North Palisade

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North Palisade

Post by tiesing » Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:57 pm

GENERAL OVERVIEW: North Palisade is the fourth highest mountain in California and the highest in the Palisades group and is considered by many to be THE classic High Sierra peak. This is a long energetic day's outing with lots of fun scrambling on pretty good rock and one memorable tip-toe traverse with terrific exposure.


LOCATION: Inyo National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park, John Muir Wilderness. HST Map

ELEVATION: 14,248'

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): North Palisade, Ca

APPROACH: From Bishop, drive to South Lake; hike over Bishop Pass and into Dusy Basin. Cross either Thunderbolt Pass or Knapsack Pass (both cross-country) into the Palisade Basin.

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The easiest route is pictured here, the LeConte Route, first ascent in 1903 by Joseph LeConte party. This route is on the west side of the mountain which is approached from South Lake via Bishop Pass then cross either Thunderbolt Pass or Knapsack Pass (both cross-country) into the Palisade Basin. Secor's book has an excellent description of the route which I won't duplicate here.

View of the west side of North Palisade. The red line shows the portion of the route visible from Palisade Basin.

View west along the exciting ledge traverse with a sheer dropoff beneath the climber's feet.

Snow on the ascent in August.

Obligatory summit photo. I took a length of static line to top belay my inexperienced partner, and it also came in handy (but not essential) for rappelling an icy bit on the descent. There are only two moves that Secor calls Class 4 and while a tad strenuous they weren't exposed. The thrilling exposed ledge is more likely to have the timid calling for a rope.

Note: I recommend wearing a helmet on all mountaineering routes. Do not follow the example of the helmet-less climbers in these photos.
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Tie Sing was the USGS cook for Sierra expeditions in the late 1800's. Read more about Tie.

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Re: North Palisade

Post by Harlen » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:16 am

Nice place to be!

*Are you also carrying a plunger on your back? Whatever for?

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