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Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

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Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby rlown » Thu May 24, 2012 7:41 pm

Carol Col (Puppet Pass):

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This col provides a cross country route between Mesa or Desolation Lake in Humphrey's Basin and Puppet Lake above French Canyon.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 1-2.

LOCATION: Sierra National Forest/John Muir Wilderness. HST Map



ELEVATION: ~12,000 ft

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mount Tom, CA

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: Starting from the inlet of Mesa Lake, you can head up towards the saddle of Puppet Pass. Stay to the right of the Saddle but just left of the dome.
Class 1/2. N-S, hug the obvious wall to the East. Stay out of the boulders that are in the middle.

PHOTOS:

First this:

SDC12061.JPG


If you go to the lowest point on the pass, it looks like this. It's kind of a cliff lots of boulders:
Puppet Lk 2010 051.JPG


The Col was named after Carol. I've no Idea why, but there's a plaque there that someone pried off it's mounts with an ice axe. Bad form. We found it in 2010 and put in in a safe place on a rock next to where it was removed.

Puppet Lk 2010 053.JPG


This is looking up at the WRONG place to come down.. we did 100 yds from the wall id'd below. don't do this.. it looks simple in the pic, but it wasted a good 20 mins.

Puppet Lk 2010 057.JPG


That wall should be your beacon to a great Puppet Pass crossing.. It's a little gravely 2/3rds the way up but it's a fast trip either way from humphreys to French.

Puppet Lk 2010 058.JPG


The last shot is from Paris looking back. The red line is approximately where the wall is.

Puppet Lk 2010 078.JPG
Last edited by rlown on Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby BrianF » Wed May 30, 2012 8:54 pm

Another view from the west at Roget lake, the "wall" is just left of center, click on pic to enlarge
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:33 pm

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: Although it is probably best to avoid the big boulders and hug the wall as noted above if you do end up in them they are very stable and mostly easy to travel. I did note however that there seemed to be allot of fresh rock fall evidence in them.

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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby rlown » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:39 pm

The boulders in the middle are not stable. Maybe for you Rogue, but not for the 20 somethings that were moving large boulders around on their way down. I was at Puppet lk listening to this and it concerned us. That's a long way away to hear boulders shifting and shouts.

I didn't find it pleasing when i missed the route the first time, as we had to do some air work to get to the wall.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:13 pm

I must have taken the right way. I was happy about how stable and easy it was to climb down them.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby acvdmlac » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:16 am

I day-hiked from L Lake to top of Carol pass last September, it was fun with great views and worth the trip. Hugging the East/left-hand wall was very helpful advice for most of the way up, but the wall ends in jumbled, steep out-cropping that blocks the way if one wants to avoid Class 3 scrambling straight up and over it.

We first explored to the left/East, towards a chute that would have topped out well up the slope towards Star Peak, but after half an hour descended and re-grouped at the top of the wall. We were with my 80-year old step-dad so I was trying to keep it extra safe, but of course, mountain goat that he is, he was the one that found a way to keep it mostly Class 2 by bearing instead towards the right, in the direction of the main boulder field described above, and then arcing back left and up around a few sloping ledges to a short diagonal chute that was concealed from below, and that slanted left up to the top/low point in the pass, where we found the plaque. The location of the low point turned out to be along the line of the wall below, but again, not visible from below. In other words, from below, look up the line of the wall and it points straight to where the pass is hidden.

Heading back down, I found it safe and at times necessary to use my hands not just for balance to control descent around the ledges and down to the wall, and we were just carrying day-packs. While the south side is a Class 1, I would call the north side a Class 2+.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby rlown » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:34 am

yeah. coming up from the north, at the top, you have to step 15' to your right and then it's just up and over. Even with a 45lb pack. I rated it at a 2 because even with hands on rock, it didn't seem that hard. No air below you to make the move. It wasn't a 3. Hell, Star col is a 3 and scary the number of times i felt at risk. Had to lower packs there to feel safe on Star.

Appreciate your input on it. Heck, I'd be really happy if i was 80 and able to do it!

