Mount Palmer

1970

By: Andy Smatko

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With far off Mt. Palmer as our objective, we walked up the jeep road (no longer passable even for a jeep due to a couple of deep washouts) to the crest of the range at a saddle and thence followed the up and down ridge to Mt. Palmer's isolated summit. Our ascent was only the second one made of this striking peak. It was first climbed on Aug. 1, 1962 by two faculty members of the Univ. of California via the same route, to gain information for the Geo1ogic Survey. The SSE face of Mt. Palmer is absolutely sheer for over 600 ft. and overhangs in spots. Even along our route we had a bit of 3rd class on loose rock. We sighted a band of four deer on the ridge during the climb. Total elevation gain is about 3500 ft and distance round trip was over 12 Miles. This is the easiest route for Mt. Palmer as other routes would be both longer and would necessitate a much greater gain. Sheep tracks and beds were observed, and also, 4-5 ft. circular rock platforms were discovered on the ridge, obviously man made and most probably engineered by Indians. Beautiful pinon forests clothed the slopes, interspersed with lush juniper trees. Many other rugged summits were noted in a radius of 10 miles in the range, undoubtedly unclimbed, as they are so remote from any roadhead. (DPS tigers, here's your chance). Our weather was perfect. Early morning temperature on Sunday reached 33F, but the sun soon took care of that.


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