North Palisade - 14,242 ft.

Fri. Aug 10, 2001 (5a start)

RT Distance: 21.0 miles

Elev. Gain: 6565 ft.

Map Detail Map Parking Map Climbing Route Etymology

From Sam Mack Meadow, there is a good use trail that leads to the lower reaches of the lateral morraine on the left (east) side of Palisade Glacier. From there, a number of cairns mark the way (although not really necessary) to the top of the morraine. Some elevation loss can be avoided by traversing along the glacier at the base of Mt. Gayley.

The tricky part of the climb is the conditions of the bergschrund at the base of the U-Notch. If the 'schrund is open as it usually is by mid summer, it can be bypassed via the rocks on the right side. This 1/2 pitch was the hardest climbing of the whole route the time I was there, so it shouldn't be taken lightly. A rope and partner are recommended unless you are comfortable soloing 5.5+. The U-Notch may be icy (and thus dangerous) or soft (and thus fun). Ice axe and crampons highly recommended in either case. If icy, a rope might be necessary with a fixed belay for safety. The climbing in the chimney above the U-Notch is enjoyable 5.4 or so. It can be climbed in a single pitch with a 60m rope (and two rappels on the way down). It can also be free climbed by the more experienced with relative ease as the holds are quite good the whole way.

5a start from the trailhead at the paved parking lot (not the overflow dirt lot a little higher up).


Bob Burd
David Wright


14hr:45m Jul 1, 1997 Jim Curl
18hr Aug 1, 2001 Josh Swartz

Multi-day Trip Reports

Jun 17, 1994Dan Richter
May 29, 1995Joe Stephens
Jul 10, 1996Peter Maxwell
Jul 17, 1998Douglas Bear
May 31, 1999Ron Hudson
Aug 1, 1999Scott Sullivan
Jul 2, 2000Rick Booth
Aug 4, 2000Bob Burd
Aug 16, 2000Andy Martin
Sep 17, 2000Steve Eckert

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