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Kearsarge Pass/Rixford or Equivalent

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Kearsarge Pass/Rixford or Equivalent

Postby lmelendez77 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:42 am

I'm looking to check out Kearsarge Pass next week (06/09/15-06/11/15) and perhaps throw in Rixford. I've read it is all Class 1-2 up Rixford which I'm comfortable with but my concern is snow. I've used spikes before and that is about it. I've checked the reports (PCTers post, weather sites, etc.) and have only found that Kearsarge is clear with some possible light snow this weekend and rain but I've yet to find anything on Rixford. Any info would be greatly appreciated. The plan is to:

Day 1: Backpack to the lakes below Kearsarge, setup camp and enjoy the day. Perhaps check out the pass.
Day 2: Rixford.
Day 3: Head home.

My questions would be these:

1) What are the current conditions on Rixford?
2) Is it an easy climb even with light snow?
3) The surrounding lakes (Gilbert, Flower, Matlock, etc.), will they have snow? My concern is that I want to backpack in but only have 3-season gear.
4) If snow is not an issue around the lakes any recommendations?

Since this is my first request (I did the "lurker" response but don't know how to link that) here's my basic info:

What level of backpacking experience do you have?
-Level 2.5 - A lot of hiking/mountain running, a few backpacking trips, mainly trails with some XC in groups and solo

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 1-2 - I'm fairly certain I've never done Class 3 (at least nothing atop a mountain). XC in groups and solo. No "big" river crossings, microspikes only snow travel, and I'm not sure what "pass" means (listed under Class 3).

What is your main interest? (I arranged them in order of preference)
- Big Mountain scenery
- Lakes
- Forests

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead?
-3 days/2 nights, but could add in a day/night if desired.

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers?
-I'm looking to take it easy, 4-8 miles/day with 4 for harder miles and 8 if they are easy. I hike/run in the mountains/hills almost daily. 500 ft/mile I consider relatively easy, even with a pack, even in altitude.

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which
may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)?
-Loop or out-and-back. This trip seems much more out-and-back though.

Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in(Yosemite, SEKI
western sierra start or eastern start ect.)?
-Some friends did Kearsarge last year and it has been on my mind since but I'm open to suggestions, keeping my mileage concerns high on the priority list (I'm running a 33-mile race the preceding Sunday in Big Bear so my legs will be a bit tired).

Will you be hiking with a dog?
-No dog.

Thanks in advance. And of course if you have other equitable options I'm all ears (or eyes as it were).

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Re: Kearsarge Pass/Rixford or Equivalent

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:01 pm

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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member:
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Re: Kearsarge Pass/Rixford or Equivalent

Postby MN2CAPisco » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:28 pm

I was there a month and a half ago and didn't need traction or ice axe, so I highly doubt you'll run into any trouble in terms of snow. The storms that passed through since then from all indications have melted out since, especially for south-facing slopes like the one you'll climb on Rixford.

When I was there Gilbert itself was melting out fast and there was no snow in any of the campsites, so you should be fine for that, and likely the other lakes as well. My fear would be that camping at the lakes before the pass would make for a long summit day for you if you're looking for a mellow time...even from Flower you'd be ~2 miles to the pass and another ~2.5 to the summit and have two climbs and descents to complete to get back. I went over the pass to camp down by Kearsarge Lakes which wasn't difficult, about 6 miles from the trailhead. Then the more difficult miles on summit day won't stretch you too hard.

The climb itself isn't too tough, just a talus/scree slog; I did encounter a few rock obstacles near the top, but explore around a bit and you should be able to find a fairly simple route to the summit.
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Re: Kearsarge Pass/Rixford or Equivalent

Postby franklin411 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:13 pm

The Kearsarge trail is really easy, so if you don't mind pushing further, I'd backpack all the way to Kearsarge or even Charlotte Lake the first day. Then bag any peaks you want in that area (Rixford, Gould, Bago), and hike out. My friend and I dayhiked to Mt. Rixford's south slope in about 5 hrs last November, so I'd say the push won't be very hard at all.
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Re: Kearsarge Pass/Rixford or Equivalent

Postby lmelendez77 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:46 pm

Thanks for all your responses. With a high probability of thunderstorms/snow I may be in for more than expected (I'm aware no one should "expect" anything but what the mountain gives). I may not use this advice this coming week but most certainly in the future I shall. Thanks again.
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