The original inhabitants of the Eastern Sierra called it “Neenameeshee” or Guardian Of The Valley. It is easy to see why once you have viewed it from the Owens Valley. Even close up, although its summit is lower than some of the neighboring 14,000ft peaks, it still looks the tallest.
One of the great climbs of California’s High Sierra this arete is a great sweeping curve, steadily steepening as height is gained. The route is never too easy and never too difficult, just good climbing high above surrounding peaks and alpine lakes. Spectacular views extend out over the Owens Valley to Telescope Peak above Death Valley, the White Mountains to the east, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks to the south and west.

We often climb the route as a part of our Palisades High Peaks Camp.


You need to be able to follow at the 5.6 level and have experience on traditional multi-pitch routes. Prior backpacking experience is required as is experience at altitudes above 10,000’. This is a physically demanding trip and you should be in good physical condition and have the ability to traverse broken and uneven slopes with a moderately heavy pack. If you do not have this experience, we suggest a day of training with us at a local crag. this will make your experience on the Swiss Arete safer and more enjoyable.


Price includes guiding, permits, group climbing gear, tents, kitchen gear, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (you bring hot/cold drinks and snack items).

Acclimatization & Physical Training

For proper acclimatization, we suggest spending at least one night at a moderate altitude, higher than 8,000 feet, just prior to the start of the journey. See our detailed tips on acclimatizing an physical training in the “Resources” tab.