Palisade Traverse

Palisade Traverse

Palisade Traverse 5.7 - 5.9
Thunderbolt Peak, Starlight, North Palisade, Polemonium, and Mt Sill

3 -4 Days
Cost:  Private Custom Rates
The Palisade Traverse, Thunderbolt Peak, Starlight, North Palisade, Polemonium, Mt Sill
The Palisade Traverse Climbs The Ridge From Thunderbolt (right) to Mt Sill (out of picture left)

The Palisade Traverse is perhaps is a bucket list climb for all Sierra alpine climbers.  The route climbs 5 of California 14,000 ft peaks, Thunderbolt, Starlight, North Palisade, Polemonium, and Mt Sill in one single push.  This is a climb that many aspiring California climbers train for.

Our approach starts from South Lake near Bishop Ca. and travels over Bishop Pass.  Then across Dusy Basin to Thunderbolt Pass.  From here we do make a camp and have a quick clinic inorder to refersh skills and  prepare for the climb.

On day 2 we ascend Thunderbolt Peak and begin the traverse along the ridge connecting these peaks.  The vast majority of the climbing is 3rd and 4th class with short strectches of 5th class rock climbing up to a 5.9 on the summit block of Thunderbolt Peak.  Most trips will bivy near the summit of North Palisade then complete the trip on day 3.

The climb is a great option for people who are attempting to climb all of the California 14ers.  Summiting all of the peaks in one climb mitigates repeated efforts at doing the approah into the Palisade Group.  Additionally, the quality of climbing on the route ranks as good as any of the climbs of the indvidual peaks.  A successful climb of the Traverse is a great climatic way to end ones quest to climb all 15 of the California 14ers.

Sitting on top of the summit of Starlight Peak, the "Milk Bottle"
Sitting on top of the summit of Starlight Peak, the "Milk Bottle"

Thunderbolt Peak 14,003ft

Starlight Peak 14,200ft

North Palisade 14,242ft

Polemonium Peak 14,080ft

Mt Sill 14,153ft


Departure: Big Pine, California
Group Size: Limited to 4 clients
Guide to client ratio: 1:2
Experience Level: Excellent physical conditioning and previous experience with backpacking experience at altitude is helpful.


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