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Pika Pass

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Pika Pass

Postby slade » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:35 pm

I've searched the files re "Pika Pass."

Is this class 2 pass a suitable route from Pika Lake to Ram Lake with a 40 lb pack? "maverick" characterizes it as "quite steep." Secor says, "The southeastern side of this pass is really steep!" (Secor's "!", not mine) How does this route compare in time to just going back around Duck Lake, and PCT-ing it to Purple Lake, etc.?

Thank you.



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Re: Pika Pass

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:17 pm

If this is being considered purely as a short cut route than stick with the trail Slade.
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby slade » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:37 pm

Can you be a bit more enlightening, maverick?
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:58 pm

The northern side of the pass is not that difficult but the southern side is steep
enough that if you are not proficient with this type of terrain you could get in
trouble, especially with a heavy pack. From your posting history you have asked
info on certain crosscountry routes and have posted one TR to Olancha, but none
to the crosscountry sections you were requesting 411 about, this is why I am being
cautious.
The time spent getting down the southern side could be easily made up using the
trail instead. On the other hand if the Ram Lakes and Glen Lakes area's are your
goals and you have the experience than by all means go for it and have fun, and
post a TR when you get back.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby slade » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:38 pm

many thanks
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby sparky » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:14 pm

Mav doersn't mean the north side is easy either, just not technical and "easier" than the south side.

Perhaps I shouldnt put words in his mouth, but see for yourself :D

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Re: Pika Pass

Postby slade » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:46 pm

thanks sparky
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby SSSdave » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:14 pm

All a person need do is look at the topo below the 3420 meter lines to see that slope is nasty steep.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.54172,-118.94078&z=15&t=T

If topo steepnesses are all Greek to one, and unfamilliar, especially those on meter maps, but one is a skier, consider this topo of Mammoth Mountain and the steepness of the Climax run beneath the gondola line? Then look at how much steeper the topo on that col is. And note I would not call such a place a "pass" haha.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.62909,-119.03069&z=15&t=T

Class 3 with a small climbers pack is one thing. With a usual full backpack something else dangerous. The tendency of a heavy pack on ones back is to pull one off away from rock and hand holds. Once a heavy pack gets moving in a direction it takes considerable effort to quickly deaccellerate enough to stop it.
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:51 pm

We were going the opposite direction last year and when I looked up at Pika Pass we decided not to do it. We had considered it only because it was next to our last day and we figured that with light packs it may be OK. But it looked REALLY miserable. The trail to Purple Lake is a bit hard to follow in a few places, but is a VERY nice scenic trail. We made it via trail from Ram Lakes to the inlet of Duck Lake in a relatively short day. By the way there is way better camping at Pika Lake than at Duck Lake inlet area. Even if you go via trail, I would still camp at Pika Lake. We stopped at Duck Lake and then day-hiked up to Pika and kicked ourselves for not camping at Pika.
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby sparky » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:40 pm

As usual WD is spot on. We said "hell no!" lol.

At the east side of Pika lake at the base of the pass there is perhaps a 30-40 ft cliff that drops into the water, with a nice ramp to climb out. Its a really fun drop!

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Re: Pika Pass

Postby slade » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:43 am

Thanks to sssdave, Wandering Daisy and sparky (again) for sharing your knowledge.
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Re: Pika Pass

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:42 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:We were going the opposite direction last year and when I looked up at Pika Pass we decided not to do it. We had considered it only because it was next to our last day and we figured that with light packs it may be OK. But it looked REALLY miserable. The trail to Purple Lake is a bit hard to follow in a few places, but is a VERY nice scenic trail. We made it via trail from Ram Lakes to the inlet of Duck Lake in a relatively short day. By the way there is way better camping at Pika Lake than at Duck Lake inlet area. Even if you go via trail, I would still camp at Pika Lake. We stopped at Duck Lake and then day-hiked up to Pika and kicked ourselves for not camping at Pika.


Looking at the pass on the topo the trip from the north doesn't look too bad.

208.JPG
North


Like Daisy said, the pass from the south, "looked REALLY miserable".

166.JPG
South


The hike down to Purple, around the ridge on the JMT and to Duck is not a bad hike. I don't think taking the pass as a shortcut is worth it.

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