Ben and I weren’t satisfied with only climbing Shasta, so we decided to head out for another fourteener. We decided that it would be fun to go for something that was hard, but had no ropes required. After a long night drive through Yosemite and Bishop, we found ourselves camped up next to the Big Pine Creek.
Waking up early the next morning, we packed up camp and drove up to glacier lodge. There we started hiking up the trail. Unfortunately we ended up on the north fork of the big pine trail for about half an hour and had to loop back to the south fork. With an extra two miles under our belt, we finally started up the south fork of the big pine creek trail around noon. We then slowly worked up the trial past a gorgeous waterfall and through the woods above it. At this point I had vastly overestimated my strength and was dying as we trudged through the bolder field to hit finger lake. Next year, I pledged to be in better shape.
Middle Palisade was definitely the hardest thing I had climbed up to this point, but I learned a lot about scrambling and also how good of shape I needed to be in. I’ll be much more prepared for 2010!
From the top of the mountain, you could see the John Muir trail winding to the west as well as Big Pine and White Mountain to the east. We began our decent the way we came and by 7 on sunday we were in the car on the way home.
We threw up camp next to the unbelievable scene of the lake (see below) and fell asleep around nine o’clock. We woke early the next morning at six to try our skills at climbing middle pal. I thought I wouldn’t make it due to the worn out state from the day before, but once I dropped your pack things got a lot easier. We worked up past finger lake and through a pretty nice boulder field with boulders the size of VW beetles. We then climbed the talus between the Middle Palisade glacier and the Clyde glacier. From there it was a quick hike through the glacier to reach a treacherous class 3 chute. For another 1000’ feet or so, we climbed a steady exposed class 3 route to the top. At the top we couldn’t find the forest service sign book, but there was a monolith that we didn’t see a way to work around without a rope. Our guess is the book laid just up there.
Me at the summit
A view across the talus up the sierras