My friend Deb wanted to explore the Bishop Pass area for a trip she's doing in a few weeks. So, along with my buddie Paul, we headed for South Lake early Saturday morning. The road is clear and 'mostly' dry, with some flooded sections right beneath the lake. Woohoo for the TOF!
Notes from the day:
1) There are alternating sections of clear trail, mud, water, and snow basically from the parking lot. If it's a gulley, there's water! The snow was mostly firm, but postholing was an inevitability from the get go.
2) Long Lake is still essentially frozen over. Some slight water at the edge, but still covered.
3) We ended up traversing near the east wall above Spearhead Lake and Timberline Tarn. It's a nice direct route to the pass with snow still on it.
4) The Pass has good, solid snow to kick step up. We put on crampons at the last switcher that was visible, maybe 200-300ft from the top (??).
5) Deb and I took the ' standard ' chute with snow, while Paul's feet were bugging him in the crampons, so he was able to scramble up the rocks just to the left of our snow chute. They joined just where the snow stopped and then it was all scramble to the top.
6) The view was unreal . Minimal wind on the summit, clear skies, and the whole mountain to ourselves.
7) Still plenty of snow in the backcountry .
8) The hike out was posthole city. But I still don't think I would have bothered with snowshoes, except to try out my new ones. They're orange.
9) Had dinner at Rossi's in Big Pine: ROCK ON! Definitely a recommended stop.
Rest of the pics are here.
Some other images from the day:
First Light on Hurd and Goode:
Deb takes in Agassiz for the first time:
Gettin' steep in the snow chute:
From the luckiest girl in the world, all the best!
PS: I had NO idea I was doing the MR the next day!
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