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Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

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Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby rajeshkh » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:50 pm

Hi,

Anyone done the North - South Loop recently. Planning to go here end of the month and would like to know the condition.

Thanks
Rajesh
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby Princess Buttercup » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:52 pm

Was in Evolution Basin over Memorial Day, but my route did not include Bishop Pass or Humphreys Basin. My pics are here for the middle part of the loop you're planning to do. Unless we get a huge meltoff in the next few weeks (who knows??) there will be plenty of snow for you to deal with. Good luck!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 736798517/

-Laura
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby 96avs01 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:57 am

Bishop Pass trail is buried, as viewed from Hurd on 6/7/11

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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby SkyPilot84 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:19 pm

According to Dept. of Water Resources, still 65 inches at the pass:

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/jspplot/jspPlo ... ies=cdec01
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/mapp ... 26&quad=14

I just found these snow depth sensor plots...they're a fun distraction and seem like a good way to compare with previous years' snowpack. Maybe you'll find them useful.
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby Kaweah69 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:28 pm

MooseTracks:

Great photos and looks like you had an epic solo trip!

Next time, bring a blue foam sleeping pad and you'll sleep snug. Low tech, light weight, inexpensive, and will not fail.

Mike
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby rajeshkh » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:34 pm

MooseTracks wrote:Was in Evolution Basin over Memorial Day, but my route did not include Bishop Pass or Humphreys Basin. My pics are here for the middle part of the loop you're planning to do. Unless we get a huge meltoff in the next few weeks (who knows??) there will be plenty of snow for you to deal with. Good luck!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 736798517/

-Laura


Thanks Moose Tracks
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby Princess Buttercup » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:38 am

Kaweah69 wrote:MooseTracks:

Great photos and looks like you had an epic solo trip!

Next time, bring a blue foam sleeping pad and you'll sleep snug. Low tech, light weight, inexpensive, and will not fail.

Mike


Thanks, Mike! It was pretty epic, and I did have a blue pad for under my 4-season therarest (which got sliced when my pack tumbled about 20ft down from Echo Col). I put up a TR here if you want to read about it!
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby rajeshkh » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:01 am

MooseTracks wrote:Was in Evolution Basin over Memorial Day, but my route did not include Bishop Pass or Humphreys Basin. My pics are here for the middle part of the loop you're planning to do. Unless we get a huge meltoff in the next few weeks (who knows??) there will be plenty of snow for you to deal with. Good luck!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 736798517/

-Laura


Your pictures look amazing. If we need to take snow gears, we will have to cancel or change our plan. None of us have much experience in doing snow trips. Based on what you saw, do you think we will need crampons etc by July 4th weekend?
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby Princess Buttercup » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 am

Rajesh, there are many things to consider in the next few weeks. First, the weather has finally started to warm up over here, which could lead to a significant meltoff below 10K, and lower the snowpack up and over the passes. My next question is: are you planning on north to south or vice versa? The climb to Bishop Pass from Bishop Lake is a bit steeper than the very low angle climbs over both Piute Pass and Muir Pass. If there were still snow on Bishop Pass, I would perhaps recommend crampons/ice axe for that section.

Hard to predict what may happen in the next few weeks, especially considering the crazy patterns (or lack thereof) that we've been having this year. But I did the South-North Lake loop a few years ago (well, most of it: I cut off the EVO Canyon and climb up Piute Creek to Hutchinson Meadow by heading into Darwin Bench and over Alpine Col) in a lower snow year and still had plenty of snow with which to deal. If you want to see that, the pics are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 987620059/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 126116686/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 999371247/

And my trip report is here:
http://moosetracksca.wordpress.com/2010 ... in-73-509/

Please let me know if I can offer any more suggestions!

-Laura 8)
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby rajeshkh » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:39 pm

MooseTracks wrote:Rajesh, there are many things to consider in the next few weeks. First, the weather has finally started to warm up over here, which could lead to a significant meltoff below 10K, and lower the snowpack up and over the passes. My next question is: are you planning on north to south or vice versa? The climb to Bishop Pass from Bishop Lake is a bit steeper than the very low angle climbs over both Piute Pass and Muir Pass. If there were still snow on Bishop Pass, I would perhaps recommend crampons/ice axe for that section.

