Although I had climbed this already in June, Lorraine hadn't, and we had an opportunity to climb it with some friends on the 3rd. We set off at 6:30 a.m. through the Cottonwood Lakes and up Old Army Pass. The snow that was still there at the end of June was completely gone. Unlike my last trip (only one other, who came up after me), the summit was quite crowded, with possibly up to 20 people there all at once. We were the only day hikers, to the best of my knowledge, though. When we reached Old Army Pass on the return, I broke off from the group and headed up and over to Cirque Peak and down into the South Fork of Cottonwood Creek drainage and returned to the TH from there. The side trip to Cirque added no extra distance, as the whole hike came in at twenty miles. A fine day.
Started from Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead about 10:15, hiked up via New Army Pass, went too far to the left on the scramble up the rocks so had to traverse almost the whole summit plateau, took a more direct route down and then climbed Cirque Peak. Got to the summit there about 7:00 pm and then dropped down to the PCT to camp by an unfortunately dry lake. After hiking some on the PCT, camped at Chicken Spring Lake the 2nd night, very delightful!
I left the TH at 6:14 a.m. and was on the summit in just over five hours. I took the Old Army Pass route, and it was incredibly scenic going through the Cottonwood Lakes area. Old Army Pass was in reasonably good shape, and only had two patches of snow blocking the trail, but were easily crossed. I went up more to the right of the summit block, ending up gaining around 500' or so climbing through the boulders. Much smoke in the Owens Valley from some wildfire burning in SoCal. On my way back down, the lakes area was mushrooming with back packers and presumably, back packing fishermen. Trout season opens tomorrow (July 1), which might explain the surge in visitors.
I have a trip report on this
Hiked via Old Army Pass from camp at Cottonwood Lake 4. Went on to climb Cirque Peak afterward.
First time out of the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead. Nice gradual approach made for a fun day. Much easier day than Whitney.
Did a day hike and took the Old Army Pass route. We started out pretty late in the morning so we had to make pretty good time. When we resting up at the peak a glider buzzed the peak and was dangerously close to hitting it (was within about 8 feet or so). We had to hike back in the dark for an hour or so with my headlamp, but all made for an exciting day.
Awesome climb. Started at daybreak at the cottonwood lakes trailhead. finished within 11.5 hrs. partner got altitude sickness at old army pass and had to turn back. finished it on my own. amazing up there!
Last year when we tried Langley we got turned back by weather, not this time around! However, it did get a little dicey, Lenticular cloud in the AM, some dark clouds later in the day when we were on the Summit, but no precip and no thunder. Got up on Friday and spent the night at Horseshoe to acclimate then started early Sat morning (4:30). Went up NAP, but were surprised by the alt difference between NAP and OAP so decided to descend via OAP. No snow on OAP so it was safe but there are parts where if you fell (or slipped on snow) you'd be KIA. Took our time getting down, got back to LA around 2 AM.
Was having my freaking period but I made it anyways. Did Cirque Pk the day before.
It was a great first 14er. Beautiful camping spot in Cottonwood to spend a night acclimatizing. Definitely recommend an early start on Old Army Pass to get to the ridge for sunrise.
Long dayhike with JQ (her first 14er). Up new army, down old army - very nice day overall.
Army Pass is much better than New Army Pass. Over 300 feet you don't have to climb each direction.
Quite the loose sandy slog above Army Pass. Pretty easy to find good route towards left of rock band below summit. A lot harder to find the route below Army Pass in early morning darkness :)
started from Cottonwood Lakes #2 at 5:45am. Got to the summit at 8:55am. I did not have enough food and had to borrow one energy bar from the couple (from San Diego) I met on the summit. Thanks!
Great campsite on the far side of Cottonwood Lake #4, just before Old Army Pass. Perfect weather; practically no wind/clouds. I talked to 2 parties who had tried climbing the day before, but were turned back by high winds & hail. You never know in the Sierras!
Camped at the trailhead, no mosquitos yet. Hiked into the lakes and walked around with my 14 year old son. Made a few cast and caught a fish and let it go. We had a great time and a great hike. Both of the army passes are clear of snow, it looks like it is clear to the summmit. I plan on returning in July. I is a beautiful place, maybe I'll try to summit it next time, the lakes were just too much fun this time around. Not too many people around yet.
I checked summit but only got to the summit ridge. Didn't walk over to the actual summit because I was over it by the time I got up.
I did this peak a few years ago with my buddy and hit the actual summit but this time so much GD scree and sand it was a BITCH! Storm rolling in from the west as well and just all around wanted to split.
Great day hike though and great workout! Crossed a snow field at the top of Army pass skiing down the sand and scree from the summit was fun and ran out the last 5 miles. Go do it for the workout but it won't be fun going up after Army Pass...and I'm sure Ill go back to relieve my conscious from not actually summitting :)
third try at this peak very little snow this year. ax recommended for new army for probably another week or two after that should be clear to the top
Overnight backpacking trip at end of September. Enjoyed absolutely perfect weather for that time of the year in the High Sierra. Impressive views from summit.