams (one of them mine). P6: A few hard moves off the belay ledge and the rest of the pitch was 2nd and 3rd. P7: I moved left expecting more third class, but found the pitch harder.

Climbing as a threesome we didn’t reach the summit till 7:00 pm (about 12 hours from Galey Camp). Several problems on descent, I reached camp at 2:00 am. and the others wandered in later. It’s mostly 5.easy stuff, but I’d go with the classic 5.8 rating on this route because of the crux hand crack.


mdostby - Jul 13, 2009 11:28 pm Date Climbed: Jul 12, 2009

Fun Climb  Sucess!

What an awesome route. Thanks to Jon Meek for a great lead! It's easy to see why this one is an alpine classic. A lot of exposure, high altitude, awesome rock and some of the best views I've seen from any High Sierra peak. Combine all that with perfect weather and a great climbing partner, it was an awesome weekend!


jonmeek16 - Jul 13, 2009 7:42 pm Date Climbed: Jul 12, 2009

fun lead, great climb  Sucess!

lead the route, and it was awesome! climbed with Mike Ostby. great day, great weather and a great climb!!!


jmc - Sep 10, 2008 12:55 pm Date Climbed: Aug 30, 2008

5.5??  Sucess!

Wow, did a bomber hold fall off? The crux didn't feel like 5.5 to me. Maybe I went the hard way, I was in a hand crack and never saw a chimney. The rest of the route was very easy though. After summitting, it clouded up started booming, a little snow, hail, rain. Instead of Glacier Notch we went futher toward Gayle, worked down through some ledges and rapped off. That saved us lots of scree travel.

edit, no, a hold did not fall off. I missed the step around move and got into some harder stuff, doh!

kevin trieu

kevin trieu - Sep 9, 2008 1:10 am

need to lead it  Sucess!

fun route with pat, shirley, yannick. need to come back and lead it.


dpsiebert - Aug 4, 2008 2:47 am Date Climbed: Jun 21, 2008

Swiss Arete  Sucess!

Summer Solstice on Sill's Swiss Arete. Sweet!

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