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Ascending Glacier Pass

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Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby Ska-T » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:22 pm

In the recent thread "A few questions about Mineral King" a route was shown of a way up to Glacier Pass from over by Monarch Lakes. That route is essentially the dotted black trail on the attached map.

I've descended to Mineral King from Glacier Pass a couple of times and remember roughly coming down the path drawn in red on the attached map. For some of that descent there was an old trail that had not been maintained in decades.

If one were to ascend Glacier Pass would that be a good way to do it? Seems unnecessarily roundabout to go over to Monarch. Thanks for the opinions.

-Scott
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby oldranger » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:29 am

Ska-t

Your red line is the path I followed to get to Glacier Pass. Piece of cake!

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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby Shawn » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:43 pm

As I recall, the "new trail" adds about a mile or so to get to the ridge top. Obviously the new trail makes the ascent more of a walk in the park rather than a strenuous "pick and choose" your way to the top. They both have virtues, just depends what you're looking for.

The "old trail" was abandoned in 1971 or thereabouts. It's been quite a while since I've looked at an old map of the area, but I seem to recall it generally hugged the (hikers) left side of the canyon wall on the way up. I suspect lots of people thinking they have found part of the old trail are simply finding use trails or deer trails.....anything that shows a path of least resistance.

Personally, the last time I ascended directly to Glacier Pass the entire valley was covered in snow, so it was an easy and direct ascent.
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby Ska-T » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:21 pm

oldranger wrote:Your red line is the path I followed to get to Glacier Pass. Piece of cake!

Thanks for the confirmation, Mike.
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby Ska-T » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:30 pm

Shawn wrote:The "old trail" was abandoned in 1971 or thereabouts. It's been quite a while since I've looked at an old map of the area, but I seem to recall it generally hugged the (hikers) left side of the canyon wall on the way up.

Thanks for the recollection, Shawn. That's where I saw the old trail (back in the mid 1990's). It was an obvious trail, 4 to 5 ft wide and well constructed out of rocks. It was not a game trail or use trail.
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:24 pm

Was there summer 2013. We climbed up directly east from Groundhog Meadow at 8850 instead of taking the old trail that circles around that amphitheater. That is because parts of that old route above 9000 are partly covered in rockslides though would expect not a few people still use that route and pick their way through. The direct route was moderately unpleasant because of patches of dense brush. Once reaching 9300 there is an old use trail going up to the meadow below Lower Monarch. We went that way instead of towards Glacier Pass because the latter's smaller stream was already dry. As for the maintained trail, it is at least a mile longer than the topo shows because the trail is totally bogus as drawn. Far more long switchbacks and then is this long ridiculous loop off towards the Chihuahua Mine. Someone with a GPS ought to track the real trail. That said, from Monarch Lake I would choose the maintained horse trail over the old trail for descending because there is less step down pounding to the feet.
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby texan » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:15 pm

The red line is way I have always gone up and from Glacier Pass.

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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby The hermit » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:02 pm

That is the route secor describes.Has anyone been over glacier pass this year? I imagine there is still snow up top. How hard is it to get to spring lake in one day
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby texan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:53 am

Its straight up for about 4 miles to the top of the pass. You can get the Spring Lake in about 6-7 hours if your in good shape and your pack is light. If you go you have to go up to Cyclamen Lake. Its the next lake up from Spring Lake.


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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby tomba » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:58 pm

The old trail is shown on this map: http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=36.45785 ... =14&b=1930
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby Shawn » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:19 pm

Hey Scott -

Just wondering if you've been up to Glacier Pass yet?

Today I was up that way and thought about scrambling up the direct route, but that entire valley looks so overgrown and a mess to trudge through. Except for the very beginning of the old trail, I could not observe any evidence of a trail per se' . Anyway, rather than being masochistic going straight up the valley, I took the regular switch-backed trail. I didn't time the walk, but it was evident to me that the trail could be hiked in an equal or maybe even a lesser time than the straight line up the valley. Of course YMMV.

This sign kind of sums it up (at least for someone).
sign.jpg
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Re: Ascending Glacier Pass

Postby Ska-T » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:46 pm

Shawn wrote:Hey Scott -
Just wondering if you've been up to Glacier Pass yet?


No I haven't, Shawn. That trip, if actually done, is scheduled for later in July as a way to get to the Kaweah Basin meetup. Thanks for the photo of the trail sign. #-o

Also, thanks for everyone who posted to this thread. I was up in the mountains for some of the posts and couldn't respond.

-Scott
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