Bela G. Vadasz
Technical Director
IFMGA Internationally Licensed
Mountain Guide

The Palisades

Simply stated, the Palisades offers the highest concentration of the best alpine climbing in the High Sierra.

Our Most Popular Alpine Rock Climbs

Temple Crag (12,999'), Venusian Blind ArÍte, IV 5.7

Mt. Sill, The Swiss ArÍte (14,153'), III 5.7

Mt. Sill to Thunderbolt Peak Traverse, V 5.6

Our Most Popular Alpine Ice Climbs

North Palisade (14,242'), The U-Notch Couloir
III Class 4 Snow/Ice, 5.6 Rock

The V-Notch Couloir, Polemonium Peak
Class 5 Snow/Ice

ASI & The Palisades

The Director, Bela G. Vadasz's first trip to the Palisades was with his parents at age 12. At 16, Bela returned to the infamous east side of the crest to attempt the U-Notch Couloir by himself. That summer, the bergschrund left such a wide crevasse it was impossible for him to cross it and he failed at his attempt. Since then, ASI has made many, many trips into the Palisades and have climbed every summit of the region. In 1993 and 1994, Bela led a 2-part traverse of the entire nine-mile crest from South Fork Pass to Jigsaw Pass. ASI Guides continue to carry on the legacy of this infamous region.

The Palisades History

The Palisades have a long time climbing history and consist of more points over 14,000' than any other continuous section of the entire Sierra Crest. The most rigorous and audacious climbers of the early days left their rock carins on the summits of these high peaks. Norman Clyde and his pioneering of new routes probably left the strongest impression of Sierra strength and force in this historic portion of the Sierra Nevada.

Other Quality Climbs offered by ASI

Middle Palisade (14,040'), Northeast Face, Class 3-4
2 days
From Glacier Lodge (7,677') and the South Fork of Big Pine Creek, we hike to a camp at Finger Lake (10,852'). The following morning we hike to the Middle Palisade Glacier and ascend to a ledge system that is followed up and right to the main chute, which is followed to near the summit. The top of the route involves steep steps up and left to the summit of Middle Palisade.

Norman Clyde Peak (13,920'), Twilight Pillar, III 5.8+
2 days
The Twilight Pillar presents sustained, challenging and interesting climbing. The bottom of the route bypasses a steep section of the lower wall with easier climbing to its right. From a gradual up and left traverse, the main wall is reached at mid-height on the face, presenting steep climbing in a high alpine setting.

Temple Crag (12,999'), Moon Goddess ArÍte IV 5.8
2 days
This is a classic route with some loose rock to avoid in sections. It's long and sustained, providing about 17 pitches of climbing in all.

Temple Crag, Sun Ribbon ArÍte IV 5.9
2 days
This is a prestegious Sierra rock route providing great climbing at a mostly moderate but sustained standard. With a bit of 5.9 climbing found on two pitches at about mid-route. This climb also involves the classic "Tyrolean Traverse" across a gap at the top of the eighth pitch.

Temple Crag, Temple Of Delight, V 5.9
3 days
This route was first climbed by Directors, Bela and Mimi Vadasz in 1981. It is a slightly easier variation to Temple Crag's longest route called Dark Star. It begins on the left side of Lower Buttress and climbs the improbable looking sustained face to the top of Lower Buttress. We then traverse a bit right to the face on Upper Buttress following a line between Dark Star and the prominent open book. From the top of the north peak there is a long traverse along the ridge to a rappell, then three more pitches to the summit ridge. This route is over 30 pitches of roped climbing.

Mt. Winchell (13,768'), Southeast face, Class 3
2 days
This is one of the most enjoyable, easier routes in the Palisades. The rock quality is stable and it has a fine "airy" feeling all the way to the summit.

The Palisades Traverse VI 5.9
7 days + 3 days
This is the alltime classic of the entire nine-mile route from South Fork Pass to Jigsaw Pass. We offer it as a seven day climb with pre-placed food and fuel caches or as a 2-part traverse for expert climbers in excellent physical condition.

*The above climbs can be combined and/or scheduled through Private Arrangement

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