It was 3:30pm.My brother didn't like the looks of the steep snow in the chute that went straight down chute #1 from the peak to the foot of Polemonium Glacier - he wanted to go back to chute # 4. Mount Sill is the second-highest peak in the Palisade Range (North Palisade is 89 feet higher). by CBoldt1010 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:14 am, Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests. He said the snow was rock hard on the way up and he barely had any use for his ice axe, but that on the way back it started to soften up suggesting that it was possible and the conditions were likely getting better. We traversed left (E) to some flat benches (nice little tent sites) near a stream at 150'-200' higher than lake 3559 m (AKA Lake 11672') , and started to set up camp at about 11:30 am. This distinctive thumb-shaped peak (when viewed from the north and east) is one of the most visible of Sierra landmarks. It didn't look so good because it was narrower and got very steep half way up. Required four rope lengths to reach  the Notch at 13,100’. We parted ways and my pace immediately quickened. Sill as planned.  So, all’s well that ends well - without any doubt in this case.  Spent a lazy morning in the sun, recovering from the ordeal and then headed out to the trailhead to spend the night sleeping in the vehicle, eating plenty and sinking a few warm beers.  The verdict:  Scimitar Pass is a feasible quick access to the southwestern side of the Palisade range, but it’s not an easy route, particularly loaded with overnight packs. Its 14,153 foot peak soars over Big Pines Lakes and the the Palisade Glacier to the north east while all of Kings Canyon can be seen to the west. I avoided injury by clinging to the wall of the chute and descending very slowy, and still ended up falling into the beeergschrund - fortunately it was only 4 feet deep instead of 20' deep straight down from where I was sliding earlier. 6. While such a judgment is certainly subjective, it is indicative of the reward awaiting those who reach its summit. Mt. The GPX file provided includes several routes in which snow, ice axe & crampons are required. GAYLEY, Mark N’ Dirk’s Bivouac Trilogy - Part 2: Mt Sill, “Mount Morgenson” (0.5 mi W of Mt. (13), Our Palisade Traverse: Long Day's Journey into Night, Palisade Traverse: An Unofficial SP Rendezvous, Day Hike of Mt Sill via Bishop/Knapsack/Potluck Passes, NORTH COULOIR TO MT. Back at camp, David and Victor were packing. With Lucy, we began at the trailhead for Big Pine Creek North Fork.  Warm weather and in shorts, but carried snowshoes for snow expected as low as 9,000’, near Lon Chaney’s cabin.  At suggestion of fellow hiker we took a shortcut on the trail to Black Lake.  Much of the trail completely clear of snow until reaching 10,400’ where we set up camp. We left our packs near the trail and started looking for a good place to make camp. Parent: Mount Sill. After walking a bit further I noticed a hiker coming toward us and yelled, "Guys! Be prepared for difficult conditions and to assess avalanche potential if you head up in the winter. Campground fees are a bit steep (except for First Falls walk-in, which is free). Re: Mount Sill - Access South Slope from Palisade Glacier? We meant to go to Mount Sill in the CA Sierra, but came across some unusual conditions. We went back to camp almost the same way we came up. With each clearing in the trees came a hypnotizing view of my surroundings. A Ten Year Effort to Climb Mount Sill On October 19, 2002, I finally stood on the summit of Mount Sill at an elevation of 14,153 feet; a moment I'd anticipated and strived for since 1992. Although we didn’t bag any summits, we sure gave it our best and as a climbing experience - we did it all.  The heavy snowfall last winter made relatively easy routes in the Sierras very difficult for this time of year. An altrenate trail from the backpackers parking follows a sunny slope and joins the trail above First Falls. Before Europeans came along it was known to the local Paiute, who worship it in their ceremonies, as Nee-ma-mee-shee (Guardian of the Valley).Mount Sill is the second-highest peak in the Palisade Range (North Palisade is 89 feet higher). We eventually settled on one because of its proximity to a snowy mound that we could use to keep our beer cold. (209), Comments You can expect to spend about 5-6 hours to ascend and descend this climb. This was not going well. For once, the first river crossing was safe because of low water levels and I made it to the first basin at Willow Lake in good time.  From there I followed the route up the left side of the stream that descends from the cirque between Gayley and Temple Crag.  At the first meadow I made a 90 degree left turn and headed up the stream that begins below Norman Clyde Peak and then over the top to Lake Elinore; unfortunately missing the small pond that sits 500’ above Elinore to the south and on the route I’d be using the next day.  So I spent the first night camped on the shores of Elinore, near where Lucy and I’d been in September, 1998.  No one about, and in fact I didn’t see another human until returning to the trailhead four days later.Â, Next morning I took the route from Lake Elinore up to Scimitar Pass.  I’d studied this Pass on numerous occasions: from the ground and in the books and maps, trying to figure it’s true difficulty and possible traps for a solo traveler.  As I discovered, the exposure is not extreme although the terrain is steep and difficult to negotiate, in particular a steep loose slope about halfway along the scimitar shaped ridge.  The slope closest to the ridge wall has been washed by melt from the permanent snowfield above.  