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Old Army Pass or New Army Pass?

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

Postby norco17 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:07 am

When new army pass is still corniced up there has been a rock band to the left of the trail that is about class 2. This band has been passable the last two years in early june. If that helps.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:25 am

Our group is planning to camp at Cottonwood Lakes on June 19, and then head up to OAP in the early morning on June 20. I'm expecting hard-pack snow on the way up, and softer snow in the afternoon when we descend from OAP. We'll all bring along ice axes and crampons.

For those of you who've been up this route under similar conditions, did you bring any additional gear (ropes, pickets, harnesses, etc) ?
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Postby EManBevHills » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:39 pm

Here's a view of the "surfing cornice" atop NAP in late July last year:

Image

There was some easy and non-exposed class 3 on climber's right that we used to get around the cornice, if that helps.
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Postby skotty » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:15 pm

Great info all. Mescalito, looking forward to hearing how your trip goes. I'm really more concerned about slogging in the snow on the approach than I am about the pass. Really hoping to do this without snow shoes.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:51 am

Has anyone been up to Cottonwood Lakes lately? I'm wondering about the snow conditions between Horseshoe Meadows and Cottonwood Lakes. Everyone in our group will bring along ice axe and crampons, but there's some debate about whether to bring snowshoes too.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:03 am

Here's a short trip report that I posted on the Whitney Portal Store message board:

Nine of us camped near Cottonwood Lake #4 on Saturday night. One group started hiking at 5:30 on Sunday morning, and a second group started at around 8:30.

I hiked with the early group. We took the main snow chute up to Old Army Pass. The snow had frozen overnight, resulting in good conditions for cramponing. At its steepest point, someone measured the slope at 45 degrees. We summitted at around 10:30, and hiked back down to Old Army Pass. By early afternoon, the snow had softened, so descending wasn't too difficult. Each of us faced into the slope, with the ice axe in the stake position, and two hands on the axe.

On the hike back to Horseshoe Meadows, I talked to two hikers who had summitted Langley via New Army Pass. They had used ice axe and 4-point crampons.
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Postby tiogap » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:09 am

I was just up there this weekend. there is a small cornice at the top of OAP. Having said that, I don't think OAP is that bad. . . .. .if you are properly equipped for snow/ice
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Postby Mescalito345 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:00 am

In our group, there were six hikers with significant experience with ice axe and crampons, and three hikers with limited experience. For the first group, OAP was fine, but maybe NAP is a better choice for those who haven't practiced self-arrest recently. In the early morning on OAP, you are climbing a 45-degree hard-pack snow slope.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:17 pm

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Re: going tomorrow

Postby SoCalHiker » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:27 pm

superlarry wrote:Hey, wondering how it went a couple of weeks ago. Im going up tomorrow. I dont have axe or crampons, so I'm guessing we will go new army pass? Fishing is open now, any advice on catching a couple goldens with traditional rod and reel? How cold will it be at night? Somewhere I read below freezing, but every weather report I've called said 40. How are the mosquitos?

Thanks in advance!


Do you want us to drive up there and scout the area for you? Or search the forum for info regarding mosquitos for you? Or find some online advice for fishing for you? :wink:

I think you can find the answers to all your questions if you just look around yourself a little bit.
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Postby SoCalHiker » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:38 pm

superlarry wrote:thanks for the quick reply! maybe you could give me a scouting report on the traffic there in LA. or how your work week is going?


bad....good

anything else? we are here to help each other :wink:
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Re: going tomorrow

Postby Mescalito345 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:07 am

superlarry wrote:Hey, wondering how it went a couple of weeks ago. Im going up tomorrow. I dont have axe or crampons, so I'm guessing we will go new army pass? Fishing is open now, any advice on catching a couple goldens with traditional rod and reel? How cold will it be at night? Somewhere I read below freezing, but every weather report I've called said 40. How are the mosquitos?


superlarry, if you don't have an ice axe, I'd suggest New Army Pass, instead of Old Army Pass. Here's the forecast for 11000 feet, near Cottonwood Lakes:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.48755716938579&lon=-118.2073974609375&site=hnx&smap=1&unit=0&lg=en&FcstType=text

For information about mosquitoes, check out the post "Skeeters in the Sierra".
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Re: going tomorrow

Postby lasvegaswraith » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:56 am

Mescalito345 wrote:
For information about mosquitoes, check out the post "Skeeters in the Sierra".


He's right...they were bad at the Portal and NFLPC and I heard they were pretty bad at Cottonwood over the weekend...

Image
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