Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mountain Madness in the Palisades!

Ah, the Palisades.  The Sierra Nevada have a lot to offer, but it is in the upper reaches of the South and North Forks of the Big Pine where a truly spectacular and humbling mountain environment exists.  Here the mountains rise up in the greatest grouping of 14,000 ft peaks in the range, dropping down along their gendarmed and complex ridges and faces towards the Palisade glacier and a host of milky azul lakes and groves of aspen and lodgepole pine.  In other words, it is pretty cool.  

Over the past week I have climbed a cool route on Temple Crag with my friend Jonathan Cooper, and then guided a 5 day mountain camp for Sierra Mountain Center along with fellow guide Andrew Soleman.  With Pete, Alex and Bronson, we worked on snow and rock skills, then put those new skills to the test on the Fornication Arete of Mt. Robinson, the Yellow Brick Road on Mt. Gayley, and the Starr Route on Mt. Sill.  
With incredible (and very windy) weather, we were able to do all the climbing we hoped for, and have a really fun time on the way.  

Thanks to Tom Kurzeka, our tireless (now probably pretty tired) intern, who took most of these photos for me as we climbed our routes.  

Coop navigates the upper reaches of Venusian Blind

The Youth, doing his best to make a graceful entrance into Third Lake

Pete Barry enjoys the corners on Fornication Arete

Pete climbing over towers high on Mt. Robinson

Andrew brings Alex and Bronson over the first tower

Alex self arrests high above Moraine Lake

Above the L-shaped snowfield, into the rock part of the Starr Route

Atop Mt. Sill, perhaps the single greatest vantage point in the Sierra

Lowering down after climbing Mt. Sill in a vrey quick camp to camp time

The season is really just getting started, and it is shaping up to be a very fun one with a lot of good trips coming up- Whitney, Mt. Lyell, Temple Crag, Crystal Crag, the list goes on!  
Now it is time for some relaxing and being light duty for the next week...

1 comment:

Shawn said...

Great pics and write up.