Type: Trad, Alpine, Grade IV
FA: unknown
Page Views: 9,421 total · 75/month
Shared By: fossana on Jul 25, 2011
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker -, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen

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If you're looking for something to test your alpine endurance and route finding skills the Temple/Galey/Sill traverse is a worthy candidate. The traverse is ~1.8 miles in length, slightly longer than Thunderbolt to Sill with ~3 less approach miles. There are a number of options for summiting Temple Crag ranging from 5.7 to 5.10c (12-18 pitches). For the traverse Sill is traditionally climbed via the Swiss Arete (5.7, 6 pitches).

Venusian Blind Arete (5.7, 12 pitches)
Moon Goddess Arete (5.8, 14 pitches)
Sun Ribbon Arete (5.9/10a, 18 pitches)
Dark Star (10c, 16 pitches)

From the summit of Temple Crag work your way down the ridgeline of Galey. There are many ways to go, but if you want to save time stay off the ridgeline until the summit. We didn't encounter anything harder than 5.7. The rock on Galey is far chossier than Temple and Sill so pick your line carefully. The quality improves as you get closer to the summit.

From the summit of Galey scramble down the class 2-3 ridge to the saddle between Galey and Sill (Glacier Notch). Cross the L-shaped couloir to reach the base of the Swiss Arete.

Continue on to Thunderbolt (reverse of this route). The most direct descent back to the Palisade Glacier is Underhill Couloir (loose class 4) between Starlight and T-bolt. IMO this linkup is a great warm-up for Evolution.


APPROACH (7 miles)
From the Glacier Lodge trailhead in Big Pine take the N Fork of Big Pine Creek trail. There are 2 main places to cross the creek, the first at ~5.5 miles on the east side of Second Lake (between First and Second Lake). The second is at the outlet to Third Lake at ~6 miles. The former is more reliable when the water level is high. The places where you leave the main trail to access the creek crossings are well used by overnighters. After the creek crossing head (SW or S, respectively) cross-country to the base of Temple Crag.

DESCENT (~10 miles via Sam Mack)
From the summit of Mt Sill head down the Class 3 Ridge toward Polemonium. Descend the L-shaped Couloir then Glacier Notch to reach the Palisade Glacier. There are not obvious starts to these so pay attention. There are generally cairns marking both. From Galey Camp either descend straight down to Second/Third Lake (more direct and best with snow) or take the trail back to Sam Mack which joins up with the N Fork of Big Pine Creek trail.


See the individual route descriptions for gear requirements. Expect minimal to no fixed gear.