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Little Joe's Pass

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Little Joe's Pass

Postby alpinemike » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:01 pm

TITLE: Little Joe's Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads from Lake Reflection to the Upper Kern Basin directly to the west of Lucy's Foot Pass.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park East of Lake Reflection on the ridge with the 7.5 Minute Marker of 3827 Meters. HST Map

ELEVATION:12,625

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Brewer

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The West Side of this pass is straightforward if you find the correct chute to climb up. From Lake Reflection climb up the steep wooded hillside directly across from the outlet. On the map you will see that a tarn is several hundred feet up from the lake. You will pass this tarn on the South side and continue side-hiling across mostly stable talus. This should all be easy Class 2 terrain. From here you will be tempted to enter into a chute that is directly to your east. You will likely be staring up it. DO NOT ENTER THIS CHUTE! Rogue Photonic and I made the mistake of thinking this was the proper chute and unfortunately it was not. We ended up on major Class 3 and even Class 4 climbing at the top of the chute on the ridge to get into the proper chute to get to the top of the pass. The chute that you need to enter is further South and slightly to the East. Since we did not enter this chute I can not account for the exact terrain but from other photos I've seen and TR's I've read it is just as stable and straightforward as the chute we climbed, which was Class 2 Talus and boulders mixed with sand.

The top of the pass had 2 cairns on top when we went through in August of 2016. The East side is nothing more than a basic Class 2 talus and sand walk up.

From other reports it is also possible to enter into this chute from the shoreline of Lake Reflection directly. Although I am not sure if that includes more brush and talus at the bottom.

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Re: Little Joe's Pass

Postby jimmeans » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:11 pm

Does the yellow line represent the route that you took, or is it the route that you believe is the correct route?
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Re: Little Joe's Pass

Postby alpinemike » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:33 pm

It is the correct route. The route we took is the next chute over to the North.
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Re: Little Joe's Pass

Postby sekihiker » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:24 am

Back in the early 70's, I did a day hike from Lake Refection into the Kern headwaters via Milly's, returning via Little Joe. One of the cairns at the top of Little Joe contained a bandaid can placed by campers from the Bob Mathias Boys Camp. A dozen or so campers signed the note in the can and they named it Little Joe Pass. I was really happy to have had an alternate route to Lucy's. The can in the cairn was no longer there when I revisited Little Joe in the 90's.

I've been down Little Joe three times, see http://www.sierrahiker.com/ThunderCol/index.html for one of the trips
and up it once, see http://www.sierrahiker.com/KernBasinII/index.html
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