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Middle Palisade
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Northeast Face T 

Northeast Face 

YDS: 3rd French: 1- Ewbanks: 1 UIAA: I ZA: 1 British: M 1a

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 1000'
Original:  YDS: 4th French: 1 Ewbanks: 2 UIAA: I ZA: 2 British: M 1b [details]
FA: Norman Clyde
Page Views: 5,120
Submitted By: Davi Rivas on Aug 3, 2010  with updates from Jeremy in Inyokern

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (33)
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Parker tackles the final step before the summit.

WHITNEY PORTAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION MORE INFO >>>

Description 

There are a variety of ways to access this route. The route I used starts from the moraine that splits the Middle Palisade glacier. Up and to your right is a somewhat horizontal band of red rock. Cross the 'schrund and follow the red band till you've climbed into a large gully. Careful, lots of loose rock on the band. Once in the gully, go straight up on great class 3/4 rock past the first gendarme (on your left)to a split in the gully. Keep to the left and continue climbing to the top of the gully and the summit ridge. About 100ft to your left is the true summit. Climb down the same way you came up.

See comments below for the correct and easier start.

Protection 

Ice axe, crampons and helmet.


Photos of Northeast Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: On approach to East Face Middle Palisade
On approach to East Face Middle Palisade
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle Palisade as viewed from North Fork of Big P...
Middle Palisade as viewed from North Fork of Big P...
Rock Climbing Photo: East face of Middle Palisade on left and Norman Cl...
BETA PHOTO: East face of Middle Palisade on left and Norman Cl...
Rock Climbing Photo: The way down...
The way down...
Rock Climbing Photo: 2015/07/27 Lauren contemplating the path ahead.
2015/07/27 Lauren contemplating the path ahead.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from about halfway. The East Face goe...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from about halfway. The East Face goe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lluis and Parker avoiding the snow on the way up t...
Lluis and Parker avoiding the snow on the way up t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Broad eastern face and routeline as seen from appr...
BETA PHOTO: Broad eastern face and routeline as seen from appr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the route as seen from the top of the mor...
BETA PHOTO: Start of the route as seen from the top of the mor...
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the medial moraine on the way up to th...
Approaching the medial moraine on the way up to th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stefan on the ledge system at the start of the rou...
Stefan on the ledge system at the start of the rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lauren heading up the red chute.
Lauren heading up the red chute.

Comments on Northeast Face Add Comment
Show which comments
By Sam Prentice
Aug 26, 2011

Secor calls the east face 3-4th class. That corresponds to two distinct gully-ledge systems referred in Porcella and Burns as the NE and E face routes. They are separated by a towering buttress on the lower flanks and join above it (see beta pic).

The NE face (described above) goes 4th class over a friable band of reddish semi-consolidated shite. I suspect many mistake this as the east face route. It's a big face and doubtless there are many paths but I wouldn't want to downclimb that one.

The true east face ("true" in the sense that it is solid 3rd class glory) starts at the high point of the glacier. From there traverse right <20m around the base of an obvious, very small tower, then look up. The route unfolds in front of you like a sky pilot. This "variation" is only 4th class if you meander away from the trough of the gully ledge system.
By Tavis Ricksecker
From: Bishop, ca
Jan 19, 2012

So-so rock quality, but fun scrambling up a very unlikely looking face. Plus amazing views and a great challenge on a historic route. Do it car to car in a day for mega leg-pump. :)
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: Big Bear Lake
Jun 4, 2012
rating: 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a

Where the medial moraine ends head up steeper snow aiming just left of the toe of the face; there's a large ledge which will lead you up and to the right and into the shallow starting gully (large cairn marks where to go up), a tricky step/traverse will get you into that, then, as stated you can follow that up to the main gully. When in the main gully, staying left for most of the way (probably Class 4) seems to help with staying out of the loose and unnerving terrain. Bouldery and exposed moves near the summit.

Descend the same way with great care, and I recommend a helmet.

Times:
4/5 hours from Finger Lake to the start of the climb.
2 hours for the climb
1-1/2 hours for the descent
2-1/2 hours back to Finger Lake

It was an 11 hour day for us.
By GDavis
Jul 17, 2013

Crux is dealing with the terribly loose rock strewn over the second half of the approach. Fun 3rd, cool hike in. 4:50 from car to summit.
By Seth Largo
From: Kearney, Nebraska
Aug 14, 2014

Be careful stepping across the moat to gain the ramp from the glacier. But if you do fall in, please look around for a red trekking pole, crawl out the glacier Joe Simpson-style, and contact me. Reward offered!
By William Wenzlau
Aug 7, 2015

The northeast face is not the east face.. Also, in low snow years, the glacier/ledges option can become quite exciting towards the later part of summer

The east face is 3 major chutes to the south of the northeast face and is 5.4. The info on this page is for the northeast face.
By Jeremy in Inyokern
From: Inyokern
Aug 10, 2015
rating: 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a

Did the East Face Sunday Aug 9, 2015. My first 14'er. The glacier has formed a large 'schrund about one meter from the rock face and has melted quite a bit, a cave complex has formed. My axe handle broke all the way through about half way to the start. It is currently not possible to reach the 3rd class start safely. Still goes at 4th though and it's only one move if you go straight up. Concur there are many harder than 3rd/4th moves on top if you don't look around and find the route and or are a bit lazy/inexperienced.
By peteracarey
From: Bakersfield, CA
Sep 14, 2015
rating: 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a

Day hiked the East Face on Sept. 12, 2015 from Glacier Lodge. After reading about the glacier access issues for the ledges, but really wanting to do the whole East Face, I decided to head straight up from the central moraine and got onto some dicey 5.6ish territory. Another guy I met went straight up, but hung left along an obvious seam near a small reddish band and found a couple chimneys he said were just fine.

The route itself is awesome, but like others said there is a lot of loose rock on all the ledges. I swung way left onto the south ridge after the gendarme to avoid any chance of knocking rocks down onto some guys coming up the NE Face and had a blast! Still class 3 with more solid rock and more exposure. For the same reason, I swung right once in the main chute and found some excellent, and solid, class 4 climbing!

On the descent I attempted to follow the cairns down the ledges to the glacier but ended up trying to downclimb too early on something that seemed fine, but ended up being dirty 5.7ish downclimbing onto the glacier. Puckered me up more than anything on the climb. I'd recommend descending the NE Face if you aren't up to attempting the glacier (which is in a poor state right now).

Car-to-car in 13 hours (including a couple hours waiting for/assisting some other climbers).

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