Little Palisade Traverse

From CACWiki
Jump to: navigation, search


This is the part of the main Palisade traverse that goes from Sill to Thunderbolt, and much more popular than the full traverse. Variations include doing Winchell as well, or doing the Swiss Arete on Sill, or adding Temple Crag and Gayley (the latter variation is quite difficult). This is much more reasonable the the full traverse and is usually done in one day, sometimes car-to-car but usually from a camp at Gayley Camp or Sam Mack Meadow. You can also approach via South Lake which has a higher trailhead, but the approach times are almost identical and the South Lake approach requires either a long scree slog to get back to the trailhead or a car shuttle from the Big Pine trailhead (Stephen has done it both ways and is pretty confident that the times are similar).
The route has always been popular, but it is even more so in recent years, and is an objective of many Sierra climbers.

The traverse can be done in either direction, though the Thunderbolt to Sill direction is more common. The traverse has now also apparently been done in winter!.

The route is rated 5.9 because of the Thunderbolt summit block. If trying to do the route in a day, speed is key: route-finding skills and comfort with scrambling class 4 and easy class 5 are essential, as getting out a rope inevitably requires a lot of time.

{{#widget:ThumbnailLink |target= |src= }}

Trip Reports

See Also