Hard to predict what may happen in the next few weeks, especially considering the crazy patterns (or lack thereof) that we've been having this year. But I did the South-North Lake loop a few years ago (well, most of it: I cut off the EVO Canyon and climb up Piute Creek to Hutchinson Meadow by heading into Darwin Bench and over Alpine Col) in a lower snow year and still had plenty of snow with which to deal. If you want to see that, the pics are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 987620059/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 126116686/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics6 ... 999371247/

And my trip report is here:
http://moosetracksca.wordpress.com/2010 ... in-73-509/

Please let me know if I can offer any more suggestions!

-Laura 8)


Hi Laura,

Thanks a lot for the detailed reply. We are entering via Piute Pass on June 29th and exiting via Bishop Pass on July 5th, at least that is the plan for now :| . Looks like the weather is warming up nicely and we are really hoping for some serious melt. I am wondering if there is a way to avoid using crampons an dice axe, by avoiding the passes. Anyway we can get to EVO without going through the pass?

Your pictures and trip reports are amazing, truly the best back yard

Thanks
Rajesh
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby butitsadryheat » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:24 am

Nice pics...I really liked one of the Muir hut.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosepics621/5786937626/in/set-72157626736798517/

What was the one that looked like a snow rose? Was it from an avalanche?
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby Princess Buttercup » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:10 am

rajeshkh wrote:Hi Laura,

Thanks a lot for the detailed reply. We are entering via Piute Pass on June 29th and exiting via Bishop Pass on July 5th, at least that is the plan for now :| . Looks like the weather is warming up nicely and we are really hoping for some serious melt. I am wondering if there is a way to avoid using crampons an dice axe, by avoiding the passes. Anyway we can get to EVO without going through the pass?

Your pictures and trip reports are amazing, truly the best back yard

Thanks
Rajesh


I'm not sure what you mean by "without going over the Pass". By starting at North Lake, you probably won't have to deal with gear, since Piute Pass is perhaps one of the lowest angle passes I've gone over in the Sierra. It's 5 miles from the trailhead at North Lake (6 or so from the parking area/pack station), and it gains a shade over 2000 vertical feet, the largest gain (in steepness) coming just before Loch Leven. From there it's an easy drop through Humphreys Basin to Hutchinson Meadow. Now: I haven't hiked the drop from there to the JMT along Piute Creek, so someone else should give the lowdown on that, but I'm assuming that it will be mostly melted out trail by the time you get there, especially if the weather continues as it is (read: warming trend, massive meltoff, flooding home in Bishop, yada yada yada). The climb up to EVO Basin from the canyon might also be interesting, and I couldn't tell the exact snow level when I was there (mainly because it was, well, snowing). There are a few traverses on the south side of Muir Pass where axe/crampons/knowledge of how to use them would increase safety, although the runouts are pretty benign. As you can see from the photos of both 2009 and 2011, there is a good deal of snow for a good long way on either side of the pass around your time frame.

The climb up from LeConte Canyon to Dusy Basin could also be quite challenging with the snow, especially if you hit it in afternoon. An exercise in postholing is always a great way to burn a few more calories. :wink:

Bottom line, at least for me, is that crampons/ice axe/knowledge of how to use them would be included in your gear for the trip. Hell, with the pack going through a rapid melt, snowshoes might be warranted to avoid above-mentioned postholing (although I posthole with them on, too... hurm...).

Glad you like the pics/reports! And happy to help. :D

Oh, and BIADH:

Image

A roller just above Echo Lake. There wasn't an avy there, but almost every north-facing chute below the Clyde Spires had let something go (mostly slough):

Image

Believe me, I had my head screwed on tight for this trip. It was amazing how mentally tired I was, as much as physical, from constantly being on the alert for shifts in conditions. :)
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby The Chief » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:35 pm

Lots of very recent avalanche debris with heavy snow and postholing along the approach for Mt. Humphreys E. Arete last Saturday.

Looking up at Humphreys East Arete upper "Notch" from the east approach (6am):
Image

Checkered Demon:
Image

Returning from Humphreys East Arete just below the notch (10am):
Image
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby fossana » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:44 am

Climbed the SE Face of Emerson on Sunday. Continuous snow starting around Loch Leven. Surprisingly little postholing on the flats even late in the day, but definitely softer on the steeps.
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Re: Piute Pass - Bishop Pass Condition

Postby fossana » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:07 am

+ photos

Loch Leven from Emerson
Image

Emerson from Loch Leven
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