South Lake Loop: Bishop Pass, Ladder Lake, Palisade Basin | High Sierra Topix  

South Lake Loop: Bishop Pass, Ladder Lake, Palisade Basin

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South Lake Loop: Bishop Pass, Ladder Lake, Palisade Basin

Postby moseybrillobox » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:13 pm

Hey y'all. Killing two birds with one stone. I'm a lurker introducing myself: I'm Will from Vermont and am coming to the Sierras for an 8 day trip, meeting up with my climbing buddy from LA. Also, wanted to throw out there my big picture plans to see if anyone has any input. I'm open to hearing about serious concerns for the route, other options that might be better, things that I may have forgotten to consider, etc.

The trip is from 10/4 through 10/11 (those are full days, hoping to camp at a campground on the nights of 10/3 and 10/11)

My plan is:
Day 1: Hike over Bishop Pass, camp at the lake W of point 11603 south of Bishop Pass
Day 2: Descend into Laconte Canyon and head up to Ladder Lake, camp at Ladder Lake
Day 3: Climb the Citadel
Day 4: Descend from Ladder Lake, follow JMT/PCT into Palisade Creek, camp at Deer Meadow
Day 5: Ascend to Palisade Lakes
Day 6: Cirque Pass, Potluck pass, camp at Barrett Lakes
Day 7: Over Knapsack or Thunderbolt pass, link back up with Bishop Pass Trail, camp by Bishop Lake
Day 8: Out to South Lake, but this time hopping over to Treasure Lakes Trail just for fun, out for campground camping

Seems like there's enough play in there, to go more slowly or more quickly depending on how things go, weather and stuff. We can even take out the Citadel day. Any thoughts on doing the route backwards, so starting with the backcountry off-trail stuff?

I've been reading up on conditions both in the threads here and elsewhere online, but I'd love any intel people can offer as the days creep closer on smoke in this specific area - LeConte Canyon, Palisade Creek and Lakes, Dusy Basin, Palisade Basin. I also do know that the South Lake parking lot is and will be closed. How awful would it be to park on the road a mile away? Should I look into doing a loop from Sabrina or North Lake? Or go all the way up to the Minarets?

I realize I'm opening myself up to a lot here, but have at it. Let me know what you think. What are your concerns? Would you be psyched to take on this loop?
Thanks a lot!
Will



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Re: South Lake Loop: Bishop Pass, Ladder Lake, Palisade Basi

Postby rlown » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:19 pm

thanks for the plan. might want to add viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205 to this info.

Oct seems late, but.. Watch the weather and be prepared to abort, or be prepped for the weather.
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Re: South Lake Loop: Bishop Pass, Ladder Lake, Palisade Basi

Postby moseybrillobox » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:38 pm

Will definitely be watching and prepared for weather. 0 degree bags, layers like woah.

Adding some of the requested info:

We are Level 4 backpackers.
Comfortable with Class 3 terrain or higher, but would like to be on Class 2 mostly. River crossings are totally fine. Cool with snow, but not interested in glacier stuff this time. Not interested in carrying ice axes.
Main interests: big mountain scenery, scrambling/climbing, lakes
Miles per day? No more than 8 really. We've already built in room for layovers if needed or wanted.

Contingency plans:
Down and out over Taboose seems to be the only safer option if weather were to be incredibly rough. But retreat over Bishop Pass is the most obvious out. LeConte Ranger Station is on the map. Is that actively manned?

To avoid the South Lake closure, should we start from Glacier Lodge, North Fork Big Pine, over Jigsaw pass then over Bishop? Maybe hitch from South Lake back to Glacier Lodge at the end of the trip?
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Re: South Lake Loop: Bishop Pass, Ladder Lake, Palisade Basi

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:14 pm

I would say that if the road to South Lake is closed due to weather, you should not be doing the trip anyway. They do have construction up there this summer so the parking lot may be closed. Check with the Inyo FS to see if the parking lot is to be open when you plan on going.

Bailing out over Taboose Pass is not a good option because you have to first go over Mather Pass. Best bail out, from Palisade Lake or earlier is simply to backtrack on the trail through Dusy Basin and over Bishop Pass. Once in Barrett Basin, the easier pass is Knapsack, although Thunderbolt is more direct. Thunderbolt has some nasty large talus that may be really hard if you get a foot of snow.

This time of year with the route you are proposing, you should take a PLB. Would also be handy if you had access to weather reports. Forecasts eight days out are quite uncertain in October.
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Re: South Lake Loop: Bishop Pass, Ladder Lake, Palisade Basi

Postby moseybrillobox » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:28 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I would say that if the road to South Lake is closed due to weather, you should not be doing the trip anyway. They do have construction up there this summer so the parking lot may be closed.


Thanks! I was referring to the construction on the road. Definitely doing a PLB.
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