Mt. Langley- New or Old Army Pass?

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Mt. Langley- New or Old Army Pass?

by SurfinPeakScience » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:51 pm

This topic has been discussed before, but i want to consolidate opinions.

Planning to hike Mt. Langley starting on Friday Oct. 7th. What is the SP consensus on the better route up: New or Old Army Pass? The research i've done indicates that Old is more direct, more scenic but unmaintained, while New is maintained. I am assuming there is little to no snow left on either route. Which do ya'll think is better?

Also, my research into the weather for early October indicates that it could be 70 and perfectly sunny or 30, windy and snowing. Early Oct. is the beginning of the transition into autumn and the weather could go either way. Any thoughts on early October weather in the Southern High Sierra?


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Re: Mt. Langley- New or Old Army Pass?

by Marcsoltan » Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:54 pm

Considering the amount of snowfall last winter, I would not be surprise to see some snow on either of the passes, especially Old Army Pass. New Army Pass puts you about 300 feet higher than you'd want to be and it's a bit of pain to backtrack on the way back, but the trail is much easier to deal with. As far as the weather goes, my experience with the Sierras tells me to be ready for anything. People have died right in the middle of summer because of freaky storms.

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Re: Mt. Langley- New or Old Army Pass?

by fluxlib » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:40 pm

When planning trips to the Sierra in that time frame, it's best to have a window of several weeks. Keep up with the NWS forecasts and especially look at their point forecasts. It could also snow and not melt up high, changing the character of the whole thing.

One thing for sure, you don't want to be stumbling around on slick, exposed granite in a whiteout. But then you have those beautiful warm fall days that are bliss, but it does get cold at night so bring extra clothes and good food.

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Re: Mt. Langley- New or Old Army Pass?

by yetibob3 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:01 am

I did Langley via old Army a week ago today- no snow across the trail, which was in good shape except for one area where rockfall had cut it, bypassed with easy scrambling. Definitely shorter and more scenic. As others have noted, it's all about the weather- the upper trail could be nasty with a few inches of new melt/freeze snow.

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Re: Mt. Langley- New or Old Army Pass?

by jspeigl » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:14 am

The best suggestion, and the one I took, is to go up one pass and descend the other. The trail approaching new army was pretty cool, and the view of Langley and the eastern escarpment from new army was awesome. The trail passing the lakes to old army was good also.

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Re: Mt. Langley- New or Old Army Pass?

by TommyB » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:05 pm

Just Climbed Mt Langley last weekend , awsome place.. was a bit of snow at the Summit!
I started at Horseshoe Meadows and came through Cottonwood lakes..

20 miles round trip.

loved it!

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Last edited by TommyB on Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Army Pass On September 8, 2011

by calicokat » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:31 pm

Took the wife on a mini two day backpack trip to Mt. Langley. Here is Army Pass on September 8th. No problem at all, completely passable and easy to follow.


Rest of the photos are here: ... 391_Jb4SLF

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