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Stop the Madness! Middle Pal, Moosie-style!

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Stop the Madness! Middle Pal, Moosie-style!

Postby MooseTracks » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:48 pm

I had the distinct honor and privelege (and I mean it!) of being invited to join Snow Nymph, Snow Dude, and their friend Devon for my first foray into the Palisades this past weekend. And after bugging him all week that he'd rather spend a few days on some great Class 3 instead of the long slog up White, Mike finally agreed to join us as well. :) Many thanks to Scott for picking up our walk-in permit in Mammoth so we could come along on this fantastic adventure!

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After driving up Saturday morning early and meeting Mike at the (where else??) High Sierra Cafe for b'fast, we cruised up to the Big Pine Creek TH to meet up with the rest of the group. We headed in around 10, and just took our time in the heat. We were surrounded by magnificent cloud formations (non-threatening) as we made our way up the switchers towards the Brainerd Lake cutoff. I couldn't believe the first views of the Palisades, glaciers, and carved canyons all around us. We camped at the tarn above Finger Lake, after taking a bit of a round-about route above the west side of FL. Some nive scrambling with our full packs! The Moosie-treat of the evening was crab-fritters! Yummo! :cool:

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We awoke early Sunday morning, but had a leisurely time getting ready and hit the ramp to the right of the lake around 8. It's a long slog up the talus from here, but not too bad if you just take it slow and steady. The glacier looked pretty sad, actually, and the melting runoff sounded like a roaring waterfall. Crevasses of all sizes split the ice everywhere, and we had to cut steps for the ascent. After planting our axes (so we thought, more later), Mike, Devon, and I crossed the pretty hairy snow bridge to the rock and started up. Somehow, g-d knows how, but we didn't go far enough across to the gendarme before heading up, and we ended up in the WAY wrong chute! (Mike will have GPS waypoints in his pics when he gets them up.) We ended up climbing to within 300ft of the summit, when Devon realized that the climbing was a little hairier than he had been anticipating, and we realized our mistake. We were approximetaly 300 vf from the summit at this point. We downclimbed back to around 13.2K, traversed through a chute that involved what Devon called "be like spider-man" climbing (uh, didn't I mention I'm new??? :eek: ) to pop out in the correct chute, just below Snowy and SnowDude!

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We were all on the summit by 2pm, and that last move onto the block was a doozie! I can't wait to see Snowy's pics of me swinging my big ol' leg up onto that ledge. Graceful? I don't think so! But with a giant grunt, I was up! Woohoo! #5 14er for the year, #7 if you count the 3x on MW. We celebrated in the normal fashion, except this time the mountain popped the cork for me! I had taken the cage off the cork and was walking around the block when it just exploded! That hasn't ever happened on any other 14er! I guess the mountain was demanding it's offering. So many thanks to Snow Nymph/Dude for help with hand/foot placements for that final move. I just have to stop thinking about it so much!

The downclimb was slow, uneventful, but completely safe. The glacier had hardened in the lower sections, so Mike commented on how crampons would be a necessary evil from here on out this year. He is truly my hero now, though, as he saved my ice axe!

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When we got back down to the glacier, I noticed my axe was gone and Mike's was sitting on the trail. After he climbed down and looked into the bergschrund, he saw where it had fallen, about 10ft down and actually landed pick-end into the snow with the tail end sticking out into the abyss. :shock: Quick thinking, he pulled out his athletic tape from his first aid kit and we fashioned a lasso, which he attached to his axe. He was able to loop around the end and slide up to the head, but then I had to go back across the snow bridge and start dropping rocks to knock it free! It finally broke out, and he raised my axe to safety! Again, my HERO! :D

We spent one more night at the tarn, then headed out Monday morning. We were at the Pizza Factory for early dinner, then actually uneventful traffic on the way home. I want to thank Snow Nymph again for including me on this adventure, and I look forward to more in the future with her, Snow Dude, and the rest of the gang! Great times, great people, great weather, and great environment!

