Palisades from the West

The Palisades contain some of the most majestic and rugged terrain anywhere in the Sierra.

Overview

At the heart of this region is a ridgeline containing five peaks above 14,000’/4267m:  Mt. Sill (14,153’/4314m), Polemonium Peak (14,200’/4328m), North Palisade Peak (14,242’/ 4341’), Starlight (14,200’/4328m), and Thunderbolt Peak (14,002’/4268m).  During this 5-day trip we will attempt to climb all of them.  During the summer months, the standard routes from the west require rock climbing mostly at a 3rd class level with a few occasional 4th class moves.  On some of the routes we traverse the Palisade Crest between the peaks where the terrain requires scrambling, down climbing, and rock climbing with sometimes considerable exposure.  Team members are roped up on all terrain containing potential for a fall.  Starlight and Thunderbolt contain “summit blocks” with rock climbing difficulty ratings of 5.7 and 5.8, respectively.  The rock is high quality granite, the climbing is fun and exhilarating, and the views are considered by many to be the finest anywhere in the Sierra!

Elevation:
Polemonium Peak, elevation 14,080 feet
North Palisade Peak, elevation 14,242 feet, 4341m
Starlight Peak, elevation 14,200 feet
Thunderbolt Peak, elevation 14,003 feet, 4268m
Mt. Sill, elevation 14,162 feet, 4316m
Difficulty:
Length of Trip: 5 Days
Difficulty Rating: Class 3, Grades 5.7/5.8 at summits

Cost

$1,100 based on min 2 people
Private guiding also available

Dates

August 15-19, 2016
August 31-Sept 4, 2016
August 9-13, 2017

Itinerary

The group meets at SMI office in Bishop on the morning of the first day of the trip.  After some introductions and equipment checks we will divide group loads and finish packing our packs.  We drive to the South Lake parking lot and hike the Bishop Pass trail.   Our goal is to go over Bishop Pass and establish our camp at Palisade Basin.  Days 2-4 will be spent climbing the peaks.  The itinerary will vary depending on group preferences.  The final day is devoted to hiking back over Bishop Pass and descending to the parking lot.  We are usually back by mid afternoon.

Personal Equipment List

CLOTHING
LONG UNDERWEAR TOP AND BOTTOM
SWEATER OR SOFTSHELL JACKET
SYNTHETIC CLIMBING PANTS
WATERPROOF/BREATHABLE JACKET
WATERPROOF/BREATHABLE PANTS
GAITERS
WARM CAP
SYNTHETIC OR WOOL GLOVES
MOUNTAINEERING SOCKS
LINER SOCKS (OPTIONAL)
BASEBALL CAP 
GEAR
*PACK
*SLEEPING BAG- a compression stuff sack is highly recommended
*SLEEPING PAD
*APPROACH SHOES
*ROCK CLIMBING SHOES
*MOUNTAINEERING HELMET
*CLIMBING HARNESS
CARABINERS- two large pear shaped screw gate locking
WEBBING- one 5’ & one 10’ piece of 11/16”, or 1 double & 1 shoulder length sewn sling
*ADJUSTABLE TREKKING POLES- with the baskets attached
*HEADLAMP- with new batteries and spare bulb
DARK GLASSES- with side shields and UV rated
TWO OR THREE WATER BOTTLES
POCKET KNIFE
WRIST WATCH
SUNSCREEN AND LIP BALM- spf 15 minimum
TOILET PAPER and “SHE-WEE” (see notes for women only)
TOOTHBRUSH, PASTE, FLOSS
EATING UTENSILS- bowl, insulated cup, spoon
CAMERA
PERSONAL LUNCH FOOD

*Items with an asterisk are available for rental from SMI.