Quick question for the board--interested in heading out next week and my climbing partner and I were eyeing Rae Lakes. Has anyone done it in snow (or ideally, recently?) We were planning on taking ice axes and crampons but I've never been over Glen Pass so I don't know what all we're in for...if it's steep enough that we should rope up to get over it we may look for someplace else to go. The ranger said they are guessing the snow line heading up from Road's End is 9000 feet, but they don't have any first hand accounts yet this year. (Road only opened last week I think.)
You will not need a rope for Glenn Pass. An ice ax and lightweight crampons should be adequate. Within a few weeks not even that, as a boot track will begin to be made, but I wouldn't depend on that yet unless you hear from someone.
You may get to glissade down it... which will be nice!
Just wanted to update, we did the full loop, headed in Wednesday May 8th and got out Saturday.
We hit enough snow at the 60 Lakes Basin junction to transition to snowshoes. The snow was too soft for crampons but we did need iceaxes to get up and over Glen Pass. We actually climbed up on the left of the pass and hit the ridge about 200' above it, as we wanted to stay away from the open snow fields which looked like they would let go. We burned through all our water on the way up (it took us a long time to get up the pass) so we melted some snow up top and then enjoyed a much more relaxed descent.
To whomever left a mostly full bottle of whiskey at Bear Box #3 at Rae Lakes, thank you.
Beautiful conditions, although hiking out Saturday we saw two rattlesnakes once we got down into the valley...could have done without those!
Thanks so much for the update and pictures! I'm planning on doing this loop with a friend next week. Could you give me an idea of how much time or distance you needed the snowshoes? We're debating taking them. Maybe if we time it right to do those parts in early morning it will be frozen enough to not sink. Thanks!
EDIT: never mind, saw in your PM, 60 Lakes Basin down to just above Charlotte Lake.
Did you happen to finish the full loop. I'm planning to do the loop next week, and want to be prepared. Was there still a lot of snow at elevation. We do not have any winter gear, so any help would be appreciated.