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TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

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TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby vhsvhs » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:51 pm

Last week, I finished a six-day loop around the Palisades. I started at Big Pine Creek, crossed Scimitar Pass and Cirque Pass, followed the PCT down to LeConte Canyon, followed the Bishop Pass trail up through Dusy Basin, and then finally exited via Jigsaw Pass. I found that Scimitar and Jigsaw were fun class 2 scrambles, and I don't understand why they're not more popular with backpackers. Although these cross-country passes looked intimidating, they were safer than I expected.

If you're planning a trip to the Palisades anytime soon, the snow levels are crazy low; it feels like August conditions.

Mosquitos were a problem in Palisades Lakes, Dusy Basin, and the upper Big Pine lakes (especially Fifth Lake). That said, long sleeve shirts and a little DEET solved the problem.

My route:
1. Big Pine Creek south fork to Elinore Lake
2. Elinore Lake over Scimitar Pass, over Cirque Pass, and down to Palisade Lakes
3. On the PCT from Palisade Lakes to Grouse Meadows
4. Zero day in Grouse Meadows
5. Grouse Meadows to Bishop Pass, over Jigsaw Pass, and down to Fifth Lake.
6. Fifth Lake to Big Pine Creek trailhead

I posted more notes -- especially about Scimitar and Jigsaw passes -- here:



Also, I recorded a lot of HD video along the way:

Last edited by vhsvhs on Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:14 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby cgundersen » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:22 pm

vhsvhs,
Oops, I just placed a request for a TR under trail conditions and here it is. Perhaps, speaking for many, I can say I've warily eyed those routes, but never bitten on scimitar or jigsaw. Your report may encourage a re-assessment, especially the scimitar route as it offers much quicker access to Palisades Lakes and the areas further west. Thanks for the heads up!
cg
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Re: TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:27 pm

Really enjoyed the video.
By the way all three of those passes are rated class 3 though none are very difficult
if you do not mind a little exposure and some steep rock. Scimitar and Jigsaw are
some fun passes, but both are avoided because of there ratings and mainly there
locations. Cirque is on the SHT so it gets much more usage compared to the other two.
It would be great if you could post some photo's of the passes from both sides in the
"Cross Country Passes" section at the bottom. Thanks
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: TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby copeg » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:37 pm

Now that looks like a intriguing route! Ditto maverick's request for beta on those passes in the cross country passes section. The video was just what I needed during a drought of backpacking - nicely done and thanks for sharing :thumbsup:
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Re: TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby Electra » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:00 pm

Great work on that video, it inspired me to pack some tea for my upcoming trip! That is a cool route and you captured the beauty and serenity as well as the adventure of those passes. Thanks for posting.
Dan Braun
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TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby Bluewater » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:04 am

Thanks for posting! I was in the Palisades last weekend (on a shorter 3 day loop) and your video took me right back there. I appreciate the video of the passes, the views and the Grouse Meadow area. . . and the tea. Can't wait to get back out there.
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Re: TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby Kelbaker » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:14 pm

I have looked hard at jigsaw before but chickened out by the rating. My wife who is Chinese would be impressed with your tea ritual, I am impressed you did not break your ceramic pot.
Thank you for Posting and Great video!!
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Re: TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby vhsvhs » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:34 pm

@cgundersen - I finally found some time to write a report about Scimitar Pass; posted in the "Cross Country Passes" section of the boards. I'll write a report about Jigsaw Pass soon.
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Re: TR: Big Pine Creek - Scimitar Pass - PCT - Jigsaw Pass

Postby kpeter » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:46 am

I just saw your video and retraced your steps, looked through you excellent Jigsaw Pass write up. Very nicely done!
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