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Treasure Lakes/Hurd Col vs. Bull/Chocolate/Ruwau alt to Bish

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Treasure Lakes/Hurd Col vs. Bull/Chocolate/Ruwau alt to Bish

Postby acvdmlac » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:34 am

I'm planning trip a 10-day trip in September and am looking into alternatives for part of the Bishop Pass freeway, having done it before, on the way up and over to Dusy Basin. I and my companion are Level 3 backpackers, some XC experience over Class 1-2 passes, we enjoy aesthetic beauty and physical challenge but nothing technical.

I'm looking at varying Bishop Pass route by going either to to the west, upper Treasure Lakes Basin and over Hurd Col to rejoin Bishop Pass trail near Saddlerock Lake. Morey & White describe this route in general terms in "Sierra South." The only info I can find on this forum or in Secor regarding Hurd Col is that it's Class 2, without further description. Hurd Col looks steep on a topo map and as packs will still be in the 45-lb. range on Day 2 of our trip, I was wondering if it's an exhausting talus-hopping, scree-sliding, ledge-scrambling, route-finding challenge that's likely to drag significantly on our time over Bishop Pass, vs. a straight-forward slog that doesn't slow us down much.

Also considering heading up the Bull/Chocolate Lakes trail, and then heading due south XC along the east or west shore of Ruwau Lake to rejoin Bishop Pass trail near the Timberline Tarns. Looks pretty straight-forward but perhaps less scenic and adventurous than the Treasure Lakes/Hurd Col route.

Does anyone have any advice or preferences regarding either of these routes? We'll probably look to camp for first night along one of the them and head over Bishop Pass on day 2. Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

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Re: Treasure Lakes/Hurd Col vs. Bull/Chocolate/Ruwau alt to Bish

Postby jessegooddog » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:28 am

Freddog and I had Bull Lake to ourselves on an August overnight trip last year. Lots of nice campsites.
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Re: Treasure Lakes/Hurd Col vs. Bull/Chocolate/Ruwau alt to Bish

Postby Ska-T » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:46 am

Hurd Col isn't particularly difficult, although there is some large talus on the west side. The natural west-to-east path over Hurd Col takes you to Margaret Lake. Coming out at Saddlerock Lake involves more work. The detour past Chocolate Lakes and up and over the ridge to Ruwau Lake is also extra effort compared to the standard Bishop Pass Trail. Nether side trip cuts out that much of the "Bishop Pass freeway". The walk past Chocolate Lakes, Ruwau Lake and over Hurd Col to Treasure Lakes is best suited for a short loop trip, IMO.

If it were me, considering that you have 10 days planned, I'd rather lose the crowd in Dusy Basin.
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