Struggled with the exposure of a short stretch of snow through Old Army Pass, which I would consider Class 4 but I could be wrong and with lack of defined trail to the summit, but made it anyway. Descended New Army Pass for the return trip. See my trip report for some extras, but it probably won't help veteran hikers.
I saw the boy scouts summit log. Which is really interesting because we saw them when we were about 15 minutes from the summit. There was four of us in our group. We had a base camp at cottonwood Lake #3 We wen't to the summit on Sat. the 29th. We went up old army pass. The trail was pretty good until we reached about 100 yards from the top of old army pass. There was a snow field that was about a 100 feet long. We had to cut steps into the snow to get across the field to get to the top of the pass, which was class four. If any of us would have gone down we would have been history. Three of the four of us reached the summit that day. We did see a glider when we were on the summit which was cool. The weather on the summit was perfect it was 61 degrees F at about 2:30pm with light wind.
What a great time. The troop hiked up on Friday and stayed at South Fork Lake. On Saturday the summit team Pat , Brian , Seth , Shea , John , Don , Bob , Greg and Russ made it to the top. The group left at about 8:00 and made the peak at 2:00 back to camp at about 5:30. The base camp crew took care of the fresh fish. Ansel , John , Ryan , Scott , Kyle , Mike , Wil , Greg. This was a great shake down for the Muir this summer and a great hike for some of the new boys too. Our guys felt New Army pass is the way to go. Old Army looked a little tough with out the right gear. Hiked out on Sunday . Mike's brother inlaw Dan and His Niece Tiffany also made the hike. They went up New Army and they came back over Old Army Pass.
The weather today was perfect! Climbed as a day hike. Summited by 12:15 PM. Avoided the sandy slope just below the summit by climbing the class 3 rock 100 yards east of the normal route. Still some some snow in the pass but it was soft enough......my running shoes were fine. A climber tried to climb the direct chute up Army Pass (which is still completely filled with snow) without ice axe or crampons and fell most of the way down sliding into the rocks below. He dislocated has shoulder and was pretty beaten up but was able to walk. I helped carry his gear and walked him out to the trailhead then made sure he made it to the emergency room in Lone Pine. Boy was he in pain! He should of known better. It could have been much worse. He was very lucky.
A lady was just getting rescued by a Sheriff helicopter. She had a fall on Old Army Pass. Still lots of snow in these passes. Since we didn't have any ice axe or crampons we ascended the less steep "winter route". I think this route is the most direct.
Great trip in the early season - there was not a soul in the Cottonwood Lakes Basin the whole time we were there. We (Sven Feldmann and I) went up the main chute of Old Army Pass. The trail (if any ?) in the pass was snow covered completely, so we just went straight up the 35-45 degree snow in the main chute. The rest was easy. A couple of parties had reached the summit the week-end before, otherwise the last entry in the summit log was from February (http://www.climber.org/TripReports/2002/fried14er.html). We went down New Army Pass on the descent. This was easier than Old Army Pass because it is south facing and the snow was not iced up. It also allowed a beautiful traverse of the South Fork Lakes basin - the lakes were starting to thaw. I have posted pictures on my website, referenced in the "links" section of the Mount Langley page.
Summited in 6 hours back to car in 5. Nice dayhike. The "sandpit" just below the final ascent is a bit tedious. Fantastic views for 360*.
Of all the CA 14ers, this is the slog. Lotta snow so we had to take an alternate pass closer to the summit since we had no ice axe.
Climbed Old Army Pass and to the summit in 2:53, down in 2:07.
From Horseshoe Meadow parking lot, I rode my mountain bike up to Cottonwood Lake #3. There I stash my bike and ascended up Old Army Pass and then headed north to the summit. I descended from the summit in 2:30hrs to the car. I hit no one with my mt. bike!
This was the fourteenth summit of my CA 14er speed climbing tour! Check out the trip report here.
Single day ascent of this really easy ~21 mile hike. I raced t-storms the whole way, but they never got me. The sandy upper slopes of the mountain were a little frustrating, but the summit was worth it. Car-to-car time: 6 hours and 7 minutes.
Summited and returned in under 24 hours. We camped at the southwesternmost Cottonwood Lake beneath Old Army Pass after a 4 hour hike in. The next morning we made the summit in three hours. Great views of Mount Whitney and Muir to the North.