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Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

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Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby whrdafamI? » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:33 pm

We are leaving Tuesday for the Pine Creek TH. When we get to the top of Italy Pass we are entertaining the aspect of going CC up into the Royce Lakes. This would take us off our permitted route. Would we still be able to get down from the RL's back onto the JMT without having to backtrack? Our original trip is over Italy Pass, onto the JMT, over Selden Pass to the Jct of the Piute Pass trail to the Pine Creek Pass trail and out. Just looking at a little variation with a bit more fishing tossed in as a bonus.
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Re: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby cgundersen » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:09 pm

Bill,
Hmm, it's not a direct route to Royce from Italy Pass. You can hop into Bear Lakes Basin by traversing from Italy over to White Bear Lake and then loop around to Royce via Feather and Roy-Mer passes. I've done that loop and it is quite delightful. Or, you can get into the Bear Lakes via Granite Bear Pass, and that's certainly fun. I've heard of some issues wih Granite Bear, but I've only been over it in late season when there has been sandy gravelly rock to ascend rather than slippery ice. The Bear Lakes side of Granite Bear is a snooze.
cg
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Re: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby maverick » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:12 pm

Hi Bill,

Instead of going up to Lake Italy Pass, go from Honeymoon Lake up and over in the Royce
Lake area via Royce Lake Pass (class 1). Then head up towards the northern part of the
basin and go over Granite Bear Pass (class 2) which will give you access to numerous
lakes including Vee Lake, from where you can follow down the East Fork Bear Creek to
the JMT. If you have the time and energy would highly recommend going up to
Orchid Lake for the night, the views from the smaller Orchid Lake is sublime, and the
fishing is good too. HST Map

PS GBP will not be an issue this year.
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: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby whrdafamI? » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:27 pm

thank you cgunderson and maverick! Looks like I will have to check that route out on my map.
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

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Re: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby paul » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:02 pm

Another thought is to detour on the way to Italy Pass - go up to Pine creek pass and from there to Royce lakes, then over from the highest Royce lake to Granite Park, and thus to Italy Pass and the rest of your plan.
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Re: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby no2haven » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:01 am

There's a second pass just north of Royce Pass connecting Granite Park and the Royce Lakes. It looked like simple class 2 from across the basin (but I didn't go up to check it out first hand). Leads to Lake 11400+ in Granite Park which has a use trail to the Italy Pass use trail.

I second doing Royce Lakes on the way up to Italy Pass. Easy CC from Pine Creek Pass, and then quick access to Granite Park which is gorgeous. I have pictures from the area in my trip report from the July 4th weekend.
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Re: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby whrdafamI? » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:03 pm

Update: My son Gary got a intestinal infection shortly after arriving at North Lake. We initially thought that it was nothing serious but after a day and half of vomiting/runs we opted out and headed for home. He was in the hospital today and the prognosis is good. He was severely dyhydrated and had to be IVed and was given a heavy duty anti bioctic. As I told him, maybe next year.
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

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Re: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:14 pm

Sorry to hear that Bill, but like you said there will be a next time, and main thing
is that he is doing alright.
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: Italy Pass/Royce Lakes

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:02 pm

Do it next year. When you posted this I was in the back country then working like mad to catch up with all the fun and games I missed in my day job.

A few years ago we went over Piute and Puppet Passes, up French Canyon, then some fun XC to the lower of the Royce Lakes. Up the Royce Lakes and over the pass that no2haven mentioned into Granite Park.

The Royce Lakes were great and there was NO ONE back there but us chickens. Clearly not a lot of traffic in the area. The pass between Lake 11400+ and the highest Royce Lake was a blast. There's a snowfield in it that's probably semi-permanent, but you could choose between rock and snow and have some fun.

The rub is that getting around the lakes involves more than a little boulder hopping. Sometimes there were Kenmore boulders out there.
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