March 23-25, 2009
We were treated to clear weather in the Sierra backcountry over Memorial Day weekend this year. Chuck Raper, Patricia Twomey, and Dustin Wunderlich joined guides Rick Poedtke and Kurt Wedberg for a classic climb in the Palisades region of the Sierra.
Mt. Sill is one of the few Sierra peaks that was named by the indigenous Piaute indians who inhabited the Owens Valley. Their name for it was “Nee-na-mee-she” which is translated “Guardian of the Valley”. Today it is a classic 14er in Californa and the view from its summit is considered one of the finest in the entire Sierra.
Our route was the Apex Couloir on Mt. Sill. This route is also called the “North Couloir” but since there are so many couloirs that go by that name I prefer calling it the Apex Couloir. The snow conditions remain excellent in the Palisades right now. We were treated to four pitches of climbing at 40 – 45 degrees. We then exited the route to the right where we climbed a pitch of 3rd to low 5th class rock that led to one more pitch of 50+ degree snow. One final 4th class pitch led to the ridgeline on Mt. Sill where we scrambled up to the summit.
Here are a few pictures. The entire gallery can be viewed here: http://kurtwedberg.smugmug.com/gallery/8329693_LrcYi/1/545818744_wQKSG