V Notch Couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.09360°N / 118.5111°W
Additional Information Route Type: Ice Climbing
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: III, AI2 or WI3
Sign the Climber's Log


From the hiker parking lot near the end of the Glacier Lodge Road out of the town of Big Pine, hike west on the North Fork Big Pine Creek trail past First, Second and Third Lakes to the Sam Mack Meadow / Palisade Glacier trail ( about 7 3/4 miles ). Follow this trail across the creek at Sam Mack Meadows to the Palisade Glacier ( rough camp sites ). The V Notch can now be seen across the Palisade Glacier, to the left of the U Notch on North Palisade.

Route Description

Cross the Palisade Glacier and climb across the bershrund. Most years, unless you are climbing very early season in a heavy snow year, this will be the technical crux of the climb. Look for snow bridges and be prepared to climb several feet of near vertical neve or ice. The left side is usually easier. Once in the V Notch gully, cross to the right side. Rock belays are easily set up. About 900' of ice climbing takes one straight up the main couloir to the Sierra crest to the south of Polemonium Peak.
This is one of the classic climbs of the High Sierra!

Essential Gear

Ice tools, crampons, helmets, a light rock rack ( cams helpful ), rope, several ice screws. A couple of pitons are always nice insurance.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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