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August 16, 2013 - 5 went

Multi Day Trip: Mt. Sill

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Added by Joel B.
on Aug 19, 2013.
 

Comments

  • Jim M.

    What a great glacier! The ones on Split (August 13) were nearly gone. I'm so jealous.

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  • Harlan S.

    There is no glacier on Split. There are seasonal snow fields, but they don't move downhill and have no crevasses, and are not considered glaciers.

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  • Jim M.

    I stand corrected. However, the topo maps identify them as glaciers. Mostly, glaciers are going, going, gone.

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  • Harlan S.

    NO, I stand corrected; the Split Mountaoin Glacier is identified on maps (there is doubt whether it is a real glacier-- no prominent signs of movement). All the CA Sierra glaciers formed about 700 years ago at the inception of the Little Ice Age, and have been shrinking for the last 100 years, except for a brief period in the 1960s, when they advanced. I thought you were referring to the snowfields on the way to Split, which were nearly absent this year, but were substantial 7 and 2 years ago. My apologies.

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  • Jim M.

    Probably not much movement, there's not much left. It's a little eerie to hear running water from ice melt beneath one's feet while climbing the boulder fields though.

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  • BMS914

    Collin and I went round and round about this when we were on Split. In any event, the Palisade Glacier is not a hospitable place, I was glad to finish it.

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  • Harlan S.

    There is so much rockfall on the glaciers/snowfields, that they look like more crap than ice. The Palisade Glacier gets downright ugly by summer's end. The Palisade Glacier in prettier times, July 2009 (a low-snow year!): http://hwstock.org/sill9n/html/IMG_3833.htm

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  • BMS914

    Yeah, much nicer in that photograph. The ice on Saturday was an odd combination of hard and brittle, such that even with sharp crampons I don't know how secure it would have felt traveling on it for significant distances. And with all the rock and sand, the crampons pose problems of their own. Add to that the ineffectiveness of the ice axes on the surface, and it all added up to an avoid-at-all-costs area. The bergschrunds on all the couliors heading to N Pal looked large and difficult to negotiate, and I doubt they would have taken ice screws securely.

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  • BMS914

    Oh, and the whole area was getting pelted with very significant rockfall. Funny how I nearly forgot to mention the most significant hazard of all!

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  • Jim M.

    When I was climbing Split, there was nearly continuous rock fall off to my left as I was approaching the chute up to the ridge. Luckily nothing came my way. Your glacier looks a heck of a lot more serious! Ax and crampons used?

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  • Jim M.

    Oh, I see you already addressed that above.

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  • BMS914

    None of us brought crampons. Mine are the kind with metal bails, which require a toe & heel welt to attach them. That meant I would have to either wear my stiff mountaineering boots the whole way (awful) or carry them up (pretty bad). We all had ice axes but they were ineffective. I think I was the only member of our party who even tried using one.

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