The Palisades Expedition, ICE 3, ROCK 8 Training

  • 08/17/2020
  • 7:00 AM
  • 08/22/2020
  • 8:00 PM
  • Big Pine, CA
  • 0


In order to do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic this event is cancelled. Current RSVPs will be intact if it can be rescheduled. MAA will continue to monitor conditions and update event status accordingly.

Join MAA members to climb the Palisade Classics: North Pal, Polemonium, Sill, Starlight and Thunderbolt. Considered the "throneroom of the alpine gods" the Palisades is the most densely packed array of alpine ice and rock routes in the Sierra. We'll spend 6 days tackling the best routes such as the U-Notch, V-Notch, Swiss Arete and the North Pal to Thunderbolt Traverse. This will provide the opportunity for participants to have an excellent hands-on training experience in ROCK 8 and ICE 3. Prior experience climbing steep snow, alpine ice and alpine multi-pitch rock climbing required. Loaner gear may be available. We have room for 9. 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: Climbing in the Palisades for six days with camp near the foot of Mt. Gayley and bivy camps on the Palisades Glacier. ICE 3 and ROCK 8 training. Alpine ice climbing up to AI3, multi-pitch alpine rock up to 5.8, rappelling, rock traverses, backcountry off-trail navigation and camping. Many ascents will take between 10-16 hours.
  • Where to meet: In Big Pine CA, location TBD
  • Event Leader: Darren Shutt
  • Minimum / Maximum: 2,9
  • Travel and gear coordination: Group spreadsheet on G-Drive will be shared with confirmed participants.
  • Skills Requirements: Participants should be experienced in and know how to climb 60 degree alpine ice with two tools, climb fifth class rock in mountaineering boots, lead belay, rappel, 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, rock shoes, 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 6 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.


  • PRIOR: We will arrange gear and logistics online and on a conference call that will happen approx. July 2020. TBD, will communicate with registrants.
  • DAY 1 - Monday, August 17th: Meet in Big Pine, caravan up to the trailhead. Logistics, gear, review route to basecamp. Hike approx. 8 miles to Sam Mack meadow.
  • DAY 2 - Tuesday, August 18th: Move to basecamp at the foot of Mt. Gayley, and complete a shorter climb, probably the Swiss Arete or North Couloir on Mt. Sill, or the V-Notch to Polemonium.
  • DAY 3 - DAY 5, Wednesday, August 19th - Friday, August 21st: 3 more days to climb all of the best routes in the Palisades. May utilize bivy camps on the moraine to the north of Palisade Glacier to access the U-Notch, V-Notch and Underhill Couloir. Exact routes, teams and itinerary will be decided days prior to departure and finalized on the mountain. 
  • DAY 6 - Saturday, 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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