High Camp on North Palisade - is best set up on the Palisade Glacier for maximum success, in that you get a nice
high start on climbing day, and are able to get to the "U notch couloir" with the least amount of effort. An alpine start is
recommended and being on the glacier works very nicely for this. Others start from Sam Mack Meadow, but considerable effort
and time will be spent getting to the "U notch couloir" where the real climbing begins, and it is nice to be well rested when you
get to this point. The only downfall to camping on the glacier (or a rock outcropping on the glacier as shown above) is getting
water. It is recommended that you have a stove with ample fuel to melt snow so that you will have a reliable water source.
Other than this downfall, the glacier camp does offer fantastic views of the Palisade Crest, and the photos below demonstrate
this fact. Camping out on the Palisade Glacier is just one more unique experience of traveling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains,
and climbers over the years have no doubt enjoyed the experience immensely.
We set up our high camp on the Palisade Glacier. The snow and
ice coulior in the center is the "U" notch couloir, and the one to
the left is the "V" notch couloir. Early in the morning, we will be
heading for the chute in the center ("U" notch). We try to time our
departure so that we are at the base of the chute at first light.
Matt putting on a satisfied smile (being pleased with his
under a big boulder camp site). Using a bivy bag rather
than a tent opens up a multitude of options for campsites.
Mike makes use of a small flat boulder for setting up camp for the
night. He also made use of a bivy bag on this trip. Sean and I had
a two man tent so we leveled out a flat spot on the glacier to
accommodate it. A tent placed directly on the glacier is not a bad
option, but you better have an insulating pad beneath your
sleeping bag for protection against the icy glacier below.
Another example of the versatility of a bivy bag for setting up a
place to sleep. Also note the protection of small rock walls on
two sides. Sites like this are wonderful, because wind across the
open glacier can lower the temperature for sleeping substantially.
As the sun begins to set North Palisade begins to show it's beauty in the light of
"alpenglow."  It is sights like this that make climbing so rewarding.
North Palisade - High Camp                                        timberlinetrails.net