American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

United States, California—Sierra Nevada, "Smoke Blanchard Memorial Route"

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Middle Palisade, “Smoke Blanchard Memorial Route.” On July 10, Steve Porcella and I climbed a new route on the west side of Middle Palisade. In the center of the face is a steep buttress, easily recognized by the two deep gullies on either side. We ascended the center of the buttress for eleven easy pitches, with a 5.9 headwall on the tenth pitch. At this point, there are several possibilities, all 5.9 or harder, leading to the top of the buttress. From there, a rappel is necessary. A class-3 ridge and class -4 chimneys led us to the top. This 14-pitch route boasts high-quality rock and is named for a long-time AAC member, Smoke Blanchard, who died in a car accident in early 1989. (IV,5.9, A1.)

Cameron M. Burns, Los Alamos Mountaineers

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