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Garnet Pass

Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:59 pm
General Overview: Garnet Pass lies within the Ansel Adams Wilderness and provides easy access between Garnet Lake and Thousand Island Lake from their Western shores.

Class/Difficulty: Garnet Pass is a class 1/2 pass. I say class 2 simply because the 1 time that I went over it you had to boulder hop a bit and there wasn't much of a trail but I was not looking for 1 either, I was just trying to get through the area quickly and to my destination. Maybe there is a trail up and over and thus making it officially class 1.

Location: Garnet Pass lies within the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest. Garnet Pass is about .9 miles NE of Banner Peak as the crow flies.

Elevation: Garnet Pass lies at 10,138'

Route Description: This description starts from Garnet Lake, if you are at Thousand Island (TI) Lake then just reverse the route. From Garnet Lake head towards the NW shore. Follow the inlet West and through the meadow towards Banner Peak which will be right in front of you. While following the creek start looking to your right up the hill and you should see your destination which is the low point in the ridge line. Head up the hill into the rocks in a NW ish direction until you find a route that is easy for you which shouldn't be difficult. You'll know you've reached the pass when TI comes into view. From there you head down towards TI and there are various ways to do so depending on where you're heading...NW if heading towards N Glacier Pass or NE if heading down to TI.

KO Garnet.jpg
Garnet North.jpg

Re: Garnet Pass

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:18 am
by The Private
Hey Snoooow

I am new see to the forum, I am planning a trip in August from the 6 to 18th..I know these pictures weren't taken recently right? there is still too much Snooooow there. Any current pictures?

Re: Garnet Pass

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:41 pm
The photos were taken late July 2016

Re: Garnet Pass

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:29 pm
by SSSdave
I've never read any reference to a name for that easy saddle. Did you or one of your groups just make that up or is that being called Garnet Pass in print somewhere? Even Roper's HSR refers to it as a no name saddle. One hiking on the ridge between Thousand Island and Garnet Lakes can cross almost anywhere since it is so gentle. The advantage of the saddle is if coming around the west end of TIL, it is the least vertical. There is actually a well used horse trail that has never been on the topo between Emerald Lake and the center of the north shore at the big peninsula of Garnet. A fair number of groups going across that saddle are in fact not heading to the shores of Garnet at all but rather angling towards Roper's Whitebark Pass, an unpleasant route or plan to camp down at the good sized no name lake west of Garnet, a very pleasant place with wonderful close up views of the big peaks. Climbers with crampons/ice axe use it to climb up through the notch between Banner and 3497.

Re: Garnet Pass

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:43 pm
I did not make that name up, I was simply adding a description and photos to a pass on the HST map in regards to the post Copeg created about cc passes with no descriptions. I do want to say that I've seen it referred to as Garnet Pass elsewhere but maybe I am mistaken. Either way I was just trying to add info like Copeg and Eric are requesting. Call it whatever you like.

Re: Garnet Pass

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:33 pm
Secor calls it Garnet Pass. The High Sierra 3rd edition. The map on page 378 and the description on page 394.

Re: Garnet Pass

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:36 am
by Wandering Daisy
I have been over the pass several times. There is no "trail" over the pass, just routes with some better than others. I doubt anyone has done it enough to definitively say they found the "best" route. If going to White Bark Pass you stay high. If dropping to Garnet Lake you head more directly to Garnet Lake with a bit more rock hopping. Garnet Pass Is a pass which I suspect would actually be easier totally covered with firm snow. Walking on snow is easier than finding a route through the rocks. When the snow becomes unstable, then it would then be more difficult than if dry. It is an easy pass with a lot of "six of one, half-dozen the other" decisions.

To connect with the JMT there is a fair use-trail that runs along the north shore of Garnet Lake. This trail climbs above the shore as it nears the JMT.