Mount Sill (14,153 feet)

Mount Sill

In September 2005, Rick Kent and I, joined by Paul from California, hiked up the north fork of Big Pine Creek for an overnight attempt at Mount Sill and Polemonium Peak.

Eventually reaching Gayley Camp via the long snow chute adjacent to Temple Crag, we set camp and settled in for what we be a long and uncomfortable night...afterall, I'd blown off a tent, a sleeping pad, everything for a good night's camp, except of course, my sleeping bag. Still, sleeping directly on raw, cold rock at 12,000 feet can be miserably cold.
4th class ice-covered rock - sweet!

Rising early the next morning, we got off-route on the way to Glacier Notch, finding ourselves climbing class 4-5 rock in the pre-dawn gloom. Eventually working our way out of the difficulties and to the correct notch below Mount Sill, the sun rose and we found the going enjoyable.

Encountering snow and ice on the class 3 & 4 face directly below the peak and adjacent to the classic Swiss Arete, we were careful as we climbed upward, soon gaining easier terrain that gave us views to Polemonium Peak and the Polemonium Glacier.
Looking toward Polemonium Peak (right) from just above the crux

The final class 3 scramble to the summit was enjoyable, but then I was struck by strong, icy cold winds. Having enjoyed many warm days in the Sierra all summer, I hadn't come prepared for the bitter cold that was suddenly engaging itself with this high mountain.

Quickly posing for a picture or two on top, I told Rick and Paul that I was too cold to head over to Polemonium. It would have to wait for another day.

Returning to the top of the class 4 crux of the route, I rappelled through the snow and ice to safer ground, then left the rope for them to use, as they still intending to hit up Polemonium Peak. Farewell, boys!
CP on the summit

*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent