My Site Index | More thrills, beauty, wilderness

Long shot of the Palisades

Growing Up around the Palisades
and the Sport of mountaineering in the Early 1960's

(Note - this is a very old page from the era of HTML 1.0 and very bad scanning. I have not updated it so far, and now it is as quaint as the climbing equipment depicted!)

The links that follow are to photos shot by my father, Larry Williams, or by his friends or other family members in the Palisades section of the Sierra Nevada in the mid-sixties. So, sit back, click away, and enjoy the picture show!

My father ran the first commercial Mountaineering School in California in the 60's.

The Palisades were a breathtaking setting for a climbing school, or just for a romp in the milky glacial creek.

The Palisades were notable both for a series of high peaks, from 13,000 to 14,000 feet, and Palisade Glacier, the Sierra's largest living glacier.

The sport was younger then, and rarer. I still have a carabiner from those days, slighly rusted! My father and the guides who worked with him carried strings of these heavy steel links. The iceaxes were still long enough to use as walking sticks. Pitons were ubiquitous, bright webbing unknown.

My Mom, Laurie Williams, and Jingles, our main means of transport for supplies, helped set up the camp at Sam Mack Meadow.

My whole motley family got to spend some time at altitude - around 10,000 feet or so. We didn't consider the 8,000+ of our base camp at the roadhead to be high altitude!

At that time, the summit of North Pal, as the climbers affectionately called it, still had a register placed by legendary Sierra climbing pioneer Norman Clyde.

My father, too, made some first ascents in the Sierra, but by the time he started climbing in the 50's, there were only minor crags and lower peaks still unclimbed. He was a respected and excellent climber, teacher, and trip leader of his day.

Larry died in an aviation accident at the Bishop, California, airport in 1967, and I wrote this very personal remembrance of him and of my sorrow at his death, looking back years later, as a posting in the Life Stories conference on the WELL.

Ascend back to my starting page

Laurie climbes a steep snowy

Photos indexed from this page are (C) copyright by Laurie R. Williams. They were taken by Larry C. Williams, except for photos showing him.