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Timberline Trails Logo North Palisade Summit

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.

Starlight Peak Starlight peak is the thin pinnacle (known by climbers as the "Milk Bottle") circled in the 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. Starlight is one of the 14ers in the Sierra Nevada, and has arguable the smallest summit perches in the range being only a couple of feet in diameter. The Summit of North Palisade is the highest peak in the area, and great views like this abound.

Summit North Palisade Beautiful summer day in July with myself, Sean, and Matt enjoying the view up high atop North Palisade.

Mt Sill and Middle Palisade Two more noteworthy peaks can also be clearly seen from the summit of North Palisade. You see Sean sitting in the middle of the two in the distance.

Both Mt Sill and Middle Palisade top out at 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 to Mt Sill. A much easier goal would be to climb Polemonium Peak (not in view here) which is right next door to the east of North Palisade. On you way back down to the U Notch, it would involve a short climb to reach the top of that 14er.

Summit North Palisade 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.

After making this climb, LeConte is quoted as writing in a letter, "I have called the peak merely the North Palisade. Put Dusy's name on some less imposing mass, and give us a name to be handed down through all time."[11] The peak has been called North Palisade since that day, and received official recognition by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Summit North Palisade Author, Dave French, on top of North Palisade in 1980. 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. When we signed the summit book back then, the original box was still there and there was only about 50 entries in it at the time going back as early as 1925.

There are many more mountaineers these days, but still the number of people that scale these peaks is dwarfed by the number of hikers and backpackers. Even in the last few years, we see only a handful of folks here and there climbing these peaks in the Palisade Range.

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