Bighorn pass

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cgundersen
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Bighorn pass

Post by cgundersen » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:26 pm

TITLE: Bighorn Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This is a class 2 connector between the Grinnell Lake area and Rosy Finch-Bighorn-Mott Lakes basin

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: John Muir Wilderness HST Map: HST Map

ELEVATION: 11,250 ft

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Abbott

From the Grinnell side, the ridge that connects to Rosy Finch Lake has an obvious low-point in the saddle that becomes more evident the closer you get. It's a fairly long, but not terribly challenging ascent coming up from the Grinnell side, as much of your climb is in vegetation/grass until the last couple hundred feet of rock/gravel. If you're coming from the Rosy Finch side, much of the ridge line above Rosy Finch looks to be of fairly similar elevation, but as you ascend the hillside, you'll come across evidence of folks having aimed for the area around the red arrow in the first photo. Because this ridge is on the Sierra High Route, I'm a bit surprised there is not more documentation; also, I apologize, because the photos below are pretty sparse and I'll try to do a bit of rummaging for a few more views.
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Last edited by maverick on Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: subject matter








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SSSdave
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Re: Bighorn pass

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:01 pm

Images or descriptions of such passes when there is so much snow still on the ground are not of much value. I have some old 35mm Kodachromes I would need to dig through. The last 300 feet on the east side is steep but not dangerous class 2. There is a choice of 2 subtle slanting a bit grassy ramps that make the slope less steep. The main issue with the pass is not getting up to the top but rather what to do on the west side in order to either reach Shout of Relief going north or get around Rosy Finch Lake from below on the NF Mono Creek canyon. Ropers SHR description is inadequate. Going down to the east shore of Rosy Finch is for the clueless because there are cliffs on the north shore one ends up climbing back up around for.

I had a lot of fun leading a large group north as it is a great puzzle for those who think they are topographic map savvy. The majority of which end up way down below in a hole that ends up requiring much more vertical to SOR because they did not study the map closely before doing so. I'm trying to do a week long trip up Laurel Creek in the next few weeks except there is still too much snow at Grinnel. If I do so may return by the NF of Mono Creek and take some pics of the route.

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Re: Bighorn pass

Post by cgundersen » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:45 pm

Ok, with the preceding post, I felt obliged to dig a bit more, and here are photos looking down into the Grinnell (East) side of this ridge with much less snow on the ground. Both from my recollections and these photos, it's mostly a mix of rock and vegetation that is only challenging if you get distracted by the gorgeous scenery on the way down (up). Otherwise, it's a pretty reasonable ascent/descent that will not eat your shorts:
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