Pants Pass Mid-June? and planned route- what do you think? | High Sierra Topix  

Pants Pass Mid-June? and planned route- what do you think?

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Pants Pass Mid-June? and planned route- what do you think?

Postby horseridinggirl » Sat May 05, 2007 7:29 pm

Thanks for all the info everyone... I know it's been a low snow pack year, but we start out June 12 from Road-end up Bubbs creek to Forester Pass to Pants pass (via Kaweah-Kern) to Bear Paw over Elizabeth pass to avalanche pass back to Road end. What do you think about the route, and what about doing pants pass that early, I haven't seen anything on line about when ect.

Thanks for all he info, we are soooo excited about this trip!!

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Postby giantbrookie » Sun May 06, 2007 9:09 am

That's quite a nice loop you have planned that hits some of the very finest of Seki. I'm not sure how mid June will play with Pants Pass. In a normal season it would be guaranteed to have snow on the east side of it, but this year, who knows? With a bit of snow at the top of the east side it may be more pleasant to cross (it may cover the steep loose scree/talus in the chute at the top of the east side of the pass), but a lot depends on where the snow is. Snow stuck in the top of the chute will be steep. If the snow extends far enough down the fall line to a nice runout (easing of slope) beneath, then it presents no hazard. If it goes steep down to talus or rock without an easing of slope, then it presents a potentially damaging fall and hence will make an ice axe a good idea. In general your route crosses several high passes that may harbor steep snow on the north or east-facing sides. An ice axe may be a good thing to have for peace of mind (I would take one, actually, unless I heard an update just before I left indicating I didn't need one).

Regarding Pants Pass early season, I recall at least one or two others on this board have done it (Maverick and the Old Ranger, I believe)--I crossed in late July 2003 well after snow had melted off of the east side of it. If this post were on the backpacking board instead of the peak bagging one, they would be more likely to see it (given that the subject here is inherently backpacking, rather than peak bagging/climbing).
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