Category: Middle Palisade Peak

SMI Guides are back in action!

Mt. Whitney Summit!

SMI guides are ecstatic to be back guiding trips in the Sierra! We have spent this spring during the pandemic staying in shape, keeping sharp with our skills, and honing our craft. With things starting to open up again we are ecstatic to be once again outside sharing adventures in the Sierra Nevada with our guests.

The Sierra Nevada is our home, our back yard, and our favorite mountain range in the world. The possibilities for adventure and solitude are endless. Try ticking off some of our California 14ers on our Palisades trips, or the exhilaration from one of our classic alpine rock climbs. Learn to transfer your indoor climbing skills to the outdoor realm on one of our rock climbing programs, or discover pristine destinations in the Sierra Nevada through one of our customized backpacking trips! Whatever your desire the Sierra Nevada has it all!

During the month of July join any SMI trip in 2020 and receive a free custom SMI UPF 50+ Buff!

NE Face of Middle Palisade Peak August 12-14, 2011 – Another Crowd Pleaser

The team on the summit of Middle Palisade Peak

On August 12 guides April Mayhew and Kurt Wedberg met two long time great friends of SMI John Rogitz and Fred Simmons plus Fred’s son James for a climb of Middle Palisade Peak.  Spectacular weather and good friends came together for a memorable climb of one of California’s 14ers.  Excellent snow conditions on the Middle Palisade Glacier led to the 1000′ 3rd class scramble to the summit.  A few pictures are below.  The rest can be found here:  Middle Palisade Peak August 12-14, 2011.

The creeks have remained high all summer. 6'3" Fred is up well past his knees.

SMI guide April cooking pizzas at camp with a mosquito netting hair net.

Polemonium in full bloom.

John geared up and ready on the pre dawn start for summit day.

Fred, John, and April on the Middle Palisade Glacier.

Jim surmounting the bergshrund of the glacier that leads to the start of the 3rd class rock climbing.

John and Fred negotiating the 3rd class rock climbing on the route.

April and Jim high on the route.

Jim picking is way high up on the route at 13,800'.

April leading up one of the last short pitches below the summit.

Jim on the final moves leading to the summit of Middle Palisade Peak.

Jim and Fred Simmons pose for a father/son summit photo.

John and Fred on the summit.

April reaching for the sky on Middle Palisade's summit block.

Summit photo on Middle Palisade Peak (14,012'/4271m).

Kurt jumping into Brainard Lake on the descent the day after reaching the summit of "Middle Pal".

Middle Palisade Peak August 15-17, 2010

Ed Saenz and Lori Nissen are great friends of SMI.  Ed is a police officer with the San Francisco Police Department and Lori is a physical therapist.  They live in the Bay Area.  They came to us two years ago with the goal of finishing all the 14ers in California.  They had done several of the most straightforward routes on their own and wanted help to complete their project.  In the summer of 2008 we climbed Mt. Russell (14,086’/4293) and Thunderbolt Peak (14,003’/4268m) together.  In 2009 we climbed Mt. Williamson (14,375’/4381m) and Mt. Tyndall (14,018’/4273m).  This leaves them with five left:  Middle Palisade Peak, Mt. Sill, Polemonium Peak, North Palisade Peak, and Starlight.  On August 15, 2010 Ed and Loris showed up with the goal of climbing these five peaks.  The first on our agenda was Middle Palisade Peak.

From left to right: Ed Saenz, Lori Nissen, and Kurt Wedberg

We were blessed with clear skies and comfortable temperatures as we left the trailhead.  Our goal on day 1 was to reach Finger Lake.  This would be our base of operations and put us in a good position to make a summit attempt on the following day.

On August 16 we rose by headlamp and mad e our successful ascent of Middle Pal.  On August 17 we packed up our camp and headed out.  Wednesday is a rest day for us and on Thursday our plan is to hike over Bishop Pass into the Palisade Basin where we will set up a base camp that will put us in striking distance for the remaining four “14ers”.

Ed and Lori have decided to use these climbs to benefit Friends of Frankie and the Widows’ and Orphans’ Aid Association.  Friends of Frankie is an organization founded to help out Frankie Shouldice who is a young boy currently suffering from leukemia.  Widows and Orphans Aid Association is a San Francisco based organization founded to help out families that have lost a parent who worked as an officer for the SFPD by providing financial aid and scholarship support.

If you would like to donate to these worthy causes you may do so by sending checks made payable to “Friends of Frankie” or “Widows’ and Orphans’ Aid Association” to:

Office Ed Saenz

C/o San Francisco Police Dept

301 Eddy St.

San Francisco, CA 94102

A few pictures from Middle Pal are below.  The rest can be found here:  Middle Palisade Peak August 15-17, 2010.

Setting up camp at Finger Lake at 10,800'/3292m

Packed up and ready to begin summit day shortly before daylight.

Middle Palisade Peak's Ne Face reflecting the beautiful early morning alpenglow

Climbing the lower section of the NE Face of Middle Palisade Peak

Lori and Ed enjoying the superb quality 3rd class climbing on the NE Face of Middle Palisade Peak.

Lori and Ed getting ready to surmount the final block below the summit.

A summit photo that reflects how much we enjoyed this ascent.

Kurt sitting atop Middle Pal's summit block.

Congratulations Ed and Lori on another great climb!!

Middle Palisade Peak August 11, 2010

Middle Palisade Peak (14,012′, 4271m) is located along the crest of the Sierra.  It is the center peak of an impressive ridgeline that includes seven California 14ers.  The NE Face rises above the Middle Palisade glacier and offers an enjoyable 3rd class climb on good quality rock.

Avery Wear joined Kurt Wedberg for a climb of Middle Palisade Peak.  Getting a predawn start from the parking lot the sun rose during our approach and lit up “Middle Pal” in a beautiful orange morning glow and reminded us once again why the Sierra is nicknamed the Range of Light.

Middle Palisade Peak is the high point left of center.

Passing by Brainard and Finger Lakes the terrain consists of boulder hopping as the landscape opens up and provides views of the entire area.  We then cross south under the toe of the Middle Palisade Glacier then ascend a moraine that splits the glacier in two and leads directly to the start of the route.  From here we cross the glacier and ascend a ramp that leads to over 800 feet of 3rd class climbing that bring us to the top of the peak.  Middle Palisade Peak features a summit block and barely enough room for a handful of people to sit comfortably.

Reaching the summit at lunchtime we enjoyed a beautiful 360 degree clear view of the Sierra before our descent reaching the parking lot mid afternoon.

Here are a few pictures.  The rest are here: Middle Palisade Peak August 11, 2010.

"Middle Pal" and the Middle Palisade Glacier.

Looking up at the NE Face of Middle Palisade Peak from the moraine.

Avery high on the NE Face of Middle Palisade Peak.

Avery making some of the final moves below the summit.

Avery on the summit block that sits atop Middle Palisade Peak

Kurt and Avery pose for a summit photo.

Thanks Avery for a great climb!!