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Contact Pass

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Contact Pass

Postby alpinemike » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:17 pm

TITLE: Contact Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads from the South Fork of Big Pine Creek to the North Fork. The pass itself is on the Eastern side of Temple Crag and directly above Second Lake of the Big Pine Lakes.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park directly to the East of Temple Crag and South of Second Lake. HST Map

ELEVATION: 11,752

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Split Mountain

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The South side of this Pass can be reached from a number of locations including Elinore Lake or Willow Lake. Rogue Photonic & I came from Elinore Lake. Coming from Willow Lake entails more brush and following the drainage that leads up to the final tarns below Mt. Gayley. From Elinore Lake one follows down the outlet until a talus slope appears. This slope is fairly stable and leads down around a knob to the creek that drains upper tarns. One follows the creek up to the Northeast through another talus slope. This talus slope ends in some brush around a small tarn directly below Contact Pass. From here Contact Pass is the obvious saddle directly to the North. The left side of the chute appears to have a use trail but it is very steep and loose sand/dirt. The climb is not technically difficult just a very annoying slog.

The North side of the pass is very steep at the upper portion and would definitely warrant the use of an ice ax and crampons given enough snow and ice. There is fortunately a use trail that leads all the way down to the first level section below the pass. From here the going gets tougher and the rock looser. You are travelling on a giant moraine field that contains much loose rock. We took a slightly Eastern descent down through this section and it was only conditionally stable. Use caution here. Once past the massive moraine field you enter another steeper slope that leads down towards the trees between Second & Third Lakes. From here there are a lot of cairns through yet another large boulder field that make the route mostly confusing but so long as you keep going straight you will eventually close the outlet of the Third Lake and pick up the trail not far beyond.

Photographs provided by Rogue Photonic since all my photos from this week of the trip were lost.

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21266977759_478d0acb31_k.jpg

20832731333_b7d9b3c68d_k.jpg
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Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/



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Contact Pass

Postby cgundersen » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:57 pm

TITLE: Contact Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: Connects the south fork area of Big Pine Creek with the north fork drainage

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: John Muir Wilderness

ELEVATION: 3,600 meters

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Split Mountain | HST Map:HST Map


I've only done this route from south to north and the north side is very tedious with gobs of talus and loose scree. By comparison, the approach on the southern side is relatively straightforward with decent footing, but if it's a warm day you'll feel the elevation and the verticality of the final pitch to the ridge. Bring plenty of water, because it's a long way down to water on the other side (at least it has been in late summer when I've done this). At the same time, it's a good way to contrast the relatively tiny lakes in the southfork branch of Big Pine Creek with their much larger cousins on the other side of the ridge. Here are photos:
CP1.jpg

cp2.jpg

cp3.jpg

cp4.jpg

cp5.jpg

cp6.jpg

cp7.jpg

cp8.jpg
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Last edited by ERIC on Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged with original Contact Pass thread.
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Re: Contact Pass one more distant photo

Postby cgundersen » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:36 pm

This is a long-range shot of Contact Pass from the north fork trail of Big Pine Creek:
cp.jpg
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Last edited by ERIC on Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged with original Contact Pass thread.
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