Ascent of Mount Sill on 1947-08-08

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Others in Party:Oliver Kehrlein
Ian Mackinlay
Cricket (Ann) Strong
Jack Graham
Dick Kauffman
Doug&Viv Douglas
Bill Manning
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, August 8, 1947
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Sill
    Elevation:14153 ft / 4313 m

Ascent Trip Report

With Oliver Kehrlein as our climbing leader, our group of 9 left the Sierra Club Base Camp at Fifth Lake headed to the Palisade Glacier for an ascent of Mt. Sill via the NW Face. After climbing over the terminal moraine we brought out ice axes and crampons, and Oliver took a course up the left side of the glacier, closely skirting the west buttress of Mt. Gayley, then turning up toward Sill behind its north-face pyramid buttress. We climbed to a point on the rock just beyond the bergschrund on the west side of the pyramid buttress, where we left our crampons and ice axes. From here we traversed upward and to the south, across broken, unstable rock until we reached a point where a tongue of the glacier extended up a long couloir. Fortunately, Oliver had retained his ice axe. Otherwise our climb might well have failed. For about 45 minutes Oliver cut steps across 100 feet of ice. Beyond the ice the rock became more stable, and we were able to climb at a somewhat steeper angle to the top of Sill's western arete. It was then a matter of scrambling over larger, more secure granite blocks to the summit. The view was stunning,some say the best in the Sierra, with many great peaks in view. After a relaxing 1 hr 45 min on top, we began the descent. All went well, although we were very cautious on the loose rock. At the spot where we had left our crampons and ice axes, we were startled by the roar of a rock slide in the next chute to the west. We hurried off the mountain, crossing the bergschrund to the moraine. By now the clouds that had been gathering since we left the summit opened up and pelted us with cold rain for much of the way back to camp, where we arrived for dinner just in the nick ot time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3366 ft / 1025 m
    Trailhead:Fifth Lake  10787 ft / 3287 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Rock Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Rope
    Weather:Good in morning; cloudt turning to thunder showers in afternoon

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