Just clearing the 14,000’ bar at 14,040’, Middle Palisade is a lot less well known than many of the other peaks in the Big Pine, California area. However this is certainly one of the more tricky peaks to summit. The climbing is not too hard, but it is consistent with 1500 feet of third class with the odd fourth-class move thrown in. So it was no wonder that the peak was not climbed until 1921, 17 years after the first ascent of North Palisade.


While we will climb up gradually with several nights at about highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000’) just prior to the trip. Spending a night in Mammoth would do the trick or better yet, camped at an even higher trailhead, such as one of the campgrounds in Big Pine Creek for a night just before the trip. Glacier Lodge is also a good lodging option. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.

Guidebooks include Secor’s “The High Sierra; Peaks, Passes and Trails,” “Sierra Classics” by Moynier and Fiddler, “Climbing California’s Fourteeners” by Porcella and Burns, and Peter Croft’s “The Good, The Great, and the Awesome.” Get the latter from Maximus Press.

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