HST Community      Knapsack Pass tricks?

Knapsack Pass tricks? | High Sierra Topix  

Knapsack Pass tricks?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!

Knapsack Pass tricks?

Postby oleander » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:38 am


I'll be leading some folks who are relatively inexperienced at x-country, from Dusy Basin into Palisade Basin, as a day hike (no full packs). This will be from the middle lakes in Dusy Basin (at the foot of Isoscecles).

I went over Knapsack last year with a full pack, starting from the same lakes near Isoscecles. I remember reading that the easiest beaten way to the pass is from the lowest lakes chain in Dusy Basin, but we didn't want to descend that far. On the other hand, we didn't want to traverse straight over to the pass, as I'd read, and could now see, that we would run into steep talus and cliffs. So we did a sort of descending traverse, that still involved a lot of bushwacking and being cliffed out. Once we started ascending up the pass proper, nothing we were on resembled the Class 1/2 "use trail" I had been told exists.

What did I miss last time? Should we have just bitten the bullet and descended (almost) all the way to the lowest lakes before resuming our climb? Does the legendary "use trail" over there really exist?

Last year, I recall seeing a photo somewhere online, where, I believe, someone explained that the proper approach to Knapsack is to the far right of the gully (looking up), climbing to a spot just above and to the right of the pass proper. But I can't seem to find that photo/description now. (Last year, we decided not to investigate that right side of the gully as there was a lot of steep snow; should not be there this year.)

We had absolutely no problems on the south side of the pass.

- Elizabeth

User avatar
Topix Regular
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:15 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Knapsack Pass tricks?

Postby cgundersen » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:50 pm

I did not check last year's reports, but I'm pretty sure Sierra Maclure had good photos of this area. Regardless, on several excursions over Knapsack, I've never run across a use trail (though for the level of use, you'd think there'd be one). Pretty much, I recall trending left and just picking my way up to the ridge before finishing the ascent. If there is an easier route to the right, it has not been obvious to me. But, overall, the good news is that Knapsack is just an overall nice class 2 route where it's pretty easy to avoid anything that looks even a bit dicey.
User avatar
Topix Expert
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Knapsack Pass tricks?

Postby Bluewater » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:05 pm

Hi Elizabeth. I hiked over Knapsack Pass from the lower lakes a few weeks ago. We found an intermittent use trail from the last of the lower lakes, it even went up the pass for a while. Eventually it becomes easier to just follow the large granite slabs on the left side.

We saw a group of people hiking over from the lakes you mentioned. We met up with them at the pass and they seemed to be having a good time. Either way Knapsack is a fun pass.

Have fun!



You must register an account and login to view the files/photos attached to this post.
User avatar
Topix Expert
Posts: 562
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:33 pm
Location: Laguna Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Npike, sbeacher, sekihiker, try and 7 guests