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Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

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Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby mokelumnekid » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:24 pm

Thinking about going over Granite Bear Pass about Aug. 23 or so. Does the snow finger there linger with a cornice like say, Cataract Ck Pass/Col? I really want to get from Granite Park to upper Vee Lake and that seems much more direct than Italy Pass/Dancing Bear. Thanks.



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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:54 pm

Hi MK

I think you'll be fine, the Royce-Merriam Saddle is the tricky one around that region.
GBP is pretty easy, the usual steep talus fest on the eastern side, but the west side is
a piece of cake.
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby mokelumnekid » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:01 pm

Thanks Maverick- I've been east-to-west over Royce-Merriam and we did fine. As long as there is no steep snow blocking Granite Bear, that is the way we'll go. I kind of wonder why so many people go the Italy Pass/Dancing Bear route...
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:03 pm

Here some ones shot of GBP which gives you an idea, it was shot in Aug.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3263/283 ... e36678.jpg
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby Sierra Fred » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:22 pm

August 1, 2010:
Image

Hope this helps.
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby mokelumnekid » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:12 pm

Thanks SF: I'm guessing we will be able to sneak around any snow on the right (north) side. Appreciate the view.
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:14 pm

OK, now I understand what you're missing the post-Penrose trip for. Nice choice, even though the Middle-North Yuba Divide stop on Sunday to close the whole thing out will be a doozy. I don't know what pass is called Granite Bear, but I presume this is the marvelous gap at 12320+ that is more or less due east of Black Bear L. When I went through with my wife it was a very dry year (1992) later than Aug 23 (9/5), but this pass should not be a problem at all, in part because it is not very steep at all, so it doesn't tend to form a cornice and any snowpatch in the chute will not be steep (in contrast, say to the steep snow that usually blocks the top of Royce-Merriam). As low angle as the talus and such is, it is no problem to bypass on the low-angle scree-talus to the north if indeed the chute is partially covered by snow (and again, even if it were 100 percent the snow wouldn't be that steep). By the time you go up, there may be but a small speck of snow there similar to what we saw in '92, when one tiny snow patch was found and nothing else.... Yes Harrison's "glaciers" shown on his maps must either be where the snow patches are in late June of the average year or something. Anyhow, as noted above it is baffling why folks insist on doing the end around over Italy Pass when you can punch it in to Bear Basin via this direct route (Granite Bear or whatever one may call it) on day 1 from Pine Creek without too much ado. Day 1 may be bit harder than usual, though, what with hiking off all the high quality brew and wine from a week of Penrose.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby mokelumnekid » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:33 pm

Thanks- and yes, the wife insisted on meeting me in Reno after the Penrose for a bout of exercise as she is going to the Head of the Charles this year and wants to run up and down mountains at elevation as conditioning. So I'll miss your presentation on all the cool stuff you have been working on up north. But am really looking forward to some q-t with you in Bridgeport- want to show you my Argentina work.

Secor calls the pass you refer to as 'Granite Bear,' that's where I got the name. And we did think about doing it in a day just because you did :unibrow: But I wanted to roam the ridges all around Granite Park so we decided to plop in Granite Park for a couple of nights and do laps of some type. Then head over to Vee Lake (and see if I can find SSSDave's secret campsite) for a couple of nights, then head back, maybe via Merriam, with the mandatory stop at JT's Basque in Gardnerville (been going there since 1979, love the place)- this is last year (she's looking fit for a 53 year old!):
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:04 am

I look forward to hearing about your Argentine research. Regarding the Bear Basin on day 1 thing, it is much more relaxing, of course, not to rush there, and that '92 trip to Bear Basin, the second of the season out of Pine Creek (went to Royce Lakes earlier that year) was not without cost: Judy vowed never to go up the Pine Creek trail again. The fact that Judy stands between about 5'0" and 5'1" has a lot to do with this. The Pine Creek trail has the worst set of water bars of any trail I've ever been on, or at least they were in 1992: very high and very numerous. At Judy's height she had to actually use her hands and mantle dozens of them, which, as you can guess, burned a heck of a lot of energy carrying a full pack. If that wasn't enough, we got stuck behind a slow hiker on the way out who wouldn't "turn out" for us, even though he was rapidly separating from his buddy--some sort of weird competitive instinct (I've seen this in some others I've encountered). This happened at a place where there wasn't enough room to zip by the guy. After he finally "turned out", we eventually became stuck behind a pack train in the final stretch going toward the trailhead (I guess that afternoon was the trail equivalent of driving Hwy120 through Yosemite). Shortly after I warned Judy not to "tailgate" too closely the rearmost animal dropped a big load. Thus, Judy's recollection of this trail is not too positive: beginning the trip surmounting an endless series of waterbars, and ending it stuck behind a horse's a--. Granite basin is a nice place to spend time in, and I would imagine it would be fun to scoot over to the Chalfants while there, too.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby maverick » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:34 am

Hi MK

You and your wife look familiar, whether we talked or it was in passing in the
backcountry, but I have see you two before!
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby Take-a-Hike » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:10 pm

HI MK:
Glad to see u seemed to have snapped out of the funk u related to in an earlier story. (R U bringing Chilly Waters w/u on this trek?)
I snapped out of my post Lakes Basin Death March from last summer... swore I'd had it, was too old for this stuff and all the good places were beyond our capabilities to get to, spend time at, and still keep everthing w/in reason. It took about 3 months and then sitting down and reading other trip tales here; mostly the tales of the Tres Amigos in the Yosemite SE corner got my interest going again. So, thanks to some good advice from GB, The Old Ranger, Markskor, and a few others, we head north Thursday pm for Oakhurst and a hotel room, followed by hitting the Isberg Trail as early Friday as we can after picking up the permit. It's a nine day, 8 nite trek hopefully coming out over Electra after spending time at Red Devil Lake and then up the Lyell fork of the Merced....We'll see.

Mav, if you saw them in the backcountry, good thing you didn't blink as they are gazelles...If we weren't sitting down watching them come up Cartridge Pass, we sure would have missed them. In my next life I want a golf swing like Tiger's and legs like either one in the photo above. If nothing else when my wife comes at me w/a 9 iron I'll at least be able to outrun her. :evil:
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Re: Granite Bear Pass- snow on northeast side?

Postby quentinc » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:19 pm

GB: I love your account of the Pine Creek Pass trail. For me, going down those infernal steps (water bars or whatever euphemism they go by), covered in scree and gravel, was far worse than going up, and I too vowed never to take that trail again. After reading this thread, I'm actually thinking of heading over Granite Bear pass myself, this coming weekend. I'd get there from Piute though, and go over Puppet Pass.
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