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Crossing Mammoth Crest over X-C passes

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Crossing Mammoth Crest over X-C passes

Postby jrad » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:44 am

Both Passes and Pond.jpg
After reaching Franklin Lake (I assume it is NOT this pond due east of the much larger lake I call Franklin), one sees two possible passes.
Bunny Lake Pass Routes.jpg
The reason I give "Pretty Pass?" a question mark is that it looked bad from a distance and I have doubts that it is really the x-country pass known as Pretty Pass, which drops down onto Lake Dorothy. Some day I will at least do a day hike up it to check it out.

Anyway, I used the route noted and found immediately over down the NE sides of the route to Bunny Lake, some very nicely made "use trails". These two sections were actually "built" by somebody and done well, as far as they go. They are not simply an accumulation of uses. The sections were laid out nicely and involve a little rock work. I saw no use trails at all next to "My route", however. The long steep talus to the south of my route is the obvious route but it is very loose and tedious to use. However, it is THE downhill option since it is fast and easy to slip and slide down if one stays away from the larger shale talus and uses the finer granitic talus just north closer to my route.
Bunny Lake Pass Routes.jpg (1.11 MiB) Viewed 43 times
My route detail.jpg
I spent well over an hour scoping out routes using binoculars and finally decided the cleanest route skirted a small cliff/wall and avoided a chute (tried on day hike and found it a little too technical for backpacking) and only required some easy Class 3 to gain about 20 feet elevation. Above that the going is still a little tedious for a while but back to just careful walking.
My route detail.jpg (1.73 MiB) Viewed 43 times
Pretty Pass from my route.jpg
I kept looking over to the supposed "Pretty Pass" and never liked what I saw. It looks good on the topo and up close is maybe fine but it looked iffy from a distance, looking to be very steep and precarious and loose.
Pretty Pass from my route.jpg (1.51 MiB) Viewed 43 times
I laid out a series of cairns and cleaned foot and hand holds and made a little tread to show the way up a very nice set of steps or stairs with excellent foot and handholds.

I have crossed over to Cloverleaf Lake from the Franklin-Ram Lakes area (NW of Franklin) and have used Gemini Pass (yuck!). Other routes of interest to me are not revealed definitively by study of GMap4 topo lines ....


- Is there a crossing between Duck Lake NNE to Valentine Lake (Class 2 or non-roped Class 3)?
- Is "Pretty Pass" (w/o snow) the connection Franklin to Bunny/Cloverleaf or is it the connection of Franklin to Dorothy? HST High Sierra Map shows it as the F-D route but I'm sure I've read it as the Franklin to Bunny Lake. So I'm confused.
- Is there a good Class 2-3 (non-roped) pass Franklin to Bunny Lake? (Obviously easy from the NE; SW side looks very iffy on topos)

NOTE: There seem to be a number of X-C routes and passes left off the HST "High Sierra Map". Is there a reason for that?

I just went over what I call "Bunny Lake Pass", detailed above. It is a Class 2 + easy Class 3 in a middle section. It could be all Class 2 if one just hiked up all talus south of the rock outcrops. But that would be exceedingly frustrating. The route I chose and marked with cairns and cleaned up (cleared foot and hand holds and kicked out some tread) is very stable and includes almost zero slipping on loose talus. It combines a fairly gentle ascent on fairly firm vegetated talus (no slipping to speak of) followed by a judiciously selected climb of some rocks with abundant holds and ending with another section of good talus. The obvious route is all on steep talus which, though thinly vegetated, is too loose for going up but is ideal for going DOWN.
Last edited by jrad on Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Crossing Mammoth Crest over X-C passes

Postby ERIC » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:46 pm

Moving this thread because viewtopic.php?f=31&t=7680
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