North Palisade

North Palisade Trip Report (#5858)

We started late on Monday (5/17/04) by driving up from the Palm Springs area and hiking only to 3rd lake to camp. Tuesday we packed up went past Sam Mack and set camp on the ridge overlooking the glacier. Wednesday morning (the 19th) we began moving toward the bergshrund at about 8:30am (a bit late). Luckily it was rather 'full' of snow and an easy walk across. The snowpack above here was harder than we hoped (but not terribly icy) but planting the ice axes and kicking steps was difficult and exhausting in places. Near the top of the couloir, there was some blue ice crossing the entire gully so we had to create a path over rock but it wasn't terribly difficult. We climbed the 2 pitches of the chimney route and soon were scrambling over the ridge for the summit. Some of the 'usual' path was blocked by ice so we created some alternatives which were more technical than usual but we made it! I took a picture of the benchmark and one of us on the summit but we could not find the summit register. We went back, rappelled back to the top of the notch and entertained the idea of climbing Polemonium. The idea did not entertain us however when we realized that a marmot ate ALL of the food-(snickers, protein bars, m&m's & cashews) we had stashed there and that we would have nothing until we got back to camp-that's one happy fat marmot. As it was more icy now and we were tired we rappelled 4 double rope (60m each) lengths out of the couloir and plodded back to camp on the ridge. Round trip it took about 11 hours. We hiked out from the glacier to the parking lot the next day (Thursday, 20th) which took about 4.5 hours with our breaks. Overall, we were lucky with the weather, the snowpack and the condition of the bergshrund. I can't believe we didn't see anyone else on the route. My husband had done this route before but I hadn't and I thought this was a challenging and worthwhile ascent and very rewarding to have accomplished it! - Cheryl Orr & Lance Orr

North Palisade Trip Report Index