Trip Report
Full Palisade Traverse over 2.5 days in early June, PullHarder.org
Monday July 2, 2012 8:36pm
Gil Weiss, Ben Horne, and Brad Wilson completed the Full Palisade Traverse, from Bishop pass to Sorthfork Pass over 2.5 days in early June. Trip report and photos here:

pullharder.org/2012/07/02/full-palisade-traverse-casually/

Gil Weiss, Ben Horne, and Brad Wilson completed the Full Palisade Trav...
Gil Weiss, Ben Horne, and Brad Wilson completed the Full Palisade Traverse, from Bishop pass to Sorthfork Pass over 2.5 days in early June. Trip report and photos here:

pullharder.org/2012/07/02/full-palisade-traverse-casually/
Credit: Mountainroad


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Mountainroad
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ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
  Jul 2, 2012 - 08:48pm PT
good show, there
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
  Jul 2, 2012 - 09:05pm PT
"Just when you thought you were spraying hard, Sprayharder sprays harder."


But hey, I'm just jealous.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
  Jul 2, 2012 - 09:24pm PT
Nice!
travelin_light

climber
Boulder, Colorado
  Jul 3, 2012 - 12:47am PT

Huge! Really nice send guys!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Jul 3, 2012 - 04:12pm PT
Nice job on the mega scramble!

 I'm guessing poc knows you guys and is pulling your leg?
... 'Hope so: always a struggle to pull good content like this onto the forum and likewise even harder to keep it on the front page.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 3, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
Nice job guys, thanks for the great pics and write up!!!!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jul 3, 2012 - 05:43pm PT
except fer that Heil Hitler salute u guys do

Yeah that is pretty offensive. jk I don't think it is Heil Hitler sign...there are a few Russians in their club.

Great pictures. Incredible to do a full palisade traverse in 3 days going light pace. Alaska Range and Himalayas are waiting.
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Jul 3, 2012 - 05:59pm PT
Reference material:



Way to go big. I'm curious has anyone done a Temple to Thunderbolt traverse? Seems like that could be fun.

 Luke
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
  Jul 4, 2012 - 01:32pm PT
Pull Harder Pose - What could it be? Those bighorn sheep had better wa...
Pull Harder Pose - What could it be? Those bighorn sheep had better watch out!
Credit: http://pullharder.org/2012/07/02/full-palisade-traverse-casually/

But seriously, great report! Thanks for sharing.

I agree with your sentiments on the Palisade Crest. I attempted it S to N 2 years ago and bailed just past the second summit due to a lightning and hail storm, but that short section was great and it only looked better ahead. I'm hoping to go back this year to give it another go. Far better than Thunderbolt to Sill, IMO - a high altitude Matthes Crest!

I'm curious, but going S to N on the Palisade Crest had rappels, which you no doubt climbed up. I recall Secor or Moynier & Fiddler calling it 5.6-5.7 w/ rappels going S to N. Would you say it had a similar rating climbing N to S? Or something a bit harder?

Also, I recall parties going S to N claiming the crux of the Full Palisade Traverse was some 5.9R slab section just north of Norman Clyde Pk. Did you miss this part? Did it not really stand out? Or perhaps it was better climbing in your direction?
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
  Jul 4, 2012 - 09:01pm PT
WOW nice job. Great effort. Great TR. Thanks for the great pics.

Question, did you guys touch every high point, gendarm or summit on the way? Just wondering how many of the countless peaklets need to be climbed to get full credit.

Whatever your answer you guys rocked it. Congratulations.

Wes
Coach77

Gym climber
Sierra Nevada, CA
  Jul 5, 2012 - 10:21am PT
Good job up on the biggest rock climb in The High Sierra! I dig The Middle Earth section too and it should be a popular outing in it's own right. I heard that Drug Robinson errr I mean Doug had named all 12 of those spires after Tolkien characters so we actually put those registers up there with a Middle Earth name for each like Strider, Bilbo, Frodo and The Balrog etc.
I would have liked to have gotten the first single push - no bivy gear ascent of that big boy but ol' Mr. Reardon beat me to it....or did he?? I only found 1 pair of panties up there and no register sign-ins. And the panites I found right after Norman Clyde peak which is really the beginning of The traverse (if going South to North). 22 Hours is a very fast time for a guy in Levi's and a kiddy k-mart pack full of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vagisal, Porn and big girl Panties. Supposedly he strung this stuff all across the spine of The Palisades Crest. Why did I find only 1 pair of panites in the very begining? I also "worked the ridge in redpoint burns" over a couple of seasons so with extensive time up there why didn't I find all of his weird sh#t everywhere? Did you guys find any of The Reardon stuff? It doesn't really matter I guess, it will be one of those mountaineering drama/controversies like Mr. Maestri left us. Only The climber himself will know if he lied and if he did, he must feel like a chump.
Congrats up there you guys - that is actully not a casual climb - no matter how you do it!
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
  Jul 5, 2012 - 11:16am PT
We too were not able to find any of Reardon's 'kit' along the way. We chose to go from north to south, the opposite of Reardon. I would like to believe him, but the controversy is a bit much to take in and still give him the benefit of the doubt.

