North Palisade - Summit                                             timberlinetrails.net
The North Palisade Summit -  is a grand place to be on a nice summer day. The above summit photo was taken in
July of 2005. The views into palisade, and dusy basin as shown above are truly spectacular. The Palisade Glacier on the
opposite side is also fantastic. You will also be treated to views of over half of the California fourteen thousand foot peaks, and
innumerable twelve and thirteen thousand foot peaks. Also is a great view of neighboring
Starlight Peak. The summit block of
this peak is arguably the finest summit block in all the Sierra's. Some climbers are able to traverse the entire Palisade Crest in
a single day. A grand accomplishment in any climbers book. But as mentioned earlier, North Palisade is the pinnacle of all the
Palisade Peaks, and is the most sought after. If you decide to ever make the climb, you will certainly not be disappointed, and
as you can see, the views from the top are well worth it.
Matt making the last pull up before stepping up on the final summit
block. The last move is somewhat of a mantle. Notice the
headlamp mounted to the safety helmet. We made good use of
our headlamps on the way down. With six of us in the group, it
took longer than we projected to make it back to camp.
Sean, Matt, and Mike looking into Palisade Basin on the right.
This trip took place in early July 2005. Lots of snow in the
Sierra's during this time of year. But snow can be your friend on a
climb like this, because it makes it much easier to travel over the
top of talus. It is also an advantage in the U notch couloir,
because it is easier to climb on than the hard ice that develops
there latter in the season.
David and Joe relaxing on the summit of North Pal. Many peaks
in view from this vantage point. This photo is looking south.
Compass direction makes a big difference in snow cover. South
facing slopes having much less coverage than north facing slopes.
Sean in the foreground with Mount Sill and Middle Palisade in the
background. Both Mt Sill and Middle Palisade top out over fourteen
thousand feet.  Even though Mount Sill looks fairly close, it would involve
quite a bit of work over technical terrain to get there from the summit of
North Palisade.
Starlight peak is the thin pinnacle in the distant center of this photo. A
technical traverse is required to get there. Most parties take several hours
to make the round trip. Especially groups of our size (6). It is amazing that
speed climbers are able to make this trip in under an hour.
Author, Dave French, on top of North Palisade over 25 years
ago. Getting around at high altitude seemed a lot easier back then.
I know the time is coming when I will have to hang up my ice ax,
but until then, I sure enjoy having the good health (thank the Lord)
to continue to climb.