Little Joe's Pass

Member descriptions, photos, and map locations of Cross Country Passes in the High Sierra. This forum is for information only - discussions should be kept in the appropriate categories.
This forum is a component of the HST Map. We need your help to complete the database, so please contribute!
Post Reply
User avatar
alpinemike
Topix Regular
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Contact:

Little Joe's Pass

Post by alpinemike » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:01 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.
Capture.PNG
DSC_1951.jpg
DSC_1955.JPG
DSC_1956.JPG
DSC_1957.JPG
DSC_1959.JPG
DSC_1960.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;






User avatar
jimmeans
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 6:47 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: San Diego

Re: Little Joe's Pass

Post by jimmeans » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:11 pm

Does the yellow line represent the route that you took, or is it the route that you believe is the correct route?

User avatar
alpinemike
Topix Regular
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Contact:

Re: Little Joe's Pass

Post by alpinemike » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:33 pm

It is the correct route. The route we took is the next chute over to the North.
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Fresno
Contact:

Re: Little Joe's Pass

Post by sekihiker » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:24 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

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 2540
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: Little Joe's Pass

Post by SSSdave » Wed May 30, 2018 10:57 am

This link has most useful images of Little Joe's Pass.

http://www.scaruffi.com/travel/colby.html

Of the 3 foot passes while north facing Harrison is still snowy, north facing Lucy's Foot Pass is snowy, steep and loose, west facing Milly's Foot Pass is steep and loose at the top, west facing Little Joe's reads the least dangerous and looks such on the topo. However at 2000 feet of steep vertical, a really long ways down a steep chute even though class 2 from step to step can be frightening as well as dangerous due to rock fall unless a group is glued together. I measured the 200 meters of vertical between 3500 and 3700 meters that is similar to the whole chute as 72% grade or 36 degrees that is like skiing down directly below the end of the launch ramp on The Wall at Kirkwood but in this case for a lot further ways. Given the smooth bedrock in some sections at the center of the chute, if one slipped there would be little to stop accelerating if one did not stop at first contact and for that reason is borderline class 3. Google Earth view shows the center of the chute is mostly bedrock that has been polished by rockfall that makes it stand out versus anything not right in its center. And it is 250 feet higher than Lucy's though that is balanced by less talus to endure on the west side. If one can get past the much steeper top 250 feet of Lucy's, the rest of that route has a much lower gradient.

The above noted, one must be careful which chute to enter both at the top when descending or at the bottom when ascending as from either location the full chute paths are not in view. Accordingly I did some work with Google Earth and the topo to assist this heretofore lightly used route. Of note near the bottom at the debris fan, one ought ascend the right side that angles up on scree that also contains some whitebark pines versus where the direct main chute enters as the latter goes over a steeper bedrock band. That debris fan is actually beyond the main Little Joe's debris fan and more the result of the adjacent Z chute debris fan. And when descending, after reaching the crest of the ridge point, one must go down past chutes Z Y and X, then take the next chute, Little Joe's, that curves around out of sight left looking down. (Mouse select to enlarge.)

LilJoes2.jpg
LilJoes1.jpg
LilJoes3.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest