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There are a variety of ways to access this route. The route I used starts from the moraine that splits the Middle Palisade glacier. Up and to your right is a somewhat horizontal band of red rock. Cross the 'schrund and follow the red band till you've climbed into a large gully. Careful, lots of loose rock on the band. Once in the gully, go straight up on great class 3/4 rock past the first gendarme (on your left)to a split in the gully. Keep to the left and continue climbing to the top of the gully and the summit ridge. About 100ft to your left is the true summit. Climb down the same way you came up.
See comments below for the correct and easier start.
Ice axe, crampons and helmet.
BETA PHOTO: East face of Middle Palisade on left and Norman Cl...
On approach to East Face Middle Palisade
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from about halfway. The East Face goe...
BETA PHOTO: Broad eastern face as seen from approach, showing ...
Approaching the medial moraine on the way up to th...
Stefan on the ledge system at the start of the rou...
Lluis and Parker avoiding the snow on the way up t...
The way down...
BETA PHOTO: Start of the route as seen from the top of the mor...
Middle Palisade as viewed from North Fork of Big P...
|By Sam Prentice|
Aug 26, 2011
Secor calls the east face 3-4th class. That corresponds to two distinct gully-ledge systems referred in Porcella and Burns as the NE and E face routes. They are separated by a towering buttress on the lower flanks and join above it (see beta pic).
The NE face (described above) goes 4th class over a friable band of reddish semi-consolidated shite. I suspect many mistake this as the east face route. It's a big face and doubtless there are many paths but I wouldn't want to downclimb that one.
The true east face ("true" in the sense that it is solid 3rd class glory) starts at the high point of the glacier. From there traverse right <20m around the base of an obvious, very small tower, then look up. The route unfolds in front of you like a sky pilot. This "variation" is only 4th class if you meander away from the trough of the gully ledge system.
|By Tavis Ricksecker|
From: Bishop, ca
Jan 19, 2012
So-so rock quality, but fun scrambling up a very unlikely looking face. Plus amazing views and a great challenge on a historic route. Do it car to car in a day for mega leg-pump. :)
|By Chris Owen|
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Jun 4, 2012
rating: 3rd 1- 1 I M 1a
Where the medial moraine ends head up steeper snow aiming just left of the toe of the face; there's a large ledge which will lead you up and to the right and into the shallow starting gully (large cairn marks where to go up), a tricky step/traverse will get you into that, then, as stated you can follow that up to the main gully. When in the main gully, staying left for most of the way (probably Class 4) seems to help with staying out of the loose and unnerving terrain. Bouldery and exposed moves near the summit.
Descend the same way with great care, and I recommend a helmet.
4/5 hours from Finger Lake to the start of the climb.
2 hours for the climb
1-1/2 hours for the descent
2-1/2 hours back to Finger Lake
It was an 11 hour day for us.
Jul 17, 2013
Crux is dealing with the terribly loose rock strewn over the second half of the approach. Fun 3rd, cool hike in. 4:50 from car to summit.