Norman Clyde Peak Twilight Pillar

Big Pine, California

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Norman Clyde made the first ascent of this striking peak by way of the north face in June 1930. He described the peak, “From the south, it presents an impressive array of crags and pinnacles; from the north it is even more impressive as it rises in sheer cliffs above a steep glacier at the head of a deep canyon.” The first ascent of the stunning Twilight Pillar was one of the many fine first ascents Don Jensen made during his tenure as senior guide in the Palisades. Clyde’s frequent climbing partner Smoke Blanchard noted, “For at least three decades it has been known as Clyde Peak, because Norman was the first to climb it, and because of all of Norman’s first ascents. It is the one mountain that dominated his life, for a quarter century. He would watch the topmost crags turn pink from the morning sun while still in bed, and all day long (as he worked at Glacier Lodge), he would turn and gaze at it from time to time. Its starlit snows still gleamed faintly in the clear Sierra skies when he doused the lantern at night.”

Norman Clyde Peak: Twilight Pillar Professional Review and Guide

"Norman Clyde made the first ascent of this striking peak by way of the north face in June 1930. He described the peak, “From the south, it presents an impressive array of crags and pinnacles; from the north it is even more impressive as it rises in sheer cliffs above a steep glacier at the head of a deep canyon.” The first ascent of the stunning Twilight Pillar was one of the many fine first ascents Don Jensen made during his tenure as senior guide in the Palisades. Clyde’s frequent climbing partner Smoke Blanchard noted, “For at least three decades it has been known as Clyde Peak, because Norman was the first to climb it, and because of all of Norman’s first ascents. It is the one mountain that dominated his life, for a quarter century. He would watch the topmost crags turn pink from the morning sun while still in bed, and all day long (as he worked at Glacier Lodge), he would turn and gaze at it from time to time. Its starlit snows still gleamed faintly in the clear Sierra skies when he doused the lantern at night.”"

Activity Type: Climbing
Nearby City: Big Pine
Class: Class 5.6 - 5.8
Local Contacts: John Muir Wilderness; Kings Canyon National Park
Local Maps: USGS Split Mountain
Grade: Grade III
Driving Directions: Directions to Norman Clyde Peak: Twilight Pillar

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May 2018