Aaron and I signed the first few registers, but then pretty much just skipped the rest. Reardon could have done this as well, but.....


-D
DaveT.

Big Wall climber
Mammoth Lakes
  Jul 5, 2012 - 11:18am PT
p.s.- I went back on the traverse from Bishop pass to Scimitar pass two years ago, and yet again, no panties, vagisil, or mutant turtles!
Misha

Trad climber
Woodside, CA
  Jul 5, 2012 - 11:26am PT
For what it is worth... I was camping at Third Lake with Michael Reardon (and Michael Ybarra) right before he completed his traverse. Mike Ybarra and I climbed Swiss Arete on Sill a couple of hours after Reardon and saw his traces there. It is a shame that both of these guys are gone now :(
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Jul 5, 2012 - 11:31am PT
Well you see, the Vagisil and Panties weren't left as tokens, but as emergency kit. Think Twight on the Rupal Face.



Some hapless party got stranded on Bilbo Baggins spire with a dry butthole and soiled undergraments, and here you are all saying those things never existed... SHAME on you. It is VERY likely they were involved in summit buttsex.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jul 5, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
So he claimed to throw litter all over the peaks while on his traverse? I know he is a bad-ass, and is dead now and all, but WTF? If I claimed to throw a bunch of garbage on some peak I climbed, I do not think there would be too many people out there giving me two thumbs up.
Impaler

Social climber
Oakland
  Jul 5, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
Michael Ybarra is gone???? Did this just happen? Damn, RIP bro! Climbed Rainier with him a few years ago - he was a solid dude.
JerryA

Mountain climber
Sacramento,CA
  Jul 5, 2012 - 02:20pm PT
Congratulations on your grand adventure and great report! I think that the peak name should remain Bivouac in honor of Dawson and Eichorn's first ascent on July 30,1930 and their mountaineering contributions .When John Fischer & I found their first ascent record in 1978 ,& saw it again in 1979 ,it had only been signed by Don Jensen since their ascent .It remains the only first ascent record I have ever seen still in place in 64 years of Sierra climbing & nobody has ever reported seeing it again .

Jerry Adams ,Sacramento,CA
10b4me

climber
  Jul 5, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
Way to go big. I'm curious has anyone done a Temple to Thunderbolt traverse?
yes, it's been done many times.
up Contact Pass, over the tops of Temple Crag, and Gayley, then down to Glacier Notch, up Swiss Arete, across to Polemonium, drop down to U-notch, up the chimney route to North Pal, across to Starlight, them T- bolt.
Coach77

Gym climber
Sierra Nevada, CA
  Jul 5, 2012 - 09:26pm PT
Croft went Dark Star to Bishop Pass!!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jul 5, 2012 - 09:36pm PT
Nice! Sierra traverses are the bomb.
Coach77

Gym climber
Sierra Nevada, CA
  Jul 6, 2012 - 05:41pm PT
Donini is The Bomb - I heard you crushed The Evolution - That's The BEST Sierra Traverse...PS - Did Yer Cobra Pillar route a few years back --- pretty rad! Why do you have to be calling it a Grade V though - seems like a full-on Grade VI. Some really stellar pitches and a few of the chossiest things I have ever rock climbed. Really enjoyed the adventure up on Barril - Thanks Jim!
zoom loco

Mountain climber
san diego ca
  Jul 8, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
Thanks everyone for your comments! Gil posted this TR on the taco but he linked my (Ben) original report on Pullharder so I'll try to answer the q's. (Sorry for the slow response, I've been in the hills and just saw this):

Pellucidwombat: as for the very good Palisade Crest, definitely get back on it! N to S we did not rappel at all on that section. I'm not sure of the difficulty, soloing I felt completely comfortable everywhere on that section and never had to focus much so I doubt it could be harder than 5.8 and probably more like 5.7 or easier, including all downclimbs. So I guess the rappel sections S to N are easier N to S because you are upclimbing. In particular I really liked the first climb from the pass N of PalCrest up the easy slab to Gandalf. I remembered thinking downclimbing that would not be fun, and I'd guess most people would want to rap it if going S to N.

