North Palisade, U-Notch

  • 06/12/2020
  • 8:00 AM
  • 06/14/2020
  • 8:00 PM
  • Big Pine Creek Trailhead outside Big Pine, CA
  • 0


Registration is closed

Join MAA on North Palisade to climb the forever classic U-Notch Couloir. Widely regarded as one of the most interesting alpine routes anywhere, with a combination of ice, rock and scrambling that culminates in the summit of this popular California Fourteener. Prior experience climbing steep snow, alpine ice and multi-pitch rock climbing required (ICE 2, SNOW 4, ROCK 6). Loaner gear may be available. We have room for 6. Hope to have you out with us!

SCREENED EVENT: Please join the waitlist. Attendees will be selected based on skill proficiency and experience shown on their MAA profile. Those registered will be notified. Thank you! 


  • What's happening: North Palisade 14,242' via the U-Notch Couloir route, AI2, 5.4, three days, 12 miles trail travel each way. Ascent will take between 14-20 hours.
  • Where to meet: Big Pine Creek Trailhead 8am June 12th
  • Event Leader: Doug Harris
  • Minimum / Maximum: 2,6
  • Skills Requirements: Participants should be experienced in and know how to climb 60 degree alpine ice with two tools, climb mid-fifth class rock in mountaineering boots, belay, tie in, rappell and clean ice and rock protection, as well as standard backcountry and mountain travel and camping. 
  • What to bring: Mountaineering boots, sharp crampons, a pair of ice tools, harness, belay device, 3 locking carabiners, 2 slings, prusik, PAS, helmet, base layers, mid layers, shell layers, 2 pair socks, lightweight gloves, 30 - 55 liter climbing pack, sleeping bag, tent, food for 3 days, 2 liter water carrying capacity, trekking poles, gaiters, map, compass, strong headlamp with extra batteries, lightweight emergency bivy. MAA may supply some or all of the group technical equipment, ropes, tents, stoves, and fuel.
  • Bobcat's Adventure SportsMAA Apex and Base members enjoy a significant retail discount on mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, skiing, splitboarding, and backcountry clothing, equipment and gear, as well as consignment and rentals. 
  • Medical: If you have any medical conditions pertinent to your participation on this event, please inform the event leaders after registration.


  • DAY 1 - Friday, June 12th: We meet 8am at the Big Pine Creek Trailhead fully packed and ready to go. Prior to leaving we will go over logistics, gear, review route to basecamp. Hike approx. 8 miles to basecamp below the Palisade Glacier.
  • DAY 2 - June 13th: With a pre-dawn start, ascend to and traverse the Palisade Glacier to the bottom of the U-Notch. Rope up and climb the bergschrund and then many pitches of alpine ice to the col, then a few pitches of easy fifth class rock to the summit ridge, to the summit. Descend the entire route by downclimbing and rappelling.
  • DAY 3 - June 14th: Break camp and head home.


  • This event is free of charge. MAA receives no direct financial gain for organizing and supporting this event. Donations are not solicited on this event, nor is any exchange of money a requirement for participation.

  • This event is open to all Apex, Base, and free Associate members - paid membership is not a requirement of attendance. 

  • MAA is a 100% volunteer-run, federal and state recognized 501(c)7 not-for-profit membership organization and does not seek or realize a profit from organizing this event; all membership benefits, liability insurance, website, database, administrative costs and all expenses are supported solely through membership, not event fees.

  • MAA event leaders are experienced members who are board-approved and volunteer to host the event as a representative of MAA, but are not operating as a guide or compensated as a guide - all participants on the event share responsibility for the safety, decisions, and actions of the group.

  • Accordingly, the physical demands, required skills or technical terrain of some events require that we screen participants; individuals should join the waitlist to be considered for RSVP. The experience, skills and fitness in the MAA membership profile will be used to determine the suitability of each individual to the demands of that particular event.

  • Participant safety is our top priority. Many circumstances such as mountain conditions, weather, or subjective hazards may necessitate changes to the published itinerary, including cancellation.

  • As a private, non-commercial group we operate within the posted group size limits and regulations for this area.

  • All MAA members are taught and practice Leave No Trace principles to be good stewards of wild places.

  • The event begins and ends at the trailhead. MAA does not insure ridesharing or other travel arrangements and bears no responsibility for them. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among individuals.

  • MAA event leaders carry communication devices and a medical kit; The primary event leader at a minimum has current wilderness first aid and CPR training as well as MAA policy training.

(916) 692-0005

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