South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

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rhyang

 
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South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by rhyang » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:05 am

We headed up the N Fork a couple weeks ago and noticed a sign at the trailhead saying the S Fork bridge had been destroyed by an avalanche this past winter. Anyone been up that way to look at Middle Pal or Norman Clyde this year ?

We'll probably go towards the end of the month -- curious about the creek crossing, and the camping situation at Finger Lake.
Taaaake !

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myles

 
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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by myles » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:37 pm

+ 1

We're going up the South Fork August 4, but to Elinore Lake. If anyone's up that way any conditions reports are much appreciated.

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by astrogerly » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:11 pm

My boyfriend and I were planning to do Middle Pal this weekend, but when we heard the bridge had been destroyed and hadn't seen any trail reports, etc., we started thinking about doing Langley instead. We at least knew the conditions of Langley and I wanted to finally climb it - tried Old Army three weeks ago and it was beyond my abilities (I'm a newbie). When we stopped to get our wilderness permits, even the rangers said hadn't heard anything about the conditions at Middle Pal. So, we did Langley via New Army Pass this weekend.

I'm hoping to hear something about Middle Pal soon because I'd like to climb it!

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by Skateboards2Scrapers » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:12 pm

+2


Pontificating that b-e-a-uitufl pillar on Norman Clyde, jjeah!

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Denjem

 
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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by Denjem » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:33 pm

One of my buddies went up Mid Pal about 2 weeks ago. He didn't say anything about a trashed bridge or a gnarly creek crossing. I think he mentioned that one of the bridges had a little of the creek coming over the top. So I think it is still in tact.

Should this be posted in the hearsay?

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myles, Skateboards2Scrapers

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Skateboards2Scrapers

 
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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by Skateboards2Scrapers » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:48 pm

Denjem, thank u!

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astrogerly

 
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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by astrogerly » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:39 pm

I just saw this post on the message boards on the Whitney Portal Store site... a link to video of the creek crossing too... http://bit.ly/qyKjT0

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by myles » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:13 pm

Bump.

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seano

 
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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by seano » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:53 am

I was just up there this morning, and the bridge is very much out. The crossing just below it didn't look particularly dangerous, but it's 30 feet of water and looked like maybe knee-deep at the center (I didn't cross). Bring extra shoes.

EDIT

Here's where the bridge used to be:
Image
And here's what looked like a safe but very wet crossing, a few yards downstream:
Image

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rhyang

 
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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by rhyang » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:16 am

The crossing was about mid-thigh for us on Thursday morning. Swift and cold. We hiked back out on Friday and it was perhaps a bit higher. My left leg is hypersensitive to cold and certain muscles start to involuntarily contract (clonus I guess) so I wore my long pants and rain pants for some insulation. Other than that it was fine.

Camping up at Finger Lake was marvelous -

Image

Lots of sites and no issues getting water. But the bugs were out and hungry :) The meadows down near the Willow Lake junction are good places to not stop. Lots of wildflowers in bloom .. very nice time to visit.
Taaaake !

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johnr, myles

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by myles » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:41 am

Thanks for the update. We're heading to Elinore Lake on Thursday.

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by rhyang » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:47 am

Middle Pal this past Friday -

Image

The snow was soft and suncupped; our axes & crampons were dead weight. Didn't try Norman Clyde because of the unstable weather .. the skies opened up and thunder rolled around 12:30 as we descended the moraine.

Norman Clyde -

Image

Have to come back for that pillar sometime. One more shot -

Image

Full set here.
Taaaake !

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by Princess Buttercup » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:20 pm

Great shots, Rob. Thanks for the update. Haven't been back there in a few years, can't wait to see it this weekend!

-L

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by rhyang » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:34 am

As usual, Bob's route description is probably the best. Figures, because I didn't bother to bring it :)

On the way up we followed the loose reddish band into the main chute, but didn't take the left branch, which would have been more direct. Just meant we had more of the summit ridge to traverse, which I thought was fun. A party behind us (who camped at the tarn above Finger Lake) did the more direct chute. Their chute might also have been a little less loose.

On the way down we took their chute, and near the tower I decided to follow the "Secor" chute just for a little spice. There seemed to be two choices: (a) nasty moat with rather suspect-looking snowbridge near the standard route from the glacier, or (b) 4th-5th class downclimb. I went with the latter, since I guess we deprived ourselves of the NNE ridge descent on Norman Clyde.

Do post some pics if you go. Really enjoyed your pics of N Lake from last weekend, Ms. Princess Buttercup :mrgreen:
Taaaake !

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Re: South Fork Big Pine conditions ?

by Princess Buttercup » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:11 am

rhyang wrote:
On the way down we took their chute, and near the tower I decided to follow the "Secor" chute just for a little spice. There seemed to be two choices: (a) nasty moat with rather suspect-looking snowbridge near the standard route from the glacier, or (b) 4th-5th class downclimb. I went with the latter, since I guess we deprived ourselves of the NNE ridge descent on Norman Clyde.


Dude, looks bomber to me.

rhyang wrote:Do post some pics if you go. Really enjoyed your pics of N Lake from last weekend, Ms. Princess Buttercup :mrgreen:


Yeah, all those damn flowers. Too bad that between the rain, the skeeter cloud, and general laziness that all I could manage was playing around with my camera's macro.

Saving NC for later (will scout tomorrow for sure!): I'm just passing through tomorrow on my way to Mather and environs. I'll try to remember to take some pics... :oops: :wink:

-L


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