I intend to take some epoxy and put that plaque back on it's spot. That spot was carved into the rock about 25' West and some idiot pried it out. Did you move the plaque? Last i found it, i nested it in a rock crag near it's intended position. Someone reported they moved it since. We found it below it's original mount. slightly bent by what appeared to be an ice axe.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby tomba » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:40 pm

I was there few days ago. The plaque was lying down in the lowest spot of the pass. In August 2011 I think it was still attached in its spot.
-- Found trash? Please pack it out. Thank you.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:53 pm

I went over in late July last year after camping at Elba Lake. I found rlown’s original post to be nearly perfect. The one issue I had were I have short legs and I’m 5 feet 7 inches so a couple of the small cliffs in the chute required tossing my trekking pole up and then pulling myself up.

A little below the top (about 20-30 vertical feet), there were two choices–-go up left or up slightly right. I first went left since that looked easier, though my instincts were telling me that the other way was probably better. As usual, my instincts were correct. I went up left 10 feet and realized this was a mistake, though if I’d been without a pack, I might have gone ahead that way. So I made my way back down and went slightly right and up and was soon at the top. There was one part that required another toss up the trekking pole and pulling myself up–-no big deal.

The plaque was where Tomba saw it, so I guess it hasn’t been moved recently (unless, of course, it’s been moved and then put back). Russ, if you can put it back where it belongs, I look forward to someday returning and seeing it properly commemorating Carol.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby acvdmlac » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:12 am

rlown wrote:yeah. coming up from the north, at the top, you have to step 15' to your right and then it's just up and over. Even with a 45lb pack. I rated it at a 2 because even with hands on rock, it didn't seem that hard. No air below you to make the move. It wasn't a 3. Hell, Star col is a 3 and scary the number of times i felt at risk. Had to lower packs there to feel safe on Star.

Appreciate your input on it. Heck, I'd be really happy if i was 80 and able to do it!

I intend to take some epoxy and put that plaque back on it's spot. That spot was carved into the rock about 25' West and some idiot pried it out. Did you move the plaque? Last i found it, i nested it in a rock crag near it's intended position. Someone reported they moved it since. We found it below it's original mount. slightly bent by what appeared to be an ice axe.


Yes, the exposure wasn't enough to rate it Class 3. Going hands-free would have been challenging and risky, but it wasn't scary like Star Col looked, it just took a little time and route-finding caution. Yeah I'll be happy too if I'm able to go over Class 2 12,000' cols in my eighties!

I don't remember exactly where the plaque was, but my memory it was fixed to rock, not lying loose. Thanks to those who maintain and what's up with those who take the time to deface?
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:10 pm

Poking about this thread as am working on a 9-day plan for this area.

Image

rlown >>>"...The last shot is from Puppet looking back. The red line is approximately where the wall is."

When I first looked at your pic it was obvious this was not from Puppet because that lake does not have steep talus next to it like this. Was easy to figure out with the topo then verified that here with Google Earth, first pic below. Its from near the outlet of Paris. The east end of Paris is the only zone with a bunch of trees in that area.

Image

Rogue's third image from Roget should be looked at at full size which allows a view of the boulders at top. A lot of unpleasant large talus off west of the wall so can see the wisdom of staying next to it most of the way. That is typical where loose small sand and dirt blowing with the wind tumbles over steep bedrock then accumulates at its base. Near the top it looks like I would move towards the right.

And this is rim view from the 11880+ knob on the saddle.

Image

The actual lowest point on the saddle is behind this position and that may be what people are referring to as a cliff as the topo shows it stupidly steep. I marked it with a magenta X on the map snippet at top. The col is on one of the trips in the original Wilderness Press Sierra South. Backpackers that don't bother to look at topos have been looking down from the magenta X for decades.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Postby rlown » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:39 am

SSSdave wrote:Poking about this thread as am working on a 9-day plan for this area.

Image

rlown >>>"...The last shot is from Puppet looking back. The red line is approximately where the wall is."


You are correct. That was an evening fishing trip on the shore of Paris on the North side looking back towards the pass.

Updated my original post as well.

Thanks Dave!
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