Polemonium Peak V-Notch Couloir

Big Pine, California

0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars
0 Reviews
0 out of 5
Polemonium, commonly known as “Sky Pilot,” is a lovely purple flower that is found on the highest summits and often announces its presence with a lovely fragrance. Dana Morgensen, long-time Yosemite Park photographer and author of Yosemite Wildflower Trails, described this unique flower as “a glorious reward for the weary climber as they stand at last on the mountain top. Polemonium is appropriate to its setting; it is a creature of the sky, drifting clouds and the summit wind.” The status of Polemonium Peak as a separate 14,000-foot peak is open to debate. It would not receive much interest at all if not for the V-Notch Couloir that graces its north face. James Wilson described it as perhaps the best gully ice climb in the Sierra for most climbers.” Doug Robinson and Yvon Chouinard made the first ascent of the gully under ice conditions in October of 1970. Robinson later wrote, “October on the Palisade Glacier was a mountaineer’s clear and cold dream of the high country with a night rattling wind, and the highly contrasted lights and shadows of the day printed on our minds as if to impress us again, and at last, before winter took the edges off. The V-Notch glittered at us from between confining granite walls; looking almost straight into this gully made it very steep in the mind.”
Climbing California's High Sierra

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Climbing California's High Sierra

by John Moynier & Claude Fiddler (Falcon Guides)

Polemonium, commonly known as “Sky Pilot,” is a lovely purple flower that is found on the highest summits and often announces its presence with a lovely fragrance. Dana Morgensen, long-time Yosemite Park photographer and author of Yosemite Wildflower Trails, described this unique flower as “a glorious reward for the weary climber as they stand at last on the mountain top. Polemonium is appropriate to its setting; it is a creature of the sky, drifting clouds and the summit wind.” The status of Polemonium Peak as a separate 14,000-foot peak is open to debate. It would not receive much interest at all if not for the V-Notch Couloir that graces its north face. James Wilson described it as perhaps the best gully ice climb in the Sierra for most climbers.” Doug Robinson and Yvon Chouinard made the first ascent of the gully under ice conditions in October of 1970. Robinson later wrote, “October on the Palisade Glacier was a mountaineer’s clear and cold dream of the high country with a night rattling wind, and the highly contrasted lights and shadows of the day printed on our minds as if to impress us again, and at last, before winter took the edges off. The V-Notch glittered at us from between confining granite walls; looking almost straight into this gully made it very steep in the mind.”

©  John Moynier & Claude Fiddler/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Climbing
Nearby City: Big Pine
Class: Class 5 - 5.5
Local Contacts: John Muir Wilderness; Kings Canyon National Park
Local Maps: USGS North Palisade, Coyote Flat
Driving Directions: Directions to Polemonium Peak: V-Notch Couloir

Recent Trail Reviews

There are no reviews for this trail.

Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018