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Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

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Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby quentinc » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:09 pm

Has anyone ventured from the northwestern Royce Lake down to Black Bear Lake? It looks like it might be a bit sketchy from the map? (I know about Feather Pass, but was hoping to use that just on the return trip.)



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Re: Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby maverick » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:00 pm

Hi Q

What about Granite Bear Pass( class 2) which has talus on the east, but is easy on the
west, offering access between Granite Park, and Black Bear Lake.
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/rC ... 5ki7pybXJg
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Re: Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby Flux » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:10 pm

Granite Bear is the ticket. About a mile south of Italy pass i think. You might want to consider it for both ways or come back over Italy. The Saddle between Feather and Royce has a good bit of snow and looked pretty steep to me. Might be OK when scrambling, but certainly not with a heavy pack unless you have an axe and crampons.

I have not been over, but was in Royce a month ago and the snow was below the Saddle and I had researched the possibility of going to Bear.
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Re: Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby quentinc » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:05 pm

Thanks Mav and Flux. I was hoping to take in the Royce Lakes along the way if practical. This would be for a loop from Puppet Lake to Bear Lakes basin, with the idea of returning via Feather Pass/Merriam Lake (I've been down that way before). Of course, lingering snow from the current storms may change everything for next weekend, but if not then I'd like to do this next summer.
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Re: Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby Flux » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:03 am

My guess is that 6"+ of snow is gonna stick around at the higher elevations into this weekend. Most of those routes are X-country over talus. Those few inches of snow would be enough to really slow you down on those routes and make things a bit difficult and perhaps dangerous as well.

Another thing to consider is coming back over granite bear and taking the first way into Royce behind the lake at Granite Park and up to Lake #5 (Northernmost) in Royce. it's talus, but there is not much that is "easy" back there. The biggest problem with that area is that there is way too much to see!!! I really want to get to those drainages west of Royce and the puppet Lake Basin as well.

I'm heading out this weekend as well, but to a very established trail and 10,800 is as high as we will go. Should be a pretty interesting weekend.

Best of luck.
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Re: Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby quentinc » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:12 am

Thanks again. Yeah, I think this is probably a trip for next year. For this weekend, now I'm even considering a dreaded westside entry, but am worried the smoke will be back. I suppose there's always the Golden Trout Wilderness.
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Re: Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby mokelumnekid » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:10 pm

Hey folks- easy there on hyping Granite Bear- we got turned back there this year and I'm no weenie. That pic that Maverick posted was from September 2008, other pics I've seen of people going over have been Sept./low snow years as well. See our post about it from this Aug. Unless you go late enough for one of the moats to open up (like that group from 9/2008), or bring your hard snow/ice tools, I'd say have a plan B ready. (But I've taken some nasty rides on steep snow so am a bit sensitive about that.) Just my 2-bits.
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Re: Royce Lakes to Bear Lakes?

Postby quentinc » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:44 pm

MK, I remember your pictures -- looked gnarly. I would have figured that by mid-October the old snow would have receded enough. But now there's new snow!
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