Not only is this slope devoid of solid foot holds, but also is a loaded gun for rock fall - very big rocks!  Earlier in the season it’s probably covered in snow and easily negotiable with ax and crampons but at this time of year the only safe path is to swing wide to the south, accepting the steep rock hopping which is so much part of this Pass crossing.Â. My brother and I left the camp described in "Approach" abovefor Sill about noon. My campsite selection not the best - too close to the lake, but it’s sheltered from what wind there is.  The weather is excellent with clear skies and mild temperatures.Â. We were able to snag a few last minute backpacking permits for Big Pine Lakes North Fork, where we knew that trekking in just six miles would allow us to assess conditions for climbing either Sill, Cloudripper, or Temple Crag the following day. It is easily seen from the town of Big Pine, the Sherwin grade north of Bishop, and the White and Inyo Mountains. Climbing it twice my routes required at least one short class 3-4 pitch (10 feet) and a few minor class 3 spots. Go up Glacier Creek to a cirque, then up a steep talus slope to the left to the foot of the small glacier southeast of North Palisade. Calmly falling snowflakes filtered the view of Third lake and the forested slope above while I could hear the muffled sound of rushing water underneath the ice. Indeed, R.J. Secor opines that, "Mount Sill has the best summit view of any peak in the Sierra." Just fifty feet from the notch was a slew of large boulders to my left and after a 500 foot ascent of pure ice in new mountaineering boots, my feet welcomed the opportunity for a good rock scramble. Sill has an elevation of 14,153 ft. Keep in mind that this forecast is for 13,228 ft) Peakbagger Pages Mt. From left to right they are: 1. Viewed from below, an easier route becomes obvious, a sloping ledge which leads out to the south side of the bluff. Glacier Notch is a short loose gully. Boy, that south slope route looked awful, and class 2 only if you are about 10 feet tall or magically wind around all the big boulders. This is even steeper. The other option to crossing Scimitar Pass in order to reach this location is a 20 mile hike from South Lake and Bishop Pass. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. For example, the Sill North Couloir page by Ricardo Soria There are at least 10 established routes on the peak, ranging in difficulty from class 2/3 to 5.10. He asked us if we had any medical experience and we shook our heads. Mount Sill is located just east of North Palisade. Polemonium Glacier terminates in this basin. 2204 miles away. The trailhead is located at Glacier Lodge (7,600 ft). It was perfect. Bivouac.com Mountain Page Home Help Index Login. A medium sized gully further right that doesn't look as good as gully # 3 at the lower altitudes. I told them about my adventure and they congratulated me with the last remaining beer David had packed. The climb was steep, but within my comfort range for the 1st 2/3 of the climb. Hiked South Lake to Palisade basin in a day, via Bishop Pass and cross country through Knapsack Pass. The traverse between the Apex saddle and the rib was mostly dirt, but I could imagine it being more intimidating with bullet-hard consolidated snow. We took one of the chutes with reddish-brown rocks directly above the morraine below the glacier. Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. the standard route on Norman Clyde. However, I never tried ascending from the bottom of Polemonium Glacier to the saddle and up the west ridge between Polemonium Peak and Sill, which is recommended as class 2-3 in a couple of books. Thank you very much for the quick reply and all the info! This video is unavailable. A topo sketching out a few more options is here.1) Hike the North Fork of Big Pine Creek, camp just below the Palisade Glacier. This route requires approach from Bishop Pass trail, then traversing cross-country across Dusy Basin and Palisade Basin. Glacier Notch - which separates Mount Gayley from Mount Sill - may be a bit harder to reach from this side because it involves crossing a bergschrund and some class 3 rock below the notch. FA 1933 by Lewis Clark, Ted Waller, Julie Mortimer, and Jack Reigelhuth. It was easy enough to go left (SE) and find a route into gully #1 after checking it out from above. The top of it may not be visible, but this gully heads up to a notch in the ridge at ~ 13740'.We headed up the gully #3. pics by Harlan W. S. July 1-3, 2009 . We went right up the stream N to a little valley, then NNE over boulders to a steep snow bank at the end of this valley (probably due W of Mt. Watch Queue Queue North Fork Trail leads up to Sam Mack Meadow, passing First, Second, and Third Lake. Ascending and descending "chute # 1" would have avoided the class 3-4 pitch. Jefferson) and then NW steeply to the upper valley below Polemonium Glacier. Glacier Lodge is at the end of Glacier Lodge Road, which heads west from the town of Big Pine on US 395. After wandering an entire mile further I was granted another lakeside view of Temple Crag and suddenly my relaxing walk had come to a perplexing halt. 2. After descending roughly 100 feet, I started looking for the nearest saw tooth granite slab to pick up my crampons and didn't see them anywhere. Road Cycling: Top Bike Climbs in California, Approach: 20 mi round-trip with 5,500 ft of climbing. We managed to climb parallel paths through coarse scree, loose rock and solid rock. TLDR: Yes, but don't do it. Information on winter/spring snow conditions can also be found on the web: Snowpack conditionsAvalanche Hazard (winter only).