REI Community
09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks

Select Area...
Boulder Alley 
Columbine Peak 
Isosceles Peak 
Middle Palisade 
Mt. Gayley 
Mt. Sill 
Mt. Winchell 
Norman Clyde Peak 
North Palisade 
Polemonium Peak 
Split Mountain 
Starlight Peak 
Temple Crag 
Thunderbolt Peak 
Two Eagle Peak 

09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,636'
Location: 37.12832, -118.42653 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 107,034
Administrators: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Justin Johnsen on May 22, 2015
Forecast:
Tonight

37°
Friday

50° | 30°
Saturday

57° | 35°
Sunday

66° | 39°
Monday

66° | 40°
Tuesday

68° | 39°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]

Description 

The Sierra Nevada's Palisades are loved by California mountaineers for their wild alpine character, and a jagged ridge line featuring a concentration of some of the highest summits in the state. Some of the largest remaining glaciers of the range hide in north facing cwms. This is an area where some early technical leaps forward took place in the history of California climbing. But looking out on it firsthand, you will feel ready to make some of your own!

Surprisingly the Palisades ridge runs east to west here, allow a small series of glaciers to form below the shaded north side of the ridge. They are remnants of the Little Ice Age and how much longer they will last is open to debate.

Getting There 

Eastern Approaches
For the Eastside approaches, Big Pine is the nearest town with services, and most trips start there. From highway 395 in the center of town, take West Crocker Avenue west. It soon curves and is renamed Glacier Lodge Road.

Follow it 10 miles to a large free trailhead parking area (Upper Sage Flats) on the right, there is a toilet here.

Middle Palisade and Norman Clyde Peak are accessible from Finger Lake or thereabouts, this area is reached by hiking the South Fork of Big Pine Creek Trail, although parking is at Upper Sage Flat, it's a good strategy to drive your packs down to the end of the road.

Temple Crag, Mount Sill, North Pal and its glacier are accessible from the North Fork of Big Pine Creek, which starts at the sign by the parking area toilet and crosses the brushy slope above the road up and around to the right and eventually the first falls, then onwards. A very popular trail, early reservations are recommended.

Western Approaches
For the western approaches Bishop is the nearest town with services. The Bishop Pass Trail is used to access Dusy and Palisade Basins, so you'll need to drive up to the South Lake Trailhead - this is a very popular trail so early reservations are recommended. Approaches from the west are extremely long and not used for climbing in this area.

Permits
These can be obtained here. Or you can wait in line the morning of the hike, something which I have only done twice in 30 years.

Climbing Season



Weather station 8.1 miles from here

47 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',20],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',25],['5.7',7],['5.8',3],['5.9',2],['5.10',7],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',2],['V2-3',1],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in 09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for 09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks:
South West Ridge (aka Yellow Brick Road)   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   Mt. Gayley
East Arete   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine   Mt. Winchell
Northeast Face   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine, 1000'   Middle Palisade
North Couloir   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad, Alpine   Mt. Sill
Southwest Chute   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   North Palisade
St Jeans Couloir   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b X     Trad, Alpine   Split Mountain
Southwest Chute 1   Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   Thunderbolt Peak
V-Notch Couloir   Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c WI3     Trad, Ice, Alpine, 12 pitches, 1200'   Polemonium Peak
U-Notch Couloir   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b WI2 M1 Mod. Snow     Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, Grade III   North Palisade
Austrian Arete   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 1500'   Thunderbolt Peak
Swiss Arete   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   Mt. Sill
Venusian Blind   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 13 pitches, 1500'   Temple Crag
Temple, Galey, Sill Traverse   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, Grade IV   Temple Crag
Twilight Pillar   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 12 pitches, 1500'   Norman Clyde Peak
Moon Goddess Arete   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 18 pitches, 2000'   Temple Crag
Thunderbolt to Sill Traverse   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 5280'   Thunderbolt Peak
Sun Ribbon Arete   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 22 pitches, 2000'   Temple Crag
Dark Star   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 16 pitches, 2000'   Temple Crag
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in 09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks

Featured Route For 09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo of the first (crux) pitch. Hopefully this he...

Dark Star 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b  California : High Sierra : ... : Temple Crag
One of Peter Croft's "Big Four Free Climbs" of the High Sierra (see Peter's book here).This is possibly the most direct line on Temple Crag, taking a plumb line from the lowest point of the face to the top. Either start from the nadir of the face and climb 400 feet of lower class 5, or walk up around the left side and traverse back right on a large ledge. Climb up to a small, right facing dihedral and climb it (crux). On the next pitch, work your way up and left to a crack be...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of 09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tourjee belays Ted Teegarden on the pinacle traver...
Tourjee belays Ted Teegarden on the pinacle traver...
Rock Climbing Photo: Alpenglow on the Palisades from the West.
Alpenglow on the Palisades from the West.
Rock Climbing Photo: .
.
Rock Climbing Photo: North Fork of Big Pine Approach
BETA PHOTO: North Fork of Big Pine Approach
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama - Middle Pal to Mt. Sill.  Oct 16, 2010
Panorama - Middle Pal to Mt. Sill. Oct 16, 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Rainy morning
Rainy morning
Rock Climbing Photo: Temple Crag from above the translucent Fourth Lake...
Temple Crag from above the translucent Fourth Lake...
Rock Climbing Photo: Spring camp below Sam Mack Meadow.
Spring camp below Sam Mack Meadow.
Rock Climbing Photo: The chute up to Thunderbolt
The chute up to Thunderbolt
Rock Climbing Photo: North Palisade from Mount Gayley - U-Notch Couloir...
BETA PHOTO: North Palisade from Mount Gayley - U-Notch Couloir...
Rock Climbing Photo: Boot up Underhill, climb over Starlight, and ski d...
BETA PHOTO: Boot up Underhill, climb over Starlight, and ski d...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rainy morning
Rainy morning
Rock Climbing Photo: View near beginning of North Fork of Big Pine Cree...
View near beginning of North Fork of Big Pine Cree...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset on our descent after the Palisade Traverse....
Sunset on our descent after the Palisade Traverse....
Rock Climbing Photo: Temple Crag, Mt Gayley and Mt Sill. Taken from nea...
Temple Crag, Mt Gayley and Mt Sill. Taken from nea...
Rock Climbing Photo: Middle Palisade and Norman Clyde Peak.
Middle Palisade and Norman Clyde Peak.
Rock Climbing Photo: High along the North Fork Trail - with the walls o...
High along the North Fork Trail - with the walls o...
Rock Climbing Photo: Log bridge to Sam Mack Meadow.
Log bridge to Sam Mack Meadow.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rainbow over the Palisades after a storm
Rainbow over the Palisades after a storm
Rock Climbing Photo: Early season water run at Sam Mack Meadow.
Early season water run at Sam Mack Meadow.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mount Winchell and Agassiz from Palisade Glacier.
Mount Winchell and Agassiz from Palisade Glacier.
Rock Climbing Photo: From Mount Sill to Mount Winchell, taken from Moun...
From Mount Sill to Mount Winchell, taken from Moun...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rainy morning
Rainy morning

Comments on 09 - Palisades and Surrounding Peaks Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About