Thursday, January 14, 2010

14Jan2010 Palisade Peak

From Palisade Peak

Breaking trail beyond the Palisade Peak warming hut we followed the old overlook trail through the woods until we broke out onto the escarpment above Palisade Lake. The mature trees are widely spaced at this elevation. The ridge climbs steadily to the summit of Palisade Peak, but we veered west when we'd had enough climbing and got this great vista of Devil's Peak, and the Royal Gorge of the American River. The polished granite rolls of this high Sierra area are blanketed now in a solid snowpack, making traveling cross country pretty straightforward. Hidden in the folds to the west between our lookout and Devil's Peak is Long Lake, one of our summer hiking destinations. Few people venture off trail at Royal Gorge, but some of the most stunning views and exhilarating downhill runs in the Donner Summit area lie in the "side country" surrounding the resort and between the far reaching network of marked and groomed trails.

From Palisade Peak

Looking down the escarpment above Palisade Lake. We need more snow before these descents will be safe for skiing. Best to stick to the trees for now.

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