Correction to Secor

Chimney Pass

by David Kiene

Chimney Pass, located near Palisade Crest, is not at elevation 12,560 feet, as Mr.Secor reports. A few weeks ago, we tried following that direction and wound up at a "pass" that was at least class 3, not the class 2 pass that Chimney is rated. We didn't even climb to the top of the pass to see what the south side looked like, so the south side might actually be worse. Instead, Chimney Pass is actually at 12,400 feet, and is as Mr.Secor points out, a great route to reach Lower Palisade Lake from the Glacier Creek drainage.

Phil Martz adds:

My brother and I backpacked the Palisade Basin and Palisade Lakes region extensively and crossed the off-trail passes between Dusy Basin to Palisade Lake. I'd like to confirm the correction of Chimney Pass previously submitted by contributor David Kiene. The correct location of Chimney Pass is 0.7 mi SSW of Palisade Crest, elevation 12,400+ (Secor has it: 0.5 mi S of Palisade Crest, elev. 12,560). In this region, I think Cirque Pass (0.9 mi SW of Palisade Crest, Elev. 12,000+) is worth considering. Although it is perhaps a tad more difficult than Chimney, it is 400 feet lower. See topo map:

I have compiled a waypoint file (Sierrapasses.tpg) for use with TOPO! maps, of off-trail High Sierra Passes. The file is at Download and open in TOPO! for locations of passes. I am continuing to update this file with more passes and notes on passes. Any comments please send email to me at

The information provided in these pages is provided by interested volunteers and has not been field checked. R.J. Secor, The Mountaineers, the Sierra Club and are in no way responsible for the accuracy of any route advice on this web site. Safe climbers must be able to understand the terrain and topography of the area they travel in, and they must make wise route finding choices based their own knowledge, experience and observations.