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#893928 - 07/13/09 12:53 PM [TR] Mount Sill - North Couloir 7/9/2009
off_the_hook Offline
member

Registered: 05/15/03
Posts: 186
TRs: 90 Photos: 8943
Loc: San Carlos, CA
Trip: Mount Sill - North Couloir

Date: 7/9/2009

Trip Report:
Mount Sill is known to have the best summit view in the Sierra Mountain range and is located in the most rugged part of the range in the Palisades group. Standing 14,153 feet, Sill is the second highest summit in the Palisades (behind nearby North Palisade) and the sixth highest mountain in the state of California. I have done several climbs in the Sierras, but until this climb I had yet to visit the Palisades. The North Couloir route via the North Fork Big Pine Creek is not the fastest route an easier approach is via Bishop Pass and a shorter approach is via the South Fork Big Pine Creek. However, the North Fork is arguably the most scenic with lovely alpine lakes, towering Temple Crag, and sweeping views of the Palisade Glacier, the largest glacier in the Sierras. I departed at 5:15 am and reached the summit 5:23 after beginning. After 27 minutes on top, I made the return trip in 4:55 for a roundtrip total of 10:45.


Temple Crag from Second Lake


Palisade Glacier Panorama

The 10 mile walk up the North Fork of Big Pine Creek in the morning was nice with great views of Temple Crag from Second and Third Lakes. There were some blustery winds that made it a little chilly. Continuing up beyond Sam Mack meadow, there was a surprising amount of snow left around the glacier moraines. The Palisade Glacier also appeared to have a hefty coat of snow on it. Since I essentially climbed the mountain straight form sea level, I felt the altitude a bit heading up the L-shaped North Couloir. In addition, the class 3 / 4 traverse was partially covered in steep and icy snow requiring more attention. The view from the summit was spectacular and I look forward to climbing other peaks in the Palisades.


Sierra sunrise




Temple Crag from Third Lake


First, Second, and Third Lakes


Mount Gayley (left) and Mount Sill (right)


Mount Sill and Palisade Glacier


North Palisade


North Palisade and Thunderbolt Peak from Glacier Notch




Panorama looking north from the summit


Wide panorama from the summit of Sill


Panorama looking South from Sill




Norman Clyde Peak, Middle Palisade, and Split Mountain


Rugged high Sierra




North Fork Big Pine Creek and Owens Valley in the distance.


North Couloir route class 4 section with steep and icy snow.




Mount Winchell (left) and Mount Agassiz (right)


A look down the North Fork Big Pine Creek


Close-up of first, second, and third lakes


Mount Gayley and Mount Sill


Sam Mack Meadow




Third Lake


Second Lake


First Lake


Gear Notes:
Crampons, ice axe, helmet

Approach Notes:
Trail in good shape to the moraines below Palisade Glacier; snow thereafter.
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http://pantilat.wordpress.com/

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#894078 - 07/13/09 09:36 PM Re: [TR] Mount Sill - North Couloir 7/9/2009 [Re: off_the_hook]
olyclimber Offline

☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 24451
TRs: 31 Photos: 838
Loc: In Love with You
53 TRs and counting, all quality. Thanks for another one, great pictures as usual. I wish I could get out 1/2 has much as you do.
_________________________
SNACKS!!!!!

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#894084 - 07/13/09 09:59 PM Re: [TR] Mount Sill - North Couloir 7/9/2009 [Re: olyclimber]
TrogdortheBurninator Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1931
TRs: 20 Photos: 101
Loc: no longer between Ricks and th...
Unfortunately, getting out even twice as much as OTH, would probably only still result in less than 1/2 the terrain covered.
_________________________
"Burninating the Country Side, Burninating the Peasants"

http://www.zclipped.com

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