Southfork Pass | High Sierra Topix  

Southfork Pass

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Southfork Pass

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:35 pm

Has anyone used Southfork Pass in a low snow year like this one?
What were the conditions like?
I have heard of people going over without ice axe or crampons
during drought years.



User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8038
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby langenbacher » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:28 pm

I don't know if 1972 was a low snow year, but I went from West to east over the lower (southern) notch at Southfork, without ice axe or crampons, solo. I count that as one of the riskiest descents I ever made. As I was sliding down some scree at the top of the chute, suddenly I couldn't stop because there was ice under the dirt. Fortunately, I hit "solid dirt" in a few seconds and stopped. I had to kick steps in the hard snow and cling to the steep wall with my hands to get down to where I could glissade - then I fell into the bergschrund, which was only 4 feet deep at the side, rather than 20 feet deep at the center, where I would have ended up if I couldn't stop sliding earlier.

In 2002 I returned to Southfork pass from the west with my brother. We checked out both notches, but he refused to descend either one, even though we had crampons. He's gotten a little more risk averse in his old age than I :D Instead, we camped back at Upper Palisade Lake, and hiked out 23 miles through Bishop Pass to South Lake trailhead the next day, just to avoid those chutes.
User avatar
langenbacher
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Fullerton, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:24 pm

Thanks Langenbacher.
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8038
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mello and 6 guests