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Ascent to North Palisade-U Notch on 1948-07-18

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Ian Mackinlay
Murray Brush
Cricket Strong
Dick Strong
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, July 18, 1948
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:North Palisade - U Notch
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:13900 ft / 4236 m
    Remaining Elevation:342 ft / 104 m (13% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Five of us and two non-climbing buddies (David McCarthy and Guy Clum) backpacked yesterday up to a campsite at Sam Mack Meadow, starting at the North Fork Trail above Glacier Lodge and turning off about a mile beyond Third Lake. This morning we headed for the Palisade Glacier, the bergschrund, steeply up the snow/ice slope to the U Notch, and, for my four companions, the summit of North Palisade. I had awakened with a bad sinus headache, which got worse and slowed me down. In retrospect I should not have left camp. However, I tried to persevere and slowly made my way up to the U Notch, encouraged by the others. Feeling very poorly and with a raging headache, I had no choice but to stop and flake out in a sunny spot while the others completed the climb via the Chimney Variation. They rejoined me later in the afternoon to start down the U Notch to the glacier. It was very slow going as we roped carefully down the shaded slope. I felt no better, slowing everyone down considerably, and we didn't get back to camp until after dark.

I returned home with a serious sinus infection that kept me in bed for 10 days. As a result, I had to cancel my spot on Robin Hanson's ill-fated trip to the Bugaboos. My very good friend Bob Becker took my place. While climbing Bugaboo Spire with Ian Mackinlay, Cricket (Ann) Strong, and Rolf Pundt, Bob and Rolf were overtaken by a severe storm. Bob and Rolf were killed by lightening. Ian and Cricket, badly burned by lightening, were miraculously able to return to camp.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2350 ft / 716 m
    Route:U Notch
    Trailhead:Sam Mack Meadow  11550 ft / 3520 m
    Grade/Class:Class 4
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Good



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