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Mount Agassiz 2015
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Mount Agassiz 2015

 
Mount Agassiz 2015

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: California, United States, North America

Object Title: Mount Agassiz 2015

Date Climbed/Hiked: Jun 26, 2015

Activities: Hiking

Season: Summer

 

Page By: Diesel

Created/Edited: Jul 15, 2015 / May 7, 2016

Object ID: 946286

Hits: 1054 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

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Mount Agassiz Day Hike via Bishop Pass

In the third day of my hiking trip, I had scheduled Mount Agassiz. The proximity to Bishop Pass, easy access and the class 2/3 climb up, almost 14,000 ft with the view of the Palisade, made it very appealing. I'd have to say that if there is a day hike someone would like to do but is unsure of the logistics, this is the one. The road from Bishop to South Lake is all asphalt, there is day parking right at the trail head, toilets and trash containers. Bishop Pass trail is absolutely beautiful and easy to hike. The only down side to this trail would be the swarms of mosquitos along the lower elevation area of the trail.

Bishop Pass Trail
Bishop Pass Trail

Bishop Pass Trail
Bishop Pass Trail

Bishop Pass Trail
Bishop Pass Trail

It states that taking the Bishop Pass trail, from the trailhead to Bishop Pass, is 5 miles. My GPS said less than that but I'd go with the official number. I started the hike at 5:00 AM and I was at the pass at 7:40 AM, casually hiking and taking pictures along the way. Mount Agassiz became visible about an hour after I left the trailhead. I had no idea which it was until I pulled out a picture with the ascent routes marked on it, and I noticed the similarities.

Mount Agassiz
Mount Agassiz - in the background

 West Slope of Mount Agassiz.
I followed the red route. This is not my image; it belongs to summitpost Matthew Holliman's.

Looking at Mt Agassiz
Looking at Mt Agassiz

From Bishop Pass it is best that one takes a good look, and some pictures, of Mt Agassiz. I did, lucky me. When I was on the mountain itself it is impossible to certainly know where one is. If I didn't have the pictures in my camera to look at for clues, I'd have gotten on a route I did not want to take. Going up the mountain is a pain. The rocks/boulders are lose and tiring on the feet. Don't even think of carrying trekking polls up this mountain: no use. From the pass to the top of the mountain it took me 2.5 hours. I summited at 10:10 AM.

Mount Agassiz
Mount Agassiz - going up the chute

Summit of Mount Agassiz
Summit of Mount Agassiz

Palisades
Palisades - view from the summitof Mt Agassiz

I was lucky to have a mostly cloudy day, so the Sun did not torch me. On the summit I was impressed with how majestic and scary the Palisade mountains appear. Actually, one of the hikes I had plan for the rest of the week was Mount Sill. After I saw how the glacier and Mt. Sill looked from the top of Mt Agassiz, I decided that Mt Sill wasn't for me, not as a solo hike anyway.) A couple of days later, however, the plan changed again, reluctantly I hiked to the top of Sill. That hike/climb wasn't by far as bad as it appeared to be from Mt Agassiz. I'm glad I second-guessed myself.

Bishop Pass Trail
Bishop Pass Trail

Marmot on Bishop Pass
Marmot on Bishop Pass

Bird on Bishop Pass trail
Bird on Bishop Pass trail

Coming down from Mt Agassiz I ran into another hiker going up: a gentleman named Allen. Further down on the mountain there were some long patches of snow: I used these patches to hike down. Although I got wet because of the melting snow, it was better and faster than hiking down on the boulders. Once I made it back to the pass, it was about 5 miles or so back to the parking lot.  The distance did not seem so fantastic anymore. After a while, however, the trail got busy with tourists/hikers, in fact that broke down the monotony. I was back at the car at 2:25 PM, 9 hours and 25 minutes later.

Images

PalisadesBishop Pass TrailMount AgassizMount AgassizSummit of Mount AgassizMarmot on Bishop PassBird on Bishop Pass trail
On Bishop Pass TrailLooking at Mt AgassizBishop Pass TrailBishop Pass TrailBig bone on Mt AgassizBishop Pass TrailMount Agassiz



Comments


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StartingOverNice report

StartingOver

Voted 10/10

I'm hoping to climb Agassiz by this same route later this summer. I'm worried about the altitude, being someone that lives at sea level and started having some problems at 10,000 feet on Baldy. If I do this climb it also will be my first "real" class two since I was 15. But it looks doable and this report is helpful. I'm hoping I get the chance!
Posted Jul 16, 2015 12:55 pm

DieselAcclimatize

Diesel

Hasn't voted

You will have to acclimatize a little. This was my 3rd hike in 3 days, so I was OK. I don't need more than a day of acclimatization, but I'd recommend for you to do a lower peak first. You can also, the day before hiking Agassiz, spend a couple of hours at South Lake, walking around. Good Luck.
Posted Jul 16, 2015 1:25 pm

StartingOverRe: Acclimatize

StartingOver

Voted 10/10

Thanks for the tip. My problem, as always, is complete lack of time. Ideally I'd take a week off, spend a day or two at a place like Mammoth, start doing some day hikes in the South Lake Area or other similar places, and then climb Agassiz at the end of the week after being fully acclimatized. But my schedule will force me to come to Bishop the day before from downtown LA, and probably drive back after the hike unless I'm too tired.

If the altitude is too much I will just enjoy the Bishop Pass Trail, which looks fantastic. Even just making it to Long Lake would make the trip worthwhile for me. My main goal is to hike in the High Sierra for the first time -- climbing Agassiz would just be the cherry on top.

I like the suggestion of spending some time at South Lake the day before and I will do that -- assuming I am able to plan the trip at all. I may also try to stay at the place in Aspendell the night before.

Congrats again on the climb and thanks for the advice.
Posted Jul 17, 2015 11:50 am

DieselRe: Acclimatize

Diesel

Hasn't voted

I live at almost see level. I get affected by altitude at about 11,000 ft, if I don't get acclimatized. However, I never go hiking without altitude sickness medication. My doctor prescribed me this medication. I take it a couple of days before hiking and a few days after I start hiking. I always do a hike around 13,000 before I start the 14,000 ft peaks. After that, I will not need it anymore. For a week of hiking, that will do the trick. For a day or two of hiking, that will not do the trick. The medication is tricky in itself since acts as a blood thinner. In conjunction with effort I always get nose bleeds. Not bad, but I get them. That is the sign for me that I don't need it anymore.
Posted Jul 17, 2015 12:29 pm

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