TR: Middle Palisade Aug 31- Sept 2, 2020

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CAMERONM
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TR: Middle Palisade Aug 31- Sept 2, 2020

Post by CAMERONM » Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:58 pm

This is a summary of a more complete report at https://www.trailnamebackstroke.com/middle-palisade
middle-palisade google overall.jpg
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I take a chance on the fire reports and make a run on Middle palisade. The route up involves a steep climb though scrubby but attractive terrain and then a drop into a rich relatively moist forest before reaching the lake. Margi completes the picture.
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The next morning I start my ascent and pass Finger Lake. Something about the light was perfect to create this shimmery picture.
middle-palisade-8244 lined.jpg
Navigation is straightforward. A long sweep around the valley, up a center moraine hump, then the red rocks on the right to join the main chute to the top. I read there is at least one ledge on the left one can take to access the main chute, but after 20 minutes of searching I give up and instead take the obvious red-rock alt route on the right side.
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The red rocks are actually the second most dodgy part of the climb. The chute is very steep and a bit loose, manageable when ascending and very unpleasant on the descent.
middle-palisade google side.jpg
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I think I reach the summit ridge but at the top I find that I am just north of a large summit block and must descend and move southwards laterally across an exposed face to go around and up to the block and to the summit. The lateral move takes time and there is one small ten-foot climb that is certainly Class 4.
middle-palisade-8276.jpg
It is rewarding to see places I know from the perspective of 14,000. feet. In this case, I first walked along the Palisade lakes when on the JMT (John Muir Trail). Years later I dropped down into them from the northwest when on the SHR (Sierra High Route).
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The last day the air is even more smoke-free.
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Last edited by maverick on Sat Dec 05, 2020 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wandering Daisy
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Re: TR: Middle Palisade Aug 31- Sept 2, 2020

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:44 am

I did the same climb years ago, also camping at Finger Lake, which was very beautiful. I liked the climb except for the loose rock. Unfortunately the route gets crowded so the loose rock becomes even more of a problem. We took a rope in case someone in our group needed it, but did not use it. I assume that the pink route "line" is a GPS track -very interesting, did you indulge in excess whiskey the night before :\ !

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CAMERONM
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Re: TR: Middle Palisade Aug 31- Sept 2, 2020

Post by CAMERONM » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:21 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:44 am
I did the same climb years ago, also camping at Finger Lake, which was very beautiful. I liked the climb except for the loose rock. Unfortunately the route gets crowded so the loose rock becomes even more of a problem. We took a rope in case someone in our group needed it, but did not use it. I assume that the pink route "line" is a GPS track -very interesting, did you indulge in excess whiskey the night before :\ !
Yes, I indulged in whiskey the night before, danced naked around the lake under the full moon, etc, but the GPS freaking out is another story..
I took a helmet but I was lucky to be there on a Tuesday with no people. The main chute is wide but it is still a prime-time bowling alley for sure. I actually think it has less loose rock than many other 14'r chutes, and that solidity is part of the problem. I think the golf-ball rocks will fly down fast.
Last edited by CAMERONM on Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: TR: Middle Palisade Aug 31- Sept 2, 2020

Post by Harlen » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:42 am

Congratulations CAMERONM on another 14'er. You are collecting them nicely. The photos from your trip are really fine, as are the several documentary shots from the air and ground. Isn't that third image a spectacular capture of light and mountains?! I know you have special knowledge of light from your work as an artist, but did you somehow make that happen, or just luck out?

I love that 2nd image of the hiker on the trail. The pine in the middle right is such a fine sculpture! I often think of what it would be like to have just one Sierra tree like that in our garden-- it would be so cherished, and sat under, and gazed at... but we pass by one after another of them in parts of the Sierra. I especially feel this way among the big Foxtail pines in the Kern, and around Cottonwood Lakes. Nice report of an exciting climb.

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CAMERONM
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Re: TR: Middle Palisade Aug 31- Sept 2, 2020

Post by CAMERONM » Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:22 pm

The third photo was complete luck and astonished me at the time, and also now. This was out of the camera with no alterations. I can only offer that it was taken with an iPhone 11 Pro, which is better in every way from the iPhone 8. It was early morning and probably the actual image should present darker; sometimes algorithms ramping up brightness on low exposure shots can increase saturation. The distant hills probably look more ethereal because of the lingering smoke. The reflections and overall beauty of the setting of course are key. So yes, I know what I am doing, but in this case it was the luck of the moment, American engineering and Chinese manufacture.

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