Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Walking the Thin Line on the Palisade Traverse

 This summer has started out as quite a warm one, with some record breaking temps in the Owens Valley, and long stretches in the 80s even here in Mammoth Lakes. I feel lucky then, to be spending as much (or more) time guiding in the Palisades than I have been at home.

 There have been trips up Temple Crag and Mount Robinson, as well as two Palisade Traverses (Thunderbolt Peak to Mount Sill) in both North and South directions. Conditions have been changing quickly up there, with snow lingering still but going fast. It has been unbelievably nice at 14,000ft, with overnight temps only barely touching 40 deg!
 The Palisade Traverse trips are a far cry from the casual rock climbing missions in the Whitney Zone I have become so accustomed to, though there is a different kind of reward in carrying over so many peaks and getting to bivy high en route looking far out into the depths of the High Sierra.
 I first climbed the Traverse some 8 years ago with my good friend Matteo, and it is always a treat to get to flip back through the summit registers and find our entries from that early alpine experience.
 Now I pack food and gear for one more trip into this storied sub-range, my third Traverse trip in as many weeks, and although I am looking forward to the rest of the guiding season and the many other places I will get to climb and explore I am happy to savor my time at each one of these iconic summits while I have the chance.