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University Pass?

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University Pass?

Postby rams » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:55 am

Has anybody been able to see University Pass recently by any chance? A friend and I are planning to go to Onion Valley this weekend and were considering redemption on University Peak, which we failed to summit last year. If there's still substantial snow in both of the chutes, we'll say no this time around and go for Mt. Gould, Mt. Rixford, or Mt. Bago instead. Thanks for any insight!!



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Re: University Pass?

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:02 am

I haven't been there this year, but even if it's snow free University Pass is a rather miserable approach to climb University Peak. There is the talus boulder hopping maze down low (very tedious) and then lots of scree. For a class 2 dayhiking route from Onion Valley the shoulder from Bench Lake (ascending to the crest and following the ridge except for a final detour to the back side near the top) is much easier and less cruddy, and many prefer the class 3 north face route to any of the class 2 dayhiking alternatives (see various threads on University Peak and note that the class 2 route I mention is not written up in any guidebook--I have details of that route posted on threads here and on climber.org).
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: University Pass?

Postby sparky » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:46 pm

Or as an alternative there is a notch you cross above the upper tarn below the north face rouute that leads to the upper kearsarge lakes drainage, where you can access university shoulder to keep it class 2. The notch is loose Sao I prefer the class 3 rock on the climbers right. I have used it multiple times in both directions and it is quite mellow.

While I havnt done the north face route, it seems the best option as GB pointed out.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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Re: University Pass?

Postby rams » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:16 pm

Thank you both!!
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Re: University Pass?

Postby ksenn » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:00 pm

Just got back from a trip going out of Center Basin via University Pass on Tuesday. No snow on either side of the proper pass. There looked to be a teeny tiny bit of snow on the "shortcut" pass. Still loose sand and rocks. Slipped and landed on my rear a couple times coming down the North side with numerous almost falls. The boulders were actually a relief! I tried for the peak but the weather scared me off.
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Re: University Pass?

Postby rcymbala » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:03 pm

For a moment, I was confused because there are two threads called "University Pass?", this one and:
viewtopic.php?t=12483

I hiked through Robinson Lake up to University Pass yesterday. The snow was almost gone. However, there was snow along the left side at the base of the cliff where I was grateful to be able to kick some solid footholds.

The "shortcut" is shown as a pink line in a photo from a TR posted March 31st.
TR: Onion Valley - Center Basin via University Pass 7/20/14
viewtopic.php?t=12491&hilit=university+pass

This is from The High Sierra by R.J. Secor at the end of Ch. 4 under Wrinkles (1999, 2nd ed., p. 148):

"University Pass. This route appears to offer a one-day direct route from Onion Valley to Center Basin, but this is only the case for experienced cross-country hikers..."

Cheers!
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Re: University Pass?

Postby rams » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:31 pm

Thanks ksenn and rycmbala. We ended up going over Kearsarge Pass yesterday instead and considered Mt. Bago until the weather looked a little too threatening. I kept thinking "I'll get you next time" every time I looked at University. It sounds like the snow we had last year on University Pass made it easier than what sounds like a less-than-awesome sand-fest.
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