Photo-essay from the Palisades


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Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 25, 2007 - 05:22pm PT
We spent a week in Dusy Basin on the western side of the Palisades in the High Sierra. The highlight of the trip was an ascent of West Arete on Mt. Winchell. That route was put up by Galen Rowell and Warren Harding back in the 70s. Despite its moderate guidebook rating of III, 5.8 we found it to be a committing and serious route. Our new rating based on our combined alpine Sierra experience is Grade III-IV, 5.9. I'd be curious to hear from others who climbed it. It seems that we were the first party to tackle it in the last three years. The weather was mostly impeccable but I was blessed with a few cloudy days. Hence, a few dramatic photos. Below are a few shots for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

(sorry if this takes some time to load!)

1. The mighty Palisades giants (Agassiz, Winchell, Thunderbolt, Starlight, North Palisade)

2. Mt. Doom (no, not really:)

3. Clearing storm over Giraud Peak

4. Isosceles Peak with the Palisades in the background

5. Mt. Agassiz and Mt. Winchell

6. One more clearing storm shot... this time over Isosceles and Columbine Peaks

7. Another predictably sunny evening in Dusy Basin

8. After a week in the backcountry, people start to get hungry... :)

9. On the West Arete of Mt. Winchell
This photo (c) by Pavel Kovar


Alaska once upon a time
Jul 25, 2007 - 05:31pm PT
Misha--Incredible landscape shots!!! Thanks for sharing them.

Jul 25, 2007 - 05:46pm PT
Your photos are Stunning!!

Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
Jul 25, 2007 - 05:48pm PT
wonderful photos

Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2007 - 05:53pm PT
I got about 1200 more from that trip :) just need to process some of the better ones. I will post them into this thread over the next few days.

Thanks for all your comments. This place is as close to heaven for me as they get.

Jul 25, 2007 - 06:37pm PT
pretty damn nice. a few words about your rig would be nice too

Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2007 - 06:54pm PT
 Canon 5D w/ Canon EF-S 17-40L lens
 Hoya ultra-thin circular polarizing filter
 An array of Singh-Ray Graduated Neutral Density filters w/ Cokin P-series filter holder
 One of the ultra-light Gitzo 6x carbon-fiber tripod models with Really Right Stuff ballhead
 Canon remote shutter release
 Two batteries
 Brunton SolarRoll solar panel for longer trips (to charge headlamps, camera batteries, etc.)
 2x SanDisk Extreme 4Gb CF cards
 HyperDrive HD80 portable hard drive
 One of the LowePro waist bags

I am probably missing something but this is the bulk. Not recommended for carrying on difficult climbs :)

Trad climber
Up the 'Creek w/out a Prada
Jul 25, 2007 - 07:42pm PT
Oh my God I've got to get the f--- out of this cube. Beautiful work.

Boulder climber
Alamo, CA
Jul 25, 2007 - 07:45pm PT
awesome pics!

ewww, get away from the 4gb cards..

1gb cards all the way.. 4gb is just too large and too much to loose on one card ;) i've actually broke my hand punching something because I lost all my pics on the card yah im a dumbass

Mountain climber
Dak side
Jul 25, 2007 - 07:51pm PT
awesome photos!
nick d

Trad climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 08:55pm PT
Very nice TR! Thanks so much for posting up. Looks like a lovely trip to take. How far in are you from the trailhead? What kind of loads were you guys carrying? Must have been HUGE with all that photo/camping/climbing gear! Top notch effort!


Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2007 - 08:55pm PT
1gb cards? heh, not when you shoot with Canon 5D :)
I run out of 4Gb capacity in a few hours. That's why I am also carrying a portable HDD.

Trad climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 09:02pm PT
Thanks Misha,
What a great place that is.
Beautiful pics.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jul 25, 2007 - 09:09pm PT
Thanks Misha!

The secret side of the Palisades, for sure. Really fine shots. I look forward to more pictures of your climb.



Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Jul 25, 2007 - 09:28pm PT
Way cool photos!

I was inspired to get out my Nikon Digital SLR That I do not work vey well and follow your footsteps in search of the photos....


Not only do I not know some of that is, I do not want to work that hard with the camera. (LOL)

Please post more photos.

Ice climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 09:44pm PT
.. drool, drool ... (ok, not at the ramen :)

Ice climber
canyon country,CA
Jul 25, 2007 - 09:46pm PT
As far as the CF cards go I've only had trouble with the type II cards(the micro drive ones). They are fragile compared to the type I cards.

Gym climber
Jul 25, 2007 - 10:20pm PT
Cool photos, but the colors look un-realistic.

Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2007 - 10:39pm PT
Thanks for all your comments!

nick d - This is about 6 miles and 2200 vertical feet away from the trailhead. Not bad of a hike at all.
Our packs on the approach were pretty heavy, especially with all that food for seven days. I think that mine was about 70lb, at least 20lb of which was climbing gear.

DR - it is a great honor to receive a note from you. I am glad that you enjoyed the photos. I will sort through the photos eventually and post more. Have you ever climbed any of the harder routes on the west side of the Palisades?

rwedgee - I agree that microdrives suck!

spongerbob - thanks for your opinion. there are definitely two camps when it concerns landscape photography and colors. Some people prefer more "natural" and toned down palettes while others prefer saturated. I belong to the 2nd camp. I started photographing largely because of the influence of Galen Rowell who is known for his saturated colors. I started shooting with Fuji Velvia as many other landscape photographers. Eventually, I graduated to digital SLRs and my recent goal was to get as close to Velvia with digital as I possibly can. I have to say that I am satisfied with my recent results. It is important to note that I do not tweak colors in post-processing; I get as much as I can out of the camera with filters. I prefer to keep post processing simple and limited to sharpening and contrast.
The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Tampa, FL
Jul 25, 2007 - 11:23pm PT
Got a website Misha? Fukkinfantastic shots! Love the noodle one...
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