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Snow Tongue Pass

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Snow Tongue Pass

Postby SierraMaclure » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:30 pm

Anyone have any experience on Snow Tongue Pass? Ice ax suggested or mandatory? We're doing the Sierra High Route South to North. We'll be there July 18. Thanks.
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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby jmherrell » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:00 pm

Did it twice during the drought of the early 90's and a couple of other times. We used ice axes twice in early July -- wasn't mandatory but was nice to have them. The snow was very soft in the afternoon. One year in late July there was no snow at all on Snow Tongue Pass -- that year Lamarck Col was the scary one, a sheet of ice.
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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby John Dittli » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:22 pm

Snow Tonque 7/24/13; no snow at all.
_MG_1992.jpg


There was considerably more snow in the Glacier Divide this year though. Sill, if I were going there the 18th of this year, I wouldn't be taking one.... doesn't mean I wouldn't regret it tho!
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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby snowblind » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:59 am

I have hiked it 3x, once in very heavy snow and did not feel a need for a nice axe (even though I had one). I cannot imagine needing one in mid-July.

I must say the snow makes the hike to Wahoo Lakes much more pleasant.
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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:25 am

one of you who have hiked this pass should post it officially. with pictures of course, on the cross country passes section for all time. It is talked about on the HST map annotation, but an official mention in the passes section would be great. I couldn't find one. And then attach all this great info to that thread!

I'm still at a loss for why one would do that pass, but that's just me (fishing wise) :)

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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:10 am

rlown wrote:I'm still at a loss for why one would do that pass, but that's just me (fishing wise) :)

Russ

Actually Russ, this is the most direct and efficient way to connect certain fishing destinations on both sides of the Glacier Divide. It is more direct than going around to the east to Lamarck Col and even the notoriously tedious Muriel/Keyhole route. It would seem to work best (for fishing folks) to combine this with Lamarck Col for a loop route. In 1997, for lack of knowledge about Snow Tongue, I headed over Lamarck then recrossed via the westernmost class 2 crossing of Glacier Divide--this was way out of the way and added a bunch of fishless (OK, part of the trips purpose was to find this out) lakes onto the route while subtracting a full day that we might have spent on worthwhile fishing objectives "Astride the Glacier Divide" (as we titled the trip then) or in Humphreys Basin and French Canyon. In early August 1997, however, I suspect there may have been a lot more snow on the north side of Snow Tongue than there is now.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:25 am

umm. Wahoos weren't impressive, fishwise; nice bug collection station or whatever that structure was.

"Astride the Glacier Divide" (as we titled the trip then) or in Humphreys Basin and French Canyon. In early August 1997, however, I suspect there may have been a lot more snow on the north side of Snow Tongue than there is now."


Still want one of the posters to post a successful cross country pass entry.
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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby John Dittli » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:34 pm

For fishing, I'll keep that to myself.

The whole iceaxe thing is so arbitrary eh? Comfort on snow, firmness of snow etc. When we cross it in the winter it is usually easy; boot up, ski down. Lots of snow isn't the issue as much as not enough. When the pass lives up to it's name and has a snow "tongue", a slip in the snow can have a really bad runout (see photo in previous post and imagine snow ending abruptly in the talus)

These last couple of summers, I think I'd recommend a helmet over an iceaxe and wouldn't want to be there in a group (or an earthquake); one at a time is mandatory in these conditions IMHO.
_MG_1981.jpg

_MG_1982.jpg

_MG_1983.jpg

_MG_1989.jpg
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Re: Snow Tongue Pass

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:49 pm

Wow, that is some intimidating loose talus. I can see why more snow and ice axe/crampons may be more desirable than having to deal with that crummy rock. I know I'd rather deal with snow than the loose rock.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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