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Ascent of North Palisade on 2014-09-13

Climber: James Morehouse

Others in Party:Paul K Marianne S
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, September 13, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:North Palisade
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:14242 ft / 4340 m

Ascent Trip Report

A backpack into Dusy Basin. We camped above the lake, and then planned to ascend Thunderbolt Pass via the ramps and slabs above the lake. Starting at a little after five a.m., we hiked towards the pass. My partners headed higher than I did (and I think they encountered worse terrain than I did) until we met below the worst of the pass, huge blocky boulders. After the pass we headed across more boulder fields until the chute leading up. We climbed loose boulders until about 13,700' to the Moore's Ledges. After this, the route was exposed, class 4 to low Class 5 to the bowl. From here the usual route was in force. We only roped up for a short 5.3 pitch, and used handlines for a few spots on the descent. Somehow we bypassed the class 4 upclimb on the way down. Without going back there, I can't say for certain how this happened. I do know I stayed to the right of the chute once we left the bowl, and that there seemed to be more "reach arounds" on the way back (there are spots on the ledges where a rock rib will cross it, and it is necessary to climb over it to the other side. So maybe we didn't go out far enough on the ledges before heading up. I will say the rock was good the way we went up, and didn't cause us any difficulties. The only "mistake" was to follow my partners down the gulley from Thunderbolt Pass to the lake. It was the boulder field from hell. I knew this was a mistake, but I didn't want to leave my partners, thinking that once at the lake, I could convince them of the errors of their way. We were in the dark (no moon, nothing, black as a black steers tuchous on a moonless night) and it was both dangerous and tedious. At the lake I could finally convince them to follow me up to the slabs and benches above where the terrain was more tolerable. Once there, we made it back to camp. A long and tiresome day.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Descending North Palisade on the Moore Variation ledge system (2014-09-13). Photo by James Morehouse.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:Class 4
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Moore's Variation
Descent Statistics



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