Trip Report
Middle Palisade 9/11/13
Wednesday September 18, 2013 3:38pm

I was kinda hoping for an epic...
The combination of a summer's worth of perfect High Sierra California sunshine and reading too many stories of mountaineering survival and exceptional suffering made me secretly hope for my own tale of misdaventure on California's most rugged mountain range.
The stage was set for such a tale. The weather forecast was sketchy at best, scattered thunderstorms with 50% chance of rain/snow, the glacier I was told was black ice and receding from the headwall, my partners although strong hikers had no real rock climbing experience. Ropes and gear were left behind.
Instead, we got another casual walk up to this beautiful 14,018 foot peak. No epics, no drama, no route mistakes. The few flurries that fell on us on the descent hardly made me feel like we were fighting for survival. Nope, just another 14,000 California summit in a t-shirt with my good friends Alex Johnson and Tim Galagher.

So, enjoy the pretty pictures and get out there yourself on this magnificent peak.


The first leg to the fjord like Finger Lake took us 2.5 hours
The first leg to the fjord like Finger Lake took us 2.5 hours
Credit: jlecorps

The long walk in.  Middle Palisade on the left and Norman Clyde Peak o...
The long walk in. Middle Palisade on the left and Norman Clyde Peak on the right
Credit: jlecorps

Steep slabs to the never ending talus field proved to be the slog part...
Steep slabs to the never ending talus field proved to be the slog part of the day.
Credit: jlecorps

Turns out, getting to the headwall was no issue, we followed the moat ...
Turns out, getting to the headwall was no issue, we followed the moat between the glacier and the rock, occasionally having to step on to the glacier itself.
Credit: jlecorps

Perhaps because of the glacier receding we found our climbing crux to ...
Perhaps because of the glacier receding we found our climbing crux to involve a quick 4th-5th class move about 15 feet above the glacier. Tim Galagher negotiating that crux with ease.
Credit: jlecorps

Tim halfway up the face cruising on clean rocks and ledges.
Tim halfway up the face cruising on clean rocks and ledges.
Credit: jlecorps

Tim halfway up eyeing the summit.
Tim halfway up eyeing the summit.
Credit: jlecorps

Typical 3rd class terrain on the headwall
Typical 3rd class terrain on the headwall
Credit: jlecorps

Seemed like the further left you went up the gully, the rock got steep...
Seemed like the further left you went up the gully, the rock got steeper and cleaner.
Credit: jlecorps

Alex up the headwall
Alex up the headwall
Credit: jlecorps

Alex choosing the steeper summit ridge to the peak
Alex choosing the steeper summit ridge to the peak
Credit: jlecorps

Final push to the summit.
Final push to the summit.
Credit: jlecorps

Middle Palisade 14,018 feet.  6 hours 15 minutes car to summit.
Middle Palisade 14,018 feet. 6 hours 15 minutes car to summit.
Credit: jlecorps

Got to enjoy the summit ridge for over an hour, looking at thunderstor...
Got to enjoy the summit ridge for over an hour, looking at thunderstorms over other parts of the Sierra and desert. The beautiful Palisade Ridge behind me with Norman Clyde Peak, Mt. Sill and North Palisade visible.
Credit: jlecorps
My summit post.  "There's nothing as sacred as partnership forged in r...
My summit post. "There's nothing as sacred as partnership forged in risk and uncertainty, failure and reward"--Mark Twight
While perhaps not as pertinent to this casual day, I found it relevant to the all the firefighters who perished 12 years ago this
Credit: jlecorps

Starring back at our route, no rush to get out of the mountains.   <br/>
1...
Starring back at our route, no rush to get out of the mountains.
11 hours 45 minutes car to car.
Credit: jlecorps



  Trip Report Views: 1,286
jlecorps
About the Author
Julien Lecorps is a climber from Bishop, CA.

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
10b4me

climber
  Sep 18, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
thanks for that. It's a fun climb that I did many years ago.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Sep 18, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
Wonderful pictures and enjoyable report. Thanks you much.

John
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Sep 18, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
What a great report. Super cool photos and a fast summit. I love the quote about "no hurry to get out of the mountains." Thanks for posting up.

Scott
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Sep 18, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
That looks like beautiful terrain and views, lackluster climbing - fair assessment? Never been there. (I love even lackluster climbing, for the record).
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Sep 18, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
I remember that gully being a bit too loose for my liking back in 2010. Great views though all around. Thank you for posting!
reach

Trad climber
Palo Alto, CA
  Sep 18, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
Great photos! What camera/post processing are you using?
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
  Sep 18, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Great photos. Looks incredibly fun and more solid than a lot of Sierra climbs.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 18, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
Nice, thank you!!!!!
bajaandy

climber
Escondido, CA
  Sep 18, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
Sweet TR. I just soloed this route in July. (But I carried a pack up to Finger Lake and got that killer little camp site right at the lake. Way cool!) Fun scramble. Thanks for posting!
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Sep 19, 2013 - 12:11am PT
Been dreaming about that route all summer, so thanks for the memories!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Sep 19, 2013 - 12:49am PT
Hey thanks, great TR! Looks like a fun day trip. Does anyone know how easily linked this is with Norman Clyde peak??
jlecorps

climber
Bishop, CA
Author's Reply  Sep 19, 2013 - 03:56pm PT



RYAND, The ridge traverse to Norman Clyde looked amazing but rather complicated. I noticed Alex Honnold's and Cedar Wright's summit post from earlier this summer and he called the Clyde-Middle Pal. traverse "Heinous" and "scary", but what does that guy know???
I also heard the descent from Clyde can be frustrating if you don't find the right rap rings.

Credit: jlecorps
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
  Sep 19, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
Great photos, that route is fun. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
jlecorps

climber
Bishop, CA
Author's Reply  Dec 11, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
More on the Clyde-Middle Pal. traverse. Love this video of Honnold and Wright. Funny how casual they go into Middle Pal., resulting in accidently climbing the wrong mountain and having to traverse back. Love it.

http://www.epictv.com/media/podcast/death-march-on-knife-edge-ridge-traverse-%7C-the-sufferfest-with-alex-honnold-and-cedar-wright-ep-4/263531
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Dec 11, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
Nope, just another 14,000 California summit in a t-shirt with my good friends Alex Johnson and Tim Galagher.

One of the best feelings :) glad you enjoyed it!
10b4me

climber
  Mar 12, 2014 - 03:44pm PT
bump
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go