5.6 WI2 M1 Mod. Snow
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|Type: ||Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine, Grade III|
|Consensus: ||5.6 WI2 M1 [details]|
|FA: ||Norman Clyde - June 1928|
|Season: ||Snow - May to July, Ice -|
|Submitted By: ||Chris Owen on Mar 9, 2006|
BETA PHOTO: Note three climbers in the U-Notch Couloir.
A nice alpine route which is almost out of character for the High Sierra. Save time wherever possible. Also get an alpine start.
From Sam Mack Meadow climb the lefthand gully at the back of the meadow, bear right under the Palisade Glacier moraine, through another shallow gully just to its right (Thunderbolt Peak framed in the notch) and so gradually gain the crest of the moraine. Follow it until it peters out (wonderful views of North Pal) then head straight up to the start of the couloir. About 1 hour from Sam Mack Meadow.
Part 1 The Couloir
In early season it's soft or hard snow by late season it's blue ice.
The first obstacle is crossing the bergschrund, which can be easy in early season and seriously hard in late season. Once established above the couloir suck it up and start climbing. Keep to the right, sometimes a break can be taken in a moat which may be there, there are slings also, for late season ascents. Keep going until reaching a tongue of rock dividing the couloir, skirt left around this and head up into The Notch.
Part 2 The Open Chimney 5.6
To the right lies a steep step which is negotiated using a groove which turns into a chimney in 2 pitches. Towards the top of the 2nd pitch bear right, to exit The Notch just by the summit snowfield.
Part 3 The Ridge
Best soloed or simul-climbed. Cross rocks above the summit snowfield, then, before the First Pinnacle, cross over onto the south side of the ridge and scramble along to eventually reach a well-earned summit.
Descend the route.
Part 1 ice-axe, crampons. Part 2 small alpine rack. Slings if simul-climbing the ridge.
Fred Batliner above the summit snowfield, having j...
Fred on the other side of the summit ridge.
Approaching the summit.
Descending the couloir - look casual doesn't it?
U notch from the glacier approach
A view of the Palisade crest from Gayley Camp. Mt...
The view down the U Notch, N. Palisade, July, 2006...
Storm in the U Notch, circa 1987
|Comments on U-Notch Couloir
|By Chris Owen|
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Apr 4, 2009
As a variation - when reaching the bottom of the tongue of rock it's possible to climb up the rib formed by this tongue to the U-Notch itself. I did this once when I was soloing the route, had some rock shoes with me, cached my mountain boots at the start of the rib, and wore the rock shoes all the way to the summit. Worked out okay.
|By Wade Griffith|
Aug 12, 2010
U-Notch is a fun backcountry ski or snowboard adventure. I remember an old copy of Rock and Ice featuring Tom Burt boarding the U and V notch. Inspired me to do the same back in late 90's. Highly recommended and the jump across the bergschrund can be awesome!!