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Sphinx Pass

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Sphinx Pass

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:37 pm

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads between the West cirque of the upper most section of Sphinx Creek and Brewer Creek

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park HST Map

ELEVATION: 12,060

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Triple Divide Peak

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The North side of this pass has no particular route finding. It's a long mess of talus with some slabs and bits of grass. Just tedious generally.

The South side is a mix of shelves / slabs and talus. Depending on what route you take down you can encounter some low level class 3.

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Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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RoguePhotonic
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Re: Sphinx Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:35 pm

Some of the best swaths of Columbine I have ever seen are on the north side of this pass. I hated to put my foot down for fear of crushing the beautiful flowers.

I though the south side benches were very obvious and it would really be hard to get into class 3. I feel the pass is class 2. If anything, I would rate it class 1-2. I hesitate to start rating passes based on what you might get into, rather then what is there if you stay on the obvious route. When I did this pass, the gully above the first lake was snow filled and had to be crossed. The snow was not steep and easy - only problem would be if soft enough to post-hole. The south side is steep and I can see that after a high snow year, early season, there could be steep snow to get down.
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Re: Sphinx Pass

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:48 pm

I guess that depends on how you view the notation of 1-2 or 2-3. Is it between class 2-3 or what I have judged it as meaning all class 2 or class 3 depending on your route.

With the amount of talus to cross on the North side I would not rate it as class 1 at all.
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Re: Sphinx Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:51 pm

I was thinking more of mixed class 1 (some places) and class 2 (other places). I think the big difference is that I did the pass early season and much of the talus was easy walking on snow. I really did not realize how much talus there is! Also, guess it depends on where you consider the start of the pass and the end. The lower parts are class 1. The write-ups I read before doing it made it seem hard; it really was quite easy when I did it. By "easy", I mean non-technical. Talus is usually easy, although many backpackers find it miserable. I do not mind talus unless it gets very steep or loose. So, I will agree with you, drop reference to class 1 and call it solid class 2.
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Re: Sphinx Pass

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:20 pm

I would certainly say this pass is not hard or technical. All the talus is small to medium and stable. Even the couple of bits I did that were class 3 were the lowest of the sort and were probably only done because I have enough experience to not bother trying to find an easier way around.
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