-L :cool:
"Why do I climb? Quite simply because the mountains and I had to meet." - Colette Richard

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621



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Postby KathyW » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:21 pm

so, you've learned to do some class 3 with help - good for you!!! It's always nice when you don't have to bivy in the wilderness because the terrain gets too rough.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:48 pm

Moosie,

It was fun having you and Mike along. You've come a long way in a year, and it was a pleasure hiking with you. 1500' in 1/4 mile . . . cakewalk, eh? If I had long arms and legs, I might be able to keep up! :unibrow: And thanks for the crabcakes, what a treat! The Heed-Champagne was interesting too . . .

Here's day one of our trip photos:

Saturday, 1 September 2007
Day 1: Big Pine South Fork (7,900') to tarn above Finger Lake (11,196')


PHOTOS: http://snownymph.smugmug.com/gallery/3418597#191475043

Still working on Day 2. Moosie, where's the rest of your pix?
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby Trekker » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:30 am

Hey, I want more pics!!!!! :nod:

Beautiful area; makes me wish my climbing skills were better than they are. Maybe someday, particularly with Snowy's constant pestering........uh......gentle encouragement, I might try something like that! :eek:

Moosetracks, I have first-hand confirmation from Snowy of your culinary skills; looking forward to some samples at the Topix trip!

And by the way, you weren't a Sherpa in another life, were you? :D
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Postby MooseTracks » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:40 am

Oops, Snowy! Sorry about that. Try this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 860830788/

As well, the link to my flickr.com site is in my signature line.

-L :cool:
"Why do I climb? Quite simply because the mountains and I had to meet." - Colette Richard

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621
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Postby GigaMike » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:55 am

Great TR & pics MT!

I had a blast backpacking and climbing Middle Palisade with everyone. The Palisades is a beautiful area and it was nice to take a few days to enjoy it.

We'll have to do it again soon!

Pictures from Day 1:
TH to Camp

Pictures from Day 2:
Camp to Middle Palisade summit and back

Pictures from Day 3:
Camp back to TH
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:00 pm

Hey Mike, I 'borrowed' a few of your photos of me and SnowDude climbing. We don't have too many of those!

Sun/Mon, 2-3 Sept 2007
Day 2-3: Middle Palisade (14,012') from tarn above Finger Lake (11,196')

PHOTOS: http://snownymph.smugmug.com/gallery/3424326#191876464



I didn't get much sleep with the wind last night (and maybe a touch of altitude got me). I was slow but steady, and later had fun on the class 3 rock. With our recent move, we couldn't find SnowDude's axe, so we passed it back and forth to cut steps for a short section of glacier (the others took big steps so we had to make our own in between). After the glacier, Devon headed up the wrong chute with Moosie and GigaMike following. We couldn't see them ahead, so we were surprised when we saw them below us. We wondered why we couldn't see them ahead. Middle Palisade is our 10th fourteener.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby MooseTracks » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:37 am

If y'all have around 7-8 minutes, I found a new toy on my computer at work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEmqFvcvAks

I really need to be doing my paperwork. :eek:

-L :cool:
"Why do I climb? Quite simply because the mountains and I had to meet." - Colette Richard

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621
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Postby madeintahoe » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:54 pm

What a beautiful adventure!.. Congratulations to you all! :D I am in love with Finger Lake....very cool looking lake...it looks like a tropical oasis in the Sierra with that gorgeous Turquoise color.

Everyone's pictures are very beautiful..it was fun to look at all the albums.
I loved everyone's climbing shots you got of each other that shows the different sections you had to climb to get to the top of this gorgeous mountain.
You all look so happy..I think the Sierra can do that to one :nod:
Laura...I am still looking at your awesome video...but we are on dial up :eek: ..so it does the silly buffering thinghy so it takes a very long time
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:09 am

GREAT TRIP!
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