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Lamarck Col

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Lamarck Col

Postby frediver » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:33 am

Does anyone have pictures of one or both sides of Lamarck Col?
What should I expect to find in early July on the So.Side of the Col?
What is the elevation of the "pass" my map says near 13K.
Will there be a trail down to Darwin Bench or will I be boulder hopping ?
I will likely be Solo and making the crossing July 9-10.
Thanks,
<><



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Postby lostcoyote » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:38 am

the south side is a small to medium sized boulder hop & scree down to the lakes with some broken up sections in between that hold wildflowers . then boulder hop in sections along those lakes for awhile - no class 3 whatsoever

it's a light snow year so the south side might be free more or less. you will have some snow on the north side but there are really no hard parts along the north side. the upper part of the north side is easy with a long sandy section not far below the top as i remember.

(as i rememeber.... i only did the pass some 25 years ago - lol)

when i did it, there was no trail for the south side but no trail is needed. part way down the north side, a good trail emerges. perhaps today, with so much use, the trail is complete along the entire north side and most if not all, of the south side as well. it's a popular pass

for pictures, use google search.

to actually see a 3-D rendered surface, use google earth


here are some picture links:

http://www.lebofsky.com/pictures/sierra06/part5.html
http://www.island-life.net/camping2.htm
http://sepwww.stanford.edu/.mh/darwin_0902/index_web.html
http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=lamarck+col&gbv=2
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The Real Col.

Postby frediver » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:07 pm

Thanks for posting the links, I do have a question however.
Which one of the notches is the correct signed crossing for Lamarck Col?
In the snowfield image seen with several of the links I can't tell which notch is "the " notch, is there any way to indicate the correct location?
Thanks,


Image

In this image it appears to me the correct location might be directly below the "O" in the Several of , of the sentence above the image??
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Lamarck Col

Postby Mike M. » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:39 pm

There is an excellent trail almost all the way from North Lake. The trail is quite visible until you get to the final "col," at the end of the sandy approach. There you will find a small lakelet. Above this lakelet is a glacier (or snow field) with footprints angling up to the pass. There is a sign at the top of the pass. (The pass is on the left side of the snow field. If you get up there and don't see the sign, then slide over the summit ridge and you'll bump into it.) A decent use trail exists on the Darwin side for the first quarter mile or so, then peters out (hikers have taken many routes down, creating countless trace trials). Work your way down to the upper Darwin Lake, which has a nice meadow on the south end. Just above this lake, you pick up a nice trail. It takes you past the east side of the lake and over huge boulders, then down into the lower basin.

Despite the dry winter, you can count on encountering a sizable snow field on the east side of the pass.

I have good recent photos of the pass and one of these days I'll figure out how to post them here!

Mike
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Pass location

Postby Mike M. » Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:55 pm

The pass is just under the words "seen with" in your post with the photo.

Mike M.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:04 am

Image

Click on thumbnail for larger view. You can see the backpackers hiking up to the Col
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby BrianF » Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:29 am

As said there is a good use trail on both sides of the pass (several routes on the south side until you get down to the lakes). There are a few short boulder hops along the Darwin Lakes but no challenges. When I did it a couple of years ago the snowfield was frozen hard and treacherous and I didn't bring my axe, but there is a steep, sandy class 2 chute to the far west (right in the pictures) of the snowfield that was clear of snow.
I went over from North Lake in a day and camped at a spring about 2/3 down the south side on the left as you descend. there is a good campsite at the lowest Darwin Lake and a wonderful spot at the Lake at about 11,200 on Darwin bench.
Don't know the exact elevation of the col but it sure felt just shy of 13K, the top of Mt. Lamarck is an easy scramble from there and not much higher.
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Postby Mike M. » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:00 pm

Lamarck Col is just about 12,800 elevation. A list of High Sierra passes I found online shows it at 12,849. The sign on the pass says 12,880, but this was scratched into the sign by a hiker.

That is an awesome photo of the pass, Snow Nymph. If those hikers were to follow the apparent trail up the snow, they would find themselves far to the right of the actual pass, which is just above them.

Mike
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Postby Trekker » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:48 pm

I'll second what BrianF said about the snow field. My friend and I did it in Oct. of 2003; it was apparently a dry winter and I didn't recognize the col from pics I had seen, it was melted so far down. I actually went over the ridge to the left to see if we had come up the wrong section! It was frozen hard, and we weren't interested in doing ~ 30 feet of near-vertical climbing so we climbed the boulders to the right up to the col; fairly hairy for someone who was already exhausted! I figure there's a good chance it will be like that this year if some of the pics of other areas are any indication. If there is a class 2 chute, I would think that would be the preferred route. We came down the mountain a good deal to the right of that at night; no way were we going to attempt to reverse our route in the dark! :eek:
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Postby quentinc » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:49 pm

To echo what Mike said, owing to the confusion of which is the correct notch, there is often a "false" trail etched into the snowfield, which goes to the right of the correct notch. And some times (like first thing in the morning, if you don't make it over the pass the first day) that snowfield can be frozen pretty solid. It's a terrific route though.
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Postby langenbacher » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:45 pm

Pictures from last year at http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/552775663SpxVXb?vhost=outdoors

and http://langenbacher.org/Goddard/Pictures/Thumbnails.html.

things that confused me -

turn left (south) a little before you get to upper lamarck lake.

stay on the right (north) side of the lakes in Darwin Canyon to get to Darwin Bench.

if you want to connect to the JMT, stick with the drainage until below 10800' - I took a bad "shortcut" to the left on a well worn use trail too high up.
------------------------

We made it from North Lake to the lowest evolution lake the first day.

I will always remember how beautiful it is going through the col and down Darwin Canyon.
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Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:00 am

Here's a whole slew of pictures from a Darwin Canyon trip some guy did: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28236328@N00/sets/72157600088280601/
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