Mount Sill

Mount Sill is the fifth highest mountain in California. It rises on the Palisade Crest, separated from North Palisade by a dip in the ridge. Though it is slightly smaller than its tall neighbor to the west, Mount Sill is the more prominent mountain, its slopes rising with impressive steepness to a relatively isolated summit. If there is one peak in the Sierra's that combines the alpine experience with plain and simple good climbing, this is it. Climbing partner Kim (and a much beloved and missed one at that)lead the climb up steep and perfect granite up the Swiss Arete route to the summit which, incidently is one of the best views in the Sierra. We had a few problems getting down in the heavy snow. Other than that, without a doubt, one of the best climbs in the range of light.

Elevation (feet): 14,153
Elevation (meters): 4,314
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Sierra Nevada
State: California
Latitude: 37.0944
Longitude: -118.502
Difficulty: Basic Snow/Ice Climb
Year first climbed: 1903
First successful climber(s): James Hutchinson, Joseph N. Le Conte, James Moffitt, Robert Pike
Nearest major airport: Oakland, California, Reno, Nevada
Convenient Center: Bishop, California

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 18 trip reports for Mount Sill.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21413 - by marius on Sep 03, 2008
    North Couloir, up & down. Camped at Sam Mack Meadow. Lucked out with weather (wind died down) and car vandalism (27 car windows smashed at overnight camping night before we arrived..). Glacier easily...
  • Log #7049 - by Peter Shepard on June 21, 2004
    Sill is a wonderful climb for the climber with modest experience. Some details: 6-hour approach mostly on a great trail. All-time worst mosquitos on approach through Lakes 1-3. Camped at base of Pal.
  • Log #7050 - by Brad Pennington on June 09, 2004
    This was my first 14'er and first real mountain experience that included significant climbing above 11k. It was great, some rain earlier in the weekend cleared out, I acclimatized very well(no...
  • Log #7051 - by PWeiss on Oct 03, 2003
    Great climb. Took longer than expected, though, so we had to find our way down in the dark and ended up sleeping at the Glacier Notch until dawn.
  • Log #7052 - by Joseph M Chartier on Feb 09, 2003
    It took a couple of days to acclimatize at 12,000 feet. we flew out of airport at practacaly sea level and a few hours later we were in a rent a car driving through yosemite to get to...
  • Log #7053 - by Santosh David Poonen on Aug 27, 2002
    Did the "Starr Route" (through Glacier Notch, L-shaped coulouir and the northwest ridge) with Bud Osterberg... my 5th Fourteener at that point. While the hike in from Glacier Lodge was...
  • Log #7054 - by Ron Salsig on Aug 06, 2002
    Very strange, life-changing experience. An old Indian got me out of there. Writing a book about it. most i've met who have attempted this peak have had similar experiences -- they don't talk about it...
  • Log #7055 - by an anonymous user on June 14, 2002
    With Alberto Alesina. See for a detailed trip report with photos.
  • Log #7056 - by Jonathan Regele on Mar 08, 2001
    North Couloir is a lot of fun. Recommend leaving for the summit before 6:00am, it gets very slushy pretty fast. My web page has more details and pictures.
  • Log #7057 - by Scott Parker on Dec 28, 2000
    take snow shoes or skis in the dead of winter. Post holing from lake one to lake three sucked. the lakes we frozen and it was COLD.
  • Log #7058 - by Russell Gale on July 05, 2000
    Camped at Mack meadow on the first night and then made the ascent up the North Couloir starting at 7am the next morning. There was plenty of ice/snow and crampons were useful. I was on the top at...
  • Log #7059 - by Jared & Will Sexty on May 25, 2000
    only on on the mountain that day. bad weather.
  • Log #7060 - by Brent Harder on Dec 08, 1999
    We took the standard snow chute route up from the Palisade Glacier. Very little technical climbing- maybe a short section of class 3 scrambling. Great view from the summit of the area. I've got...
  • Log #7061 - by Craig Peer on Nov 23, 1999
    Climbed the V - Notch coulior with Tim Winiarski and our novice ice climber Kevin. Dead verticle ice on the 'shrund for a good 30 - 40 feet. This was followed by water ice for six killer pitches....
  • Log #7062 - by Lenzenhuber on July 17, 1999
    For Memorial Day weekend. Climb from the South Fork of Big Pine Creek, there is usually almost nobody in that drainage. Rope for a couple pitches from the col between Sill and Apex. It's supposed to...
  • Log #7063 - by Nicholas Binion on May 28, 1999
    I climbed Sill at the age of fourteen with Larry Williams and a group of seven or eight boys from Explorers Caravan. We drew lots to see who got crampons and who got to climb the snowfield on the...
  • Log #7064 - by David L. Underwood on May 04, 1999
    By the U Notch from the Palisade Glacier.
  • Log #7065 - by Charles Foster on Jan 13, 1999
    The easiest line from the North is the North Couloir. Class IV in a spot or two with pretty remarkable exposure. It had snowed two days prior and I found an axe and crampons to be essential, both for...