North Palisade Trip Report (#5870)
- Signed By: Chris Walton
- Date submitted: October 18, 1999
- Date(s) climbed: 9/8/99
Three of us made the summit via the U-notch on 9/8/99. Hiked into third lake late on 9/6/99. Continued up to the foot of Mt. Gayley on 9/7/99. There are several good bivi sites on the rocky ledges at the base of Mt. Gayley. Set out at 5 AM on 9/8/99 from camp. Gathered water melting off the glacier and crossed with no incident. The glacier was firm and sun-cupped. Tackled the 'schrud at 7:30. We did it near the right-hand edge (looking up the notch) and it was tricky, but short (probably WI2). We simul-climbed and soloed the reset of the couloir, which was nice styrofoam with sun-cupping. Topped out on the ice at 11:30 and lunched in the sun. We did have a bit of trouble finding the "chimney variation" Future parties should stay right after the rock penisula that divides the upper couloir. This shortens the ice climb (regrettably) but provides a direct route to the rock pitches. We sailed up the rock and onto the ridge and topped out at 3:30 pm. Some tips for the ridge: go right around the first gendarme and left around the second, best bet is to stay true to the quartz band near the peak of the ridge, which provides the easiest traverse. There is a rap station from the summit on the south side (away from the palisade glacier) that ends back at the quartz band for the return traverse. Two more rappels down the rock and a 300' scramble/downclimb of the upper section of the couloir brought us to the ice. Seven more full roper rappels to the glacier. There are literally dozens of anchors in the north wall of the couloir, and without care, one could rappel past the proper anchor and have to climb back up to it. After completing the final two rappels in the dark, we stumbled back to camp along the glacier, finishing about 10:30. Great Route! The rock could be done easily in mountain boots, although we brought rock shoes. Also, bring extra slings and rap rings. Final beta: Do the rock variation - it is classic, not hard, and well protected. Be careful of loose blocks at the top of the second pitch.