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bishop pass on snowshoes

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:06 pm
by grego
Hello All,

Here is some information regarding the backcountry snow levels. I went over Bishop Pass from South Lake last Sunday (6/4) to Wednesday (6/7). Snowshoes were necessary about 2 miles from the trailhead, but the trek was not technical otherwise, and the snow is melting fast. The first night, I actually stayed just below the pass along Bishop Lake on one of many 'islands' of dry land. Up and over the pass the next morning, I expected the northern half of Dusy Basin to have less snow, but it was quite the opposite. The Basin was absolutely covered, so I made camp in the wooded area halfway down the drop to LeConte Canyon. Getting down the switchbacks between Dusy and LeConte was no problem because the snow essentially disappeared over the lip from Dusy. The only tricky part was crossing the Dusy Branch downstream from the footbridge. I took no serious risks, but it wasn't trivial.

Temps in the day were pleasant, mid-70s I'd guess, and at night, it was mildly cool and I never was chilled sleeping in my 20F bag (both at 10,000 feet along Bishop Lake and in the wooded area above LeConte, which was around 9500 feet).

Back to the snow, it was quite slushy in the afternoons, making snowshoes an absolute must. The snow level at the pass covered halfway up the sign marking the pass. My third night was spent near the trailhead. The route back to the TH was tricky because the snow had melted so quickly as the elevation dropped, making appearances very different. A GPS would've been helpful, but my intuition managed to point me in the right direction.

I hope this report helps motivate anyone thinking about making it out there soon. By the way, I saw nobody else, so if you go soon, enjoy the rare solitude.


Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:16 pm
by Snow Nymph
Thanks for the report, GregO, and welcome to the forum!

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:38 pm
by copeg
Welcome to the forum grego, and thanks for the very detailed report! I made a similar treck in the area around this time last year. Amazing area this time of year.