Mt. Sill, Apex Couloir 14,153′, 4314m

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

The Palisade Glacier with Mt. Sill on the left.

The Palisade Glacier with Mt. Sill on the left.

Left to right:  Rick Poedtke, Chuck Raper, Patricia Twomey, Dustin Wunderlich, Kurt Wedberg

Left to right: Rick Poedtke, Chuck Raper, Patricia Twomey, Dustin Wunderlich, Kurt Wedberg

Chuck and Dusty on the 3rd pitch of the Apex Couloir.

Chuck and Dusty on the 3rd pitch of the Apex Couloir.

Chuck and Dusty at the belay ledge at the top of the 4th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty at the belay ledge at the top of the 4th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty climbing near the top of the 5th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty climbing near the top of the 5th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty nearing the top of the 6th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty nearing the top of the 6th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty at the belay station at the top of the 6th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty at the belay station at the top of the 6th pitch.

Chuck and Dusty rock climbing on pitch 7.

Chuck and Dusty rock climbing on pitch 7.

Chuck and Dusty nearing the classic summit of Mt. Sill with a breathtaking view of the Sierra all around.

Chuck and Dusty nearing the classic summit of Mt. Sill with a breathtaking view of the Sierra all around. It is easy to see why this peak is known for offering one of the finest views in the Sierra!

 

High five on the summit of Mt. Sill!

High five on the summit of Mt. Sill!

Summit photo.  Left to right:  Dustin Wunderlich, Kurt Wedberg, Chuck Raper.

Summit photo. Left to right: Dustin Wunderlich, Kurt Wedberg, Chuck Raper.

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