North Palisade


By: Dan Richter

Tom Randel, Leslie Hofnerr, Asher Waxman, Erik Siering and I met at the trail head to Sam Mack Meadow Friday morning determined to help Erik get his SPS emblem. We were pleased to see SCMAers Ellen Holden and Nancy Jensen who were going to climb Sill via the Swiss Arete. We took our time as we were carrying heavy packs laden with snow and rock gear, two ropes, and pro. We set up camp at Sam Mack Meadow early in the afternoon and relaxed and rested for the big day on Saturday.

We rose at 4:00 and were off by 5:30 Saturday morning. Conditions were very good and we crossed the bergschrund easily on solid snow bridges and were soon climbing the U Notch Couloir on crunchy snow. We had an early lunch at the U Notch and then Tom led us up The Open Book.

The climb over to the summit area was gorgeous. The sky was clear, just a bit of wind and not to cold. Some kids at camp had told about a 40 foot chimney that went right to the summit from the west side so we took a look at it. I climbed up about 25-30 feet of 4th class put in a piece and belayed Tom through a couple of 5th class moves to the top. Soon we were all on the summit congratulating Erik who had just earned his emblem.

We rapped the summit and then down The Open Book. Some of the party wanted a rap down the main body of the couloir so I set lines and we leisurely returned to camp getting down to the glacier at sunset and camp after dark. Thanks to Tom Randel from all of us for fine 5th class leads.

SPS Trip Report Index | Sierra Peaks Section