Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line | High Sierra Topix  

Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line

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!
User avatar

Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line

Postby Fishstick » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:26 pm

I've been over Pants Pass (w to e), and it exceeded my comfort zone by a bit, particularly with an 8 day pack. Can anyone give a comparison between Pants, Pyra-Queen, and any of the other passes between Nine Lakes and the Kaweah Basin/Pickets/Kern Kaweah? I don't mind a long slog as long as there is not too much serious fall potential and it can be done nearly without hand holds. Thanks.



User avatar
Fishstick
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:35 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:00 pm

Created a separate thread so not to piggyback on the original one Fishstick.
Pants is the steepest especially the upper parts, and the eastern side as you experienced.
PQC is a little more drawn out, has a steep chute with a lot of scree, and the eastern
side a slow going, very rocky.
Kaweah Passes southern side is the easiest of all these passes, but you make up for
this on the northern side with a difficult, very unstable, rocky descent.
From the Kern-Kaweah River you can ascend the route indicated in the previous
thread. HST Map
Also one can ascend Picket Creek or up into Kaweah Basin, but one must take care
in route finding otherwise you can encounter some class 3 terrain.
Each pass/col has there difficulties and one has to ascertain which terrain one is
the most proficient with. Pants is steep/scree, QPC has lots of scree/rocky, KBP loose
unstable rock, PC needs good route finding abilities, and the route I outlined
is probably the easiest with PC, but it takes longer to get too.
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:24 pm

I haven't done Pyra-Queen but have done Kaweah Pass and Pants Pass. Pants has some steep scree but as long as one keeps your party out of each other's rock fall line, this is a slog but not hazardous. In constrast, the north side of Kaweah Pass is some of the most hazardous talus I've ever seen. Traversing a slope of medium to large talus boulders one could hear and see shifting of rocks at least 100' up the slope. The threat of a large, catastrophic, fatal rockfall there is very real. Both passes are certainly class 2, but Pants Pass, however steep it may be, is safer in my estimation. I rate Kaweah Pass as the scariest I've ever been over owing to the hazard level--I have been over class 3 passes, such as Haeckel Col, but they do not compare to Kaweah Pass in terms of risk in my opinion.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line

Postby longri » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:35 am

I've only been over Pyra-Queen. The pass itself is easy, at least without snow. But getting there can involve route-finding issues. And there is quite a bit of talus. You have to really like talus. A lot. I looked at the alternatives (on paper) and thought Pyra-Queen was the obvious winner. Kaweah Basin is a very nice place.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line

Postby Fishstick » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:52 pm

Thanks a lot guys, this is very helpful.
User avatar
Fishstick
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:35 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Passes Over The Kaweah Ridge Line

Postby Guy Cooper » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:31 pm

I recently went N-S over Kaweah pass (or E-W depending on how you look at it) and I will echo the comments above, I definitely wouldn't recommend that pass to anyone. For some reason I was under the impression that it was the easiest of the ridge line passes, so I set out over it alone to avoid Pants or PQC. I completely agree with giantbrookie, KP is the scariest pass I have ever been over. On the way up, I definitely felt like the threat of a catastrophic rock fall was very real, and my adrenaline was pumping by the time I got to the top. There is just SO MUCH loose rock. At one point, I grabbed onto a huge chunk of talus and it just started slipping on the scree like it was on marbles. Amazing view from the top though!
User avatar
Guy Cooper
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:49 pm
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 12 guests