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TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

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TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby BakoGal » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:51 pm

Looking at maps….it seems like I spend a lot of time doing that and dreaming. I decided to head out on July 10/11/12 on a semi-loop involving Piute Pass, Hutchinson Meadow, French Canyon, Puppet Lake, Carol Col, Mesa Lake and back over Piute Pass. Normally I would avoid canyons as I like the wide open views, but I read a prior TR by millertime wherein he did a similar route and bragged about the beauty of French Canyon, and he was most definitely right. Thanks, millertime!

Day one was a stroll over Piute Pass; the wildflowers at the beginning along the creek were outstanding, and it was windy enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Once over the pass the wildflower display continued with a lovely backdrop of green against granite.
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I passed by Lower Golden Trout Lake and stopped to admire landscaping only God could create.
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Anyone lose their dentures? Better yet, what is this from?
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The mosquitoes were quite annoying in Piute Canyon, but I spied a high knoll across Piute Creek about .5 mile east of Hutchinson Meadow. Off came the boots and after a knee deep creek wade, I set up home with an outstanding dinner view.
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It rained most of the night. I was awakened at about 4 a.m. by a drip on my forehead, thus discovering a needed seam seal repair.

The next day I headed up French Canyon, stopping regulary to look back down at the view. There were lots of creek crossings…
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The outlet of Royce Lakes featured a beautiful waterfall.
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I continued up to Moon Lake, where I took an extended break and cooked my lunch. My Jetboil was about five feet away from me when a team of pesky marmots made off with the lid. A foot pursuit on my part ensued, with it ending at the marmots’ rock den. I couldn’t see them, but could hear them munching on the plastic lid. I could also see numerous backpacker accoutrements at the entrance to their home….I believe they have a prior criminal history.

After mourning the loss of the lid, I continued up to Puppet Lake, where I viewed the bottom of Carol Col. Thanks to rlown I had an idea about where I should go up, and up I went without a hitch. Happy to be on top…..
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I continued my way to Mesa Lake, where I got a great view of the Glacier Divide.
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I set up camp at Mesa Lake, and had a dry, great sleep.
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The next day I ended my trip over Piute Pass and back to REAL food!

I was pleasantly surprised at how few people were out there.

Many thanks to HST folks who have posted their trips here and made it easy for me to research, plan and have a great time!



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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby schmalz » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:55 pm

Great TR. I really like the second to last photo with the wildflowers and distant peaks. :thumbsup:
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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:58 pm

Very pretty pictures BakoGal, thanks for the TR! Rlowns and may other HST members
favorite area. :)
How were the flowers in Hutchinson Meadow? Thanks for the reminder, need to do
some seam sealing myself.
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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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Piute Pass-Carol Col

Postby Hobbes » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:29 pm

Great TR! I'm still debating doing something similar later this summer.

Question: in retrospect, knowing what you know now, would you spend the time going down/up the canyons, or just aim directly for Carol (Puppet) Col to get to the Puppet lakes basin?

If you went directly, do you think you would have time to explore the Royce lakes?

I'm considering going in either via Piute & Carol to Puppet/Royce lakes, or hiking up Pine Crk to create a Royce/Puppet lakes loop from the other direction.
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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby millertime » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:32 pm

I also have to compliment your 2nd to last photo above mesa lake, neat shot! Much of the HST community suggested that area when I was planning my trip last year you are referring too. It is a great area! Looks like your trip was much more green than it was last year in late august when I went. I will visit that area again someday. Thanks for the TR!
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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby justm » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:20 pm

Thanks for the trip report, I love that area. Nice Pics!!!
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Re: Piute Pass-Carol Col

Postby Sierra00 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:15 pm

Question: in retrospect, knowing what you know now, would you spend the time going down/up the canyons, or just aim directly for Carol (Puppet) Col to get to the Puppet lakes basin?

If you went directly, do you think you would have time to explore the Royce lakes?


Having been through the area also, I'd say yes, if you went directly through Carol Col, there would be time to explore Royce Lakes. At least some of them, and probably most. You could definitely get to that great spot between the first two lakes, which gives a fantastic view and photo op of Merriam Peak.

There's also the time saving option of going over the pass just east of Pilot Knob (which is an easier pass than Carol Col, if you care about that).
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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby rlown » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:24 pm

Pic #3 is the bottom half of a Deer jaw. Glad you had a nice trip. Thanks for the report!

And no. I haven't been training the Marmots for 3 years at moon lk. :p
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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:32 pm

Rlown wrote:
And no. I haven't been training the Marmots for 3 years at moon lk. :p


Hah, that's not what they told me Russ. :D
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby rlown » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:55 pm

ok.. so you put some 151 to the side. They appreciated that.

On a more serious note. Who cooks lunch?
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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby LMBSGV » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:09 pm

I'm doing essentially the same route late next week on a 5 night trip, so I really enjoyed reading this and seeing the photos. Thanks.
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Re: TR: Piute Pass-Carol Col Semi-Loop

Postby The hermit » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:06 am

So much to get to. First off, Thanks for the great report! #2 is c arol col really a coluir or is puppet pass a more accurate name? #3 sierra 00 (7?) Did you climb pilot knob? Roper makes it seem like a great climb for a beginner.
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