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glacier pass

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glacier pass

Postby The hermit » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:12 pm

Has anyone hiked from mineral king over glacier pass to spring lake in one day? Looks like about 3200 ft of climbing. That's about my max, and my normal 1st day. Sawtooth is much higher and harder right?



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Re: glacier pass

Postby Sierra Miguel » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:37 pm

The hermit wrote:Has anyone hiked from mineral king over glacier pass to spring lake in one day?


These guys hiked to Nine Lake Basin in one day. Adrian is about my speed. But they're not you.

Sawtooth is much higher and harder right?


400', by the topo. The terrain is about the same, gravelly crap.
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Re: glacier pass

Postby texan » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:43 am

I have day hiked to Spring Lake over Glacier Pass and came back in the same day when I was a teenager. It was no problem. Now with a 40-50lb pack and 30 years older, I wouldD take the whole day to get there because I don't want to burn myself out. Sawtooth Pass is right next to Glacier Pass its not that much harder. I think is 300-500 ft higher than Glacier Pass.

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Re: glacier pass

Postby RooPhillip » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:57 am

Not sure if this helps, but Sawtooth Pass is the dip in the center, to the left of Sawtooth Peak, and Glacier Pass is the lower dip to the left.
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Re: glacier pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:31 am

The trail to Monarch Lake is well maintained and has a nice grade so you can make good time on it. The continuing "trail" is basically cross country so slower. Depends on your pack weight and weather conditions. I did a fast-and-light 3-day trip and made it from Mineral King to the Lost Canyon/Five Lakes trail junction in a day. Could not do that with a week+ supplies. Another thing to think about is that the descent to Spring Lake is also off-trail. You do not want to do this descent if/when you are totally exhausted. And the weather - if there are going to be afternoon thunder storms, it may be better to just go to Monarch Lake on Day 1 and then over the pass early next morning.

By Day 1 do you mean the same day you drive to the trailhead? There are nice campgrounds at Mineral King and it is probably better to stay at one of those to help acclimate.
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Re: glacier pass

Postby The hermit » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:03 pm

Thanks for all the replies.I would be well acclimated.
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Re: glacier pass

Postby thegib » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:29 pm

I've gone to Spring lake first day several times (w/o acclimatizing). It's a lovely lake. I don't regard it as one of the harder first days. Nothing like Shepherd or Taboose or Baxter. The crux is, just as Secor describes, the snowfield. When it's gone, it's class one. When there's a little cornice it's rather steep.
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Re: glacier pass

Postby Moondust » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:25 pm

If you are in decent shape it is much faster to take the unmaintained trail from Groundhog Meadow to Glacier Pass. Most of the trail is not hard to find. The beginning may be overgrown but there is still a definite trail on the ground. Once you get past Empire Mtn and the trail levels out into a flat part, there are quite a few ducks to follow. If you can't find the ducks, just head up the hill toward the dark ground and the ridgeline. For me, the tricky part was actually finding Glacier Pass once I was up there. It took me a few tries to find the correct location because there are other similar notches to peer over. The Glacier Pass trail goes sharply to the right along the cliff face. You have to step down into the notch to see it.

Spring Lake is definitely do-able in a day. On the Spring Lake side of the pass, the use trail is fairly easy to pick out, good ducks, and if you lose it, just keep going downhill until you see the lake.
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Re: glacier pass

Postby RichardCullip » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:22 pm

I've gone the other way, Spring Lake to Mineral King via Glacier Pass a few times. However that was way back in the mid-70's when I was young and in shape. All I remember know is that the hike down from Glacier to the parking lot at Mineral King seemed almost endless. My brother and I could see the car from a long ways out and the trail just kept descending and descending. We would do it at the end of a 6-7 day trip which started out over Franklin Pass, then over to Big Five and Little Five Lakes basins via Big Arroyo before returning via Spring Lake and Glacier Pass. Always enjoyed our night at Spring Lake. Never thought about starting our trip in the reverse direction. Very pretty country out there. Have fun.
Life is good. Eternal Life is better!

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