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Pika Pass to Red Slate Mountain

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Pika Pass to Red Slate Mountain

Postby artgazdik » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:28 am

Has anyone backpacked over Pika Pass and on to the Summit of Red Slate Mountain? I would enter at the Duck Pass TH. The route I would travel after Pika Pass is through the Ram/Franklin Lake Basin crossing the pass (3600 m) to the south of Franklin Lake, passing a lake at elevation 3410 meters and then onto the Sierra Crest to approach Red Slate Mountain from the northwest. I would pick up the McGee Pass Trail after summiting Red Slate.

Is this hike class 3 or less?

I have traveled class 3 terrain and on ice in the past, and section hiked a portion of the SHR last year. My base weight, with a can, is 14 pounds. I would be hiking with a partner in late August or early September.

Thanks, Art
Last edited by artgazdik on Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pika Pass to Red Slate Mountain

Postby maverick » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:08 pm

Hi Art

Welcome to HST!
Have not done this section as a whole trip, but your planning to do a part of what is
called the Redline Ski Traverse.
After Pika Pass which is quite steep (class 2) continue on to Franklin Lake where you'll
have to make decision on whether to go over Franklin Col, which is crazy steep, Pants
Pass steep, and then go on to the Bard Pass-Carter Col combo to get to Cecil Lake
from where you climb up to Gemini Pass (class 2), and summit from there.
Your alternate route would be to go over Pretty Pass instead of Franklin Pass, and
believe me, there is nothing pretty about this pass, though not as steep as Franklin, the
talus & boulders are very tedious.
From the east side of the pass you would go to Constance Lake where there is couloir
which leads up toward the summit, but this is not an option because it is a
very steep, think 45 degrees, mountaineer route / skiing route with snow and ice.
http://adventuresportsjournal.com/tag/r ... e-mountain
But instead from Lake Wit-so-nah-pah go south over the talus and snowfields to the first
saddle which is Gemini Pass a class 2 pass west of Red Slate Mountain, and summit from there.
http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~rlilly/High_ ... ass_N.html
The Pretty Pass variation would be my pick of the two routes because you not only have
to climb only 3 class 2 passes, get to visit the pretty upper part of the Convict
Creek drainage, and you do not have to climb nasty Franklin Col!
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Re: Pika Pass to Red Slate Mountain

Postby artgazdik » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:44 pm

Hi Maverick:

Thanks for taking the time to provide me your insights on the route. If we head this way, I will strongly consider the Pretty Pass option. I have been looking at the topo and was able to follow your description of the Route over Pretty to Lake Wit-so-nah-pah and up toward Gemini.

Hope to be out that way next fall.

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Re: Pika Pass to Red Slate Mountain

Postby stevet » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:02 pm

I am the aforemention hiking partner of Art's post. Is the route marked in black the Pretty Pass route you describe? And what about the Franklin Col route variant in red? Instead of hiking to Cecil Lake head up the north facing cirque and follow the crest (more or less) over to Gemini Pass and then summit? Any experience/advice on that?

And please a bit more detail on the Franklin Col steep. North side, south side, both? Talus or scree? etc. thanks, Steve

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