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Routes in Middle Palisade

Northeast Face T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Type: Trad, Alpine, 1000 ft
FA: Norman Clyde
Page Views: 6,769 total · 73/month
Shared By: Davi Rivas on Aug 2, 2010 with updates
Admins: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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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 .


Ice axe, crampons and helmet.
Forever Outside
Los Angeles, CA
Forever Outside   Los Angeles, CA
lots of work getting up, down and back. The red rock alternative start is the most common lately do to the gigantic bergschrund near the Secor chute. RR alt goes fine, lots of loose rock, but enough secure hand holds on the darker rock to get up and down. Very cool registry at the summit. Aug 20, 2017
Bakersfield, CA
peteracarey   Bakersfield, CA
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). Sep 14, 2015
Jeremy in Inyokern
Jeremy in Inyokern   Inyokern
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. Aug 10, 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. Aug 7, 2015
Seth Largo
Kearney, Nebraska
Seth Largo   Kearney, Nebraska
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! Aug 14, 2014
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. Jul 17, 2013
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Where the medial moraine ends head up steeper snow aiming just left of the toe of the face; there's a 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.

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. Jun 4, 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. :) Jan 19, 2012
Sam Prentice  
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. Aug 26, 2011

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