As for the 5.9R slab S to N, I don't remember that, though we could presumably have rapped it as we went N to S. I do remember Norman Clyde having a good deal of difficult knife-edge on the ridge before it (N of it), and it being pretty time-consuming and actually kind of annoying. We made most of our raps on the entire route along this section between the end of PalCrest and the summit of Clyde. For us, the crux was two vertical 5.10 cracks right before Jepson, but I think they might not be requisite--maybe there was a way to get around them. You'd rappel these going S to N.

Westhegimp: you asked "did you guys touch every high point, gendarm or summit on the way?" The answer is no. In fact it would actually be impossible, any jagged ridge like this traverse has endless mini-towers. We hit every main summit for sure--everything I would ever call a "summit" and tons of less important ones, more unnamed peaks than named ones. We touched every high point on PalCrest, probably 20, of which 12 had registers. But on the traverse as a whole you do often climb to the side of the crest, and sometimes small spires don't make sense to climb. There are literally hundreds, maybe a thousand depending on what is a "high point". Sometimes one of us would climb it (some minor spire), and we'd all continue. Some traverses like Evolution are well defined as certain small number (9) of summits. Full Palisade mandates several more than are real summits, like unofficial 14ers Thunderbolt, Starlight, etc, as well as the Lord of the Rings Spires. We tried to find and sign the summit register on all peaks. On some (including Sill and many smaller non-peaks, presumably without names) we couldn't find one. "Full Credit" is probably as much as you think is logical to tag. But I'd for sure give "credit" for inadvertantly skipping some random peak (eg some Lord of the Ring spire like Reardon did). To answer your question heuristically, just try to hit everything that looks real, if it's not a main summit use your judgment. I'd say for the most part we tagged more than was even logical because we were paranoid of missing something important. When in doubt, we'd tag. To answer your question explicitly, I guess at minimum Agassiz, Winchell, the 5 14ers Tbolt to Sill, Jepson, the 12ish PalCrest spires, Clyde, MidPal. Those are the main peaks in the Palisades range (along the traverse). You'll hit a lot more than that for sure, just going the easiest way and staying close to the ridge.

Coach 77: no Reardon panties or other stuff found but even though PalCrest is seldom traveled, that was a while ago. As for weighing in further on Reardon, I think it's confirmed he went to Polemonium. He did claim to skip some of the Lord of the Rings Spires, which doesn't actually bother me, as the easiest route goes within a few feet of most of the spires' summits and tagging the summits proper doesn't add any real difficulty. The bigger issue to me is if he completed the last third of the traverse. His description of Thunderbolt is especially strange. Reardon soloed 5.14. The Thunderbolt moves are probably 5.8 and not bad to solo. There are about 3 moves, so why would he choose to jump to tag the summit? In any case, from where would he jump to do that--after he'd already pulled the hardest move. And how could he land and not break something? It makes no sense. Also his ratings of Winchell and Agassiz (both 3rd class? --not if staying anywhere remotely close to the ridge) after don't make sense to me. I am actually a big Reardon fan and supporter and I think he added a lot to the sport, and to SoCal, and I'm proud to have him represent us. I believe he did some of the things people doubt him on, such as Romantic Warrior. But I do not believe he finished the Full Pal traverse (once, or twice, as his site claims?). Maybe he convinced himself he did it because he thought he could.

The Pullharder pose, ya I think Nate invented that on the summit after some climb in the Alps like 10 years ago. Yes it is as variant of schwartzeneggar, who is claimed as a member of Pullharder (scroll to the bottom here: http://pullharder.org/who/);

Also I agree with Donini and Coach77: Sierra traverses are the bomb!... having done only several there are many more to go. Have to keep reminding ourselves to just be safe out there, on Sawtooth especially...
noriko nakagawa

Trad climber
the bubble, co
  Oct 17, 2012 - 02:11am PT
yes, it's been done many times.
up Contact Pass, over the tops of Temple Crag, and Gayley, then down to Glacier Notch, up Swiss Arete, across to Polemonium, drop down to U-notch, up the chimney route to North Pal, across to Starlight, them T- bolt.

Actually, if you're doing that link-up you're probably doing something more interesting than Contact Pass to get up Temple. I would highly recommend it as a warmup for Evolution or just a climb in itself. The only section with crappy rock is Galey.

Since I'm too lazy to write a TR here are
pics from this summer.

[edit]
I lied, here's a TR.

RIP Ben and Gil.

-Michelle
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