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Trip Description

Route and itinerary: Who, when, where, and what we did!

"Palisades Mountaineering" Climb & Backpack: Gallery 1
Day 1 - Hike in from South Lake to Bishop Lake

An easy morning hike with light packs (thanks to packer support) takes us past a lush string of lakes to a cozy campsite near timberline. With the afternoon free and the fish biting in a nearby lake, our resident fishing experts Cherie and Jeannie catch us a wonderfully tasty dinner of fresh trout, while the energetic ones among us eye the nearby peaks...

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Day 1, cont. - Climb Mt. Goode

A free afternoon on our first day, and we can't let a nearby peak go unclimbed! Doug, Mitch, Jan and I scramble up Mt. Goode for a taste of the thin air at 13,085'.

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Day 2 - Hike Over Bishop Pass Into Dusy Basin

A short climb over Bishop Pass (again with light packs, yeah!) and we're on our way across Dusy Basin to a nice campsite among the trees. The free afternoon gives us a chance to refresh our climbing and rope skills with some playing on a short technical pitch across the valley.

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Day 3 (Layover Day) - Climb Giraud Peak

Doug, Tina, Jan, Mitch, Jeannie, Anne and I tackle the first class 4 peak of the trip, with a rewarding day's climb up the northeast ridge of Giraud Peak (12,608'). Margi, Cherie and Al choose the option to attempt Columbine peak, while Ken & Billy enjoy a casual day exploring around Dusy Basin.

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Day 4 - Hike Over Knapsack Pass Into Palisades Basin

We hop over Knapsack Pass into the Palisades Basin and set up camp at the foot of the Palisades Range - with lots of challenging peaks to set our sights on for the three days. Light packs again have let us conserve our energy for the climbs ahead...

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Day 5 (Layover Day) - Climb Thunderbolt Peak

Acclimatized and enthused, the climbing team gets an early start on a classic peak in the Palisades, and our first 14-er of the trip. Doug, Tina, Jan, Mitch, Margi and I climb Thunderbolt Peak (14,003') in grand style, with everyone displaying their unique personal technique for surmounting the class 5.8 summit block!

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Day 6 (Layover Day) - Explore Around the Palisades Basin

While part of the group makes a quick run on nearby Columbine Peak, and Tina runs up Mt. Sill, I stay around camp with Cherie to take advantage of the chance to photograph the abundant and colorful wildflowers in the area.

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Day 7 (Layover Day) - Climb North Palisades Peak

The prize of the Palisades is our target today. North Pal, at 14,242 ft., is the highest peak in the Palisades Range, and proves a worthy challenge as Doug, Tina, Jan, Margi and I spend 13-1/2 hours on the round trip to the top and back. Several class 5 pitches make it feel like real mountaineering!

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Day 8 & 9 - Hike Over Isosceles Pass Into Dusy Basin, Then Back Out Over Bishop Pass

Margi picks the shortcut route out over Isosceles Pass back into Upper Dusy Basin. It's a short 2 miles, but the class 3 section on the backside takes a bit of time to descend since we individually lower our packs. The next day is an easy retreat out over Bishop Pass and back to South Lake.

"Palisades Mountaineering" Climb & Backpack: Gallery 10
Flowers, Flowers, and More Flowers!

You can never get too much of those gorgeous Sierra wildflowers!