Mt. Sill, the early days

15-21 Jul 1970 - by Ed Carlson

Actually the year was 1968, 34 years ago. I signed up for the Palisides School of Mountaineering course based at 3rd Lake up the N fork of Big Pine Creek. $365 for 6 days of training with two climbs, one over 14000 ft. The first route was up Moon Goddess, Temple Craig. My first technical climb and I was hooked. I believe the route was finalized by Don Jensen earlier that same year. A few days later, the ever popular Mt Sill via the Swiss Arete. Great Sill memories that I repeated 24 years later in 1992 with my son and late Bishop guide Alan Bard. Alan remarked that we have our names in the summit book along with some of the climbing greats before us. Unfortunately my name from 1968 climb was in an old register since removed for preservation. That really makes me feel old. Any ideas where that register might be? Sure would be great to give it another try next year at 60! It sure feels great to be hiking along the trail and talk to climbers destined for their first climb up the Swiss Arete. What a connection. We can talk like I climbed it just the other day, nothing has changed, just me. And the next climb will put me right back in the groove. Some interesting notes about the Sill climb and approach. We stayed overnight in the rock hut at the top of the 3rd lake couloir(removed many years ago). I lost my climb film canister down one of cracks at the summit, its still there somewhere. On the return, the guide left me to descend the 3rd lake couloir back to camp (at my own speed, of course). I didn't ski then, so I post holed and stumbled and fell down the snow field, crossed the log jamb at the outlet of 3rd lake at 9PM under a full moon and got back to camp wiped out but safe. All the celebration dinner was gone by then and I was content to colapse in my tent. What a great time! Regards, Big Ed.


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