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#55691 - 07/09/19 02:19 PM Mt. Sill Solo 7/12 - Condition Question
AdventureUSA Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 15
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
Hi guys,

I'm going to attempt Mt. Sill via Big Pine South Fork this coming weekend. I have experience with crampons and an ice axe, and should have no problem on the chute just past Glacier Notch. I am, however, concerned with the class 4 section being covered in late-season snow/ice. Has anyone been up there recently or heard of the conditions? How is the snow?

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#55698 - 07/10/19 09:46 AM Re: Mt. Sill Solo 7/12 - Condition Question [Re: AdventureUSA]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 432
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Iíve been up Sill many times, but I havenít been there in 10 years, so I canít report on current conditions. I think itís easier to get to Glacier notch from the Palisade Glacier, rather than from the south fork. I ran into a lot of willows and an unpleasant stream crossing when I approached from the south fork. My guidebooks rate the North Couloir as class 3, class 3-4, or class 4. If your routefinding is good, you wonít find any class 4. In fact, I once descended it and only needed my hands for one move. Of course, snow can make things more ďinteresting.Ē My guess is that youíll climb the rock with hands and bare boots, stepping on reasonably firm snow part of the time. Maybe somebody will chime in with more recent information. Iím thinking about going up again in August.

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#55700 - 07/10/19 04:38 PM Re: Mt. Sill Solo 7/12 - Condition Question [Re: bobpickering]
AdventureUSA Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 15
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
Excellent Bob, thank you for the advice. I'm aware of the nasty bushwhacking that takes place on the South Fork approach and will probably only deal with it this one time. I plan to climb the Swiss Arete and complete the traverse to Thunderbolt next time!

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#55702 - 07/10/19 05:34 PM Re: Mt. Sill Solo 7/12 - Condition Question [Re: AdventureUSA]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 432
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I traversed from Gayley to Thunderbolt in 2000. Post here or send me a PM if you have any questions.

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#55730 - 07/15/19 01:05 PM Re: Mt. Sill Solo 7/12 - Condition Question [Re: AdventureUSA]
AdventureUSA Offline


Registered: 07/09/19
Posts: 15
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
Just a heads up. As of 7/12 there is still snow on every surface above 11k feet. I got to 10.8k and turned around. The route is covered in snow that is too soft for crampons and very steep. Creek crossings were also sketchy due to the much higher level of snowmelt rushing down the mountains. I was able to cross the creek where it splits into multiple crossings on the South Fork trail. You are also able to cross in the evening when the creek levels are the highest, but need to be extra careful.

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