Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:02 pm

I'm looking for any advice on approaching Longley Pass from Cloud Canyon via Cunningham Creek. I'll be entering Cloud Canyon via Colby Pass. Also, suggestions regarding scenic campsites between Colby Pass and Cunningham Cr are welcome. Thanks!!
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby thegib » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:08 am

As you descend from Colby lake, if you just turn south and march up canyon, immediately east of Whaleback, it's all open and lovely. I camped at 10400 and loved it. Climb Whaleback while you're at it, beautiful ridge. What I remember from ascending Cunningham Ck is mosquitos, sun, and brush. Ugh. Another route, which I heartily recommend, is to more closely parallel the GWD. Head north from Colby lake, follow the creek to Talus lake, go north to Table ck and pass just west of Thunder Mtn at 12000', then descend to around 11000 on Cunningham ck. I did this (w/GF) the other direction, which I think is preferable, but still super cool. Have a great time!
User Avatar
thegib

 
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:18 pm
Location: Berkeley, California, United States
Thanked: 20 times in 16 posts

The following user would like to thank thegib for this post
peninsula

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:50 am

thegib wrote:As you descend from Colby lake, if you just turn south and march up canyon, immediately east of Whaleback, it's all open and lovely. I camped at 10400 and loved it. Climb Whaleback while you're at it, beautiful ridge. What I remember from ascending Cunningham Ck is mosquitos, sun, and brush. Ugh. Another route, which I heartily recommend, is to more closely parallel the GWD. Head north from Colby lake, follow the creek to Talus lake, go north to Table ck and pass just west of Thunder Mtn at 12000', then descend to around 11000 on Cunningham ck. I did this (w/GF) the other direction, which I think is preferable, but still super cool. Have a great time!


Thanks thegib, sounds great! Thanks for the feedback, I'll study your route via Talus Lake. Won't be in the area until the first week of October, so at least I can avoid the mosquitos.
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:06 pm

Last year's effort was aborted due to an early-winter storm. I'm going to try again this year, and while in the region, I'm interested in visiting Josephine Lake. Any advice on the best approach to this lake is appreciated... it looks steep from most angles!
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:59 pm

peninsula wrote:Last year's effort was aborted due to an early-winter storm. I'm going to try again this year, and while in the region, I'm interested in visiting Josephine Lake. Any advice on the best approach to this lake is appreciated... it looks steep from most angles!


I have my route pretty much figured out now, and I'm ruling out a visit to Josephine Lake. Instead, I plan to go over Longley Pass with a west-side approach. Any advice on the best route to descend on the East side of Longley Pass with an aim for Colby Pass is appreciated... I'm concerned about the steep sections between 12 and 11,000 feet. I want to get down to Cunningham Creek, should I vere towards South Guard Lake or veer more to the south as I make my way to Cunningham Creek? Thank you in advance!
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby thegib » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:04 pm

It's easy to descend to S. Guard lake from Longley. On the Tom Harrison map it may look like a steep 4-600' section, but it's a non-issue. Did it with packs, in the rain, with trepidatious GF, two weeks ago.
User Avatar
thegib

 
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:18 pm
Location: Berkeley, California, United States
Thanked: 20 times in 16 posts

The following user would like to thank thegib for this post
peninsula

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:57 pm

thegib wrote:It's easy to descend to S. Guard lake from Longley. On the Tom Harrison map it may look like a steep 4-600' section, but it's a non-issue. Did it with packs, in the rain, with trepidatious GF, two weeks ago.


Thanks thegib. My once trepidatious girlfriend is now my wife of 25 years! Needless to say, she stopped joining me on my backpacking expeditions soon after I purchased said cow.

Cheers!
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby finckster » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:53 pm

I recall that navigating the lower sections of Cunningham Creek was much more challenging than Longley Pass itself, but totally doable. After the tarn above South Guard Lake, I stayed high in order to get around the lake. Below that, there are two steeper sections on the way down, one near a waterfall and one just above the canyon floor. You can probably get through both of them on either side of the creek; I was on the south side for the first one and the north for the lower one, but don't know that these were the better choices.

Really beautiful area and I didn't see a soul. Some photos below but more are here: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ACs4psNXymndb8tXg4x7O9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

Getting aroung South Guard Lake:
Image

Loose brushy talus:
Image

Final stretch above Cloud Canyon:
Image
User Avatar
finckster

 
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:12 am
Location: Palo Alto, California
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

The following user would like to thank finckster for this post
peninsula

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby boyblue » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:31 pm

finckster wrote:I recall that navigating the lower sections of Cunningham Creek was much more challenging than Longley Pass itself, but totally doable. After the tarn above South Guard Lake, I stayed high in order to get around the lake. Below that, there are two steeper sections on the way down, one near a waterfall and one just above the canyon floor. You can probably get through both of them on either side of the creek; I was on the south side for the first one and the north for the lower one, but don't know that these were the better choices.


I descended Cunningham in 1979. A cliff with a waterfall blocks progress at about the 10,300 foot level. finckster is right (nice pictures, btw :) ) in that you can go around either to the north or the south. Both look pretty unpleasant from above. Trying to go straight down the middle (like I tried to do) will cliff you out. I went around on the north side only because I was already slightly closer to that side and it looked just a bit less ugly than the left side. I very pleasantly surprised to find a fairly adequate use-trail that led down almost all the way to the top of the lower steep section above Cloud Canyon. I seem to remember reading that a maintained trail used to go up Cunningham Canyon to Longley(???), but I could be mistaken. Anyway it was pretty degraded and discontinuous in some spots when I was there in '79. I imagine it could be much trickier to find and follow now... but, probably worth a try.
User Avatar
boyblue

 
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:30 am
Location: Newark, California, United States
Thanked: 75 times in 46 posts

The following user would like to thank boyblue for this post
peninsula

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:07 am

Thanks finckster and boyblue! I appreciate the area photos... they have me getting excited about the trip. I'll be leaving for Lone Pine Sunday and packing in on Monday. I've decided to take thegib's high route and avoid the steepness encountered along the lower reaches of Cunningham Creek. The higher route makes sense as I'll be going over Colby Pass. Originally, I thought I might make my way to Josephine Lake, but I've ruled out that campsite for this trip... perhaps another day. It's going to be awesome!
Trip itinerary: http://mapshare.delorme.com/Consumer/V.aspx?p=l1cvm7fm
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby butitsadryheat » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:43 pm

Nice trip ya got planned peninsula. I like that software you have your trip planned on too. Can't wait to see the pics when you get back. Be safe
User Avatar
butitsadryheat

 
Posts: 8250
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:59 pm
Location: Bakersfield, California, United States
Thanked: 1551 times in 1120 posts

The following user would like to thank butitsadryheat for this post
peninsula

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:55 pm

butitsadryheat wrote:Nice trip ya got planned peninsula. I like that software you have your trip planned on too. Can't wait to see the pics when you get back. Be safe


Thanks butitsadryheat. This is my first year using Delorme and I like it a lot. I've posted some of my impressions using Delorme under the following link:

gps-recommendations-t61509.html

Delorme's "MapShare" features are impressive, not to mention the rest of their hardware and software products.
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

The following user would like to thank peninsula for this post
butitsadryheat

Re: Cunningham Creek and Longley Pass

Postby peninsula » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:37 pm

Finally, I finished the trip report; my thanks go out to all of those who helped in the planning: http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.p ... irm_post=7
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1701
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 77 times in 50 posts

The following user would like to thank peninsula for this post
butitsadryheat


Return to California

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.