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Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

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Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby rajeshkh » Fri May 31, 2013 10:30 pm

Hi all,

Two years back we tried doing the North/South Lake loop. However we were not ready for the huge amount of snow right at the first pass and had to turn back. Just checking if anyone recently went there and have an update on the snow conditions. We are planning our trip on mid July and hoping some of the snow will be melted away.

Thanks
Rajesh
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby mrchad9 » Fri May 31, 2013 10:39 pm

This is Piute Pass on May 18.

IMG_7829.JPG
Puite Pass
IMG_7829.JPG (993.36 KiB) Viewed 2202 times
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Deb » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:08 am

I was at Bishop Pass about 3 weeks ago and didn't need crampons or axe but there was generous snow coverage at switchbacks only.
Piute Pass trail is losing snow fast.
You should be fine not having to get out of comfort level, but crampons at least may be prudent for early morning travel way back there over 11K'.
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby artrock23 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:47 am

I was at Piute Pass May 18-20. The snow was melting fast, but at 11,500+, there was still a lot of snow and frozen lakes. Here's a couple of pics.

Just below Piute Pass
Image

Looking towards Humphreys Basin (Summit Lake in foreground)
Image
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby fogey » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:41 am

From what I've seen and heard, a rough rule of thumb at this point is that snow conditions look like they would look a month later in a "normal" year (whatever that is these days). We climbed Mt. Tom on Memorial Day from Horton Lakes; that's a more or less southwest exposure and snow was limited to shaded gullies above 12,000 ft and could be completely avoided. The next day we climbed to the first upper Horton Lake at about 11,000 ft. Though there's less sun exposure there, snow was mostly limited to the shaded gully of the outlet creek, and above the lake the ridges and open slopes were melted out. I suspect that in mid-July this year mosquitoes will be more of a worry than snow.
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby rajeshkh » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:49 pm

Thank You !! We have another 6 weeks for our trip. So unless some new storms drop more snow there I am hoping it will be a fairly smooth ride.
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Deb » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:28 am

A WHOLE lot less snow to Piute Pass now. I ran the trail today; stepped in snow for barely a minute to summit the pass. Summit Lake is thawed and the trail appears free of snow.
Image
Looking towards Muriel Lake....very manageable conditions without crampons.
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Sean Kenney » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:19 pm

Almost completely snow free to Piute Pass, yesterday.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics or look over the pass into the basin. Just as I got within 50' of the pass I started feeling the altitude. Rare for me. I had a nasty headache and nauseated stomach. At the same time, a thunder storm was just starting its show. There was a strong cold wind blowing over the pass. Lots of graupel and rain. I gave up and headed back to a lower elevation... Saw a direct lightning strike on the summit of Mt Humphreys.

Humphreys was a last minute alternate. I started out for the West Ridge route of White Mt. There's a gate now on one of the roads leading to the trail head. I had to continue further up White Mt Ranch Rd and found another short road that connects to Jeffery Mine Canyon. Wasn't sure if I was in the right canyon though so did not attempt White.
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Deb » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:22 am

Bishop Pass trail nearly snow free. Crampons not needed, snow is consolidated nicely. Meanwhile, there are man-sized sun cups on Mt Goode. No post-holing!
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby rajeshkh » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:52 am

Thanks everyone for the reply. Really looking forward to the trip. Any recommendation on which spots to pitch a tent. End of the day it all depends on how far we can get, but any favorite spots We are entering from Piute Pass and exiting out of Bishop Pass. Hoping to finish the trip in 5 days.
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Deb » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:06 am

Muriel Lake is a gorgeous spot for your first night. Are you going over Alpine Col or Keyhole?
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Princess Buttercup » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:54 pm

Rajesh: Are you doing the North Lake to South Lake loop? Headed over Alpine Col (Oh, I've done that with a full pack: AACK!!)?

If you're headed over Piute and then down, I'd recommend staying on the south side of Humphrey's Basin and head for the Golden Trout Lakes area for your first night. Plenty of old use trails and easy cross country to find the spot of your choice, and great views of Mt. Humphreys lording over his basin at sunset.

Image

Good fishing down that way, as well.

-L
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Princess Buttercup » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:16 pm

Thanks, P! <blushing>
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby Princess Buttercup » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:23 am

Trivial 100ft of snow right at the pass (east side), then you're dry all the way through the Basin. Windy but gorgeous up there tonight, looks so green right now!

Image
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Re: Bishop Pass and Piute Pass Snow Levels

Postby rajeshkh » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:06 pm

Princess Buttercup wrote:Rajesh: Are you doing the North Lake to South Lake loop? Headed over Alpine Col (Oh, I've done that with a full pack: AACK!!)?

If you're headed over Piute and then down, I'd recommend staying on the south side of Humphrey's Basin and head for the Golden Trout Lakes area for your first night. Plenty of old use trails and easy cross country to find the spot of your choice, and great views of Mt. Humphreys lording over his basin at sunset.

Image

Good fishing down that way, as well.

-L

That is a beautiful picture. Must have been breathtaking to actually watch that in person.
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