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Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:05 pm
by maverick
Dumbbell Lakes Pass


GENERAL OVERVIEW: Passage between Marion Lakes Basin and Dumbbell Lakes Basin


CLASS/DIFFCULTY: Class 2


LOCATION: Kings Canyon NP HST Map


ELEVATION: 11,723 ft


USGS TOPO MAP 7.5': Marion Peak, CA


ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The south side of this pass is a sandy/grassy hillside that
affords great views of Marion Lakes basin. As one reaches the crest, it becomes a
bit rockier and snow tends to remain into late season. The north side of the pass
is a solid class 2 descent (or, climb) with plenty of rock/boulder hopping. The
typical route is to continue down the main chute to the shore of the lake (11,108)
and traverse around the eastern shore which is a jumble of boulders. However to
avoid that jumble, one can also ascend (or descend) along the western margin of
the lake along exposed granite faces. But, the angles of some of these slabs can
be a bit precarious, so be cautious.

PHOTO'S: Photo's and description courtesy of CGunderson

These first 3 photo's are long views toward the pass beneath Obervation Peak:
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Western shore of Lake 11108 showing alternative approach/descent of the pass that
bypasses the boulder hopping on the eastern shore:
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View from about the midpoint of Dumbbell Lakes Pass to the northeast across
Cataract Creek Pass toward the Palisade crest:
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View north from Dumbbell Pass with Observation Peak on the right:
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View towards Marion Lakes Basin from Dumbbell Lakes Pass:
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Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:21 am
by RoguePhotonic
If one takes the primary drainage down to the Dumbell Lakes and then begins around the South Western shore you encounter one piece of rock that involves what I considered an easy class 3 move. Another man I happened to be hiking with at the time did not feel comfortable with it and had to ford through the lake about waist deep.

If class 3 is not for you consider taking the Eastern shore.

Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:46 pm
by quentinc
He was probably nervous because the granite is polished. It's an easy enough move, but looks slippery.
Also, once you're in the chute, take the rib (sort of) on the right (west). It doesn't have much loose rock and is a surprisingly straight-forward class 2 climb.

Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:52 am
by RoguePhotonic
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These photos are of the NW slope that you can take instead of the main chute to Dumbell Lakes. I do not personally recommend taking this route. It is steep with allot of very loose rock.

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NW shore line displaying the one bit of rock you have to climb over just to the left of the snow field. The rest of the way is easy walking.

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General Pass photos:
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When I finally get around to them I have photos with no snow and direct shots of the main chute to the lakes.

Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:24 pm
by quentinc
I was curious about that NW chute. Thanks for posting about it.

Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:09 am
by lostcoyote
this is the way i came down....

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i started down the central portion of that knoll (the protruding face with a "X" marked near the bottom) but then when it started to become rather steep with exposed granite slabs (some having polish), i veered left off the knoll pretty high up still and came down the talus field which hugs the knoll on its west side (red arrow) down to the lake. take it slow & easy as there are some lose rocks that can turn on you. snow helps.

Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:42 pm
by RoguePhotonic
Following on your noted photo above in 2011 I went straight down the rock face left of your arrow line and got on the long snow field to the left of that face for a short bit. The face has very loose rock and I don't recommend it.

The class 3 shoreline rock I spoke of is not located at your X but is further left of the snow field that flows to the lake.

Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:14 pm
by lostcoyote
okay, thanks, i will fix the post.

Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:22 pm
by RoguePhotonic
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Re: Dumbbell Lakes Pass

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:47 am
by Wandering Daisy
UPDATE 2013, early Sept. There was NO snow- not a patch! This made the upper part of the pass on the north side tricky. There was only a small melt pond, deep down, with very unstable rock/dirt that had to be crossed to continue on the moraine- safer to skirt the upper gully on the more stable rock on the left (going down) and cross the dry gully farther down. With snow, you can just go down the gully left of the moraine. Without snow, the gully is a mess.

Although it was my second time down the pass to Dumbbell Lakes, I still missed the descent gully and ended up on class 3 slabs. It sure would be great if a big bold cairn were built to mark the top of the descent gully. It is not obvious, and looking down from the top it looks like a "no-go". So I passed it up and went to far, ending on slabs. Going up the north side, the gully to ascend is quite obvious.

When there is NO snow on the north side of the passes, Dumbbell Lakes Pass is actually harder than Cataract Creek Pass. Conversely, when there is normal snow on the passes, Dumbbell Lakes pass is the easier.