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Longely Pass

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Longely Pass

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:40 pm

TITLE: Longely Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads between Upper Cunningham Creek and South Guard Lake to the Upper East Creek drainage and Lake Reflection

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park on the Southern slope of South Guard Peak HST Map

ELEVATION: 12,430

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Brewer

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The Western side has one tedious steep sand slope to climb before it's class 1 walking to the top.

The Eastern side is again steep sand. If a cornice is present you may need to get creative. I dropped down around the cornice on it's far Southern side and then walked beneath it to the sand slopes of the Northern side. Due to the terrain and general exposure this might be out of allot of peoples comfort zone.

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Re: Longely Pass

Postby Cross Country » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:23 pm

Longley Pass was my first cross country route done on my own. It was early July. We were at Sphinx Lakes just hanging around, getting board. I was fishing the upper of the two large lakes when I saw 2 men hiking down with full packs from the upper lake. Of course I met up with them to get info. They had come from Reflection. This was the route that I had been looking at on my map. I wanted to go, but had much trepidation having never done solo a cc route any more difficult than reaching Sphinx Lakes from the trail below. I talked (listened) to them extensively about the route and they told me (among much more info) about crossing Longley at the North end. The two men couldn't be anyone writing now on HST because they were in their 30's to 40's and this was 1974. After the conversation we immediately packed up and headed out to South Guard Lake. Because of our late start we arrived at SG a little before sunset. In 1974 there were still fish in SG (barely). I didn't catch any. The next day we headed over Longley. Please realize that in 1974 I had very little experience. Hiking to the top of Longley was slow (high elevation). At the top was a large snow cornice (I didn't know what a cornice was). I set my pack down and began to walk alone past the top of the cornice. I wanted to go farther but got a bad felling about this. Good thing I did -- it was a cornice. I backtracked, and began walking to the left with (saint) Diane. We worked our way down the left side (pretty easy, really) to the bottom. I'll never forget every part of that experience. It's etched indelibly in my memory from 38 years ago (and I do not have an excellent memory). It was a very memorable experience.
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Re: Longely Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:09 pm

I have messed up once down the pass, on the way to Reflection Lake. Perhaps you can give some details on the best way to get from the lake directly below the pass to the outlet of Reflection Lake. I am not going to give details on my route, because it obviously was not a good choice.
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Re: Longely Pass

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:23 pm

When you pass the small lake just below the pass don't drop straight down to the bigger lake from here. Stay higher for a bit and then angle down to the lake closer to the small peninsula on it's Northern shore. At the far Eastern side of the lake is a cut in the terrain that starts down. Take this and not the outlet. After picking up the creek a bit down easy slopes I pretty much followed the creek most of the way. There were areas that I knew would be more difficult in high water since I was hoping along rocks in the creek bed. Other sections took a bit of route finding through mild brush down small cliff faces. Most brush I had to climb through was small and easy. Then I took the Northern shore of Lake Reflection.

The route down does involve a great deal of micro route finding and perhaps I just did really well as I never became frustrated with the descent. It all went really smooth.
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Re: Longely Pass

Postby nikhilm » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:34 pm

Crossed from W to E on July 5, 2014. Cornice is present and slightly bigger than in the above pictures.

The easiest (and well traveled) route to avoid the cornice is to go north of the snow and descend down some rocks about 15ft of cl 3 downclimbing. There should be footprints and mini sand 'avalanches' making it obvious.
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Re: Longely Pass

Postby creekfeet » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:09 am

I did this route traveling up the south side of the lake. It was time consuming, but not technically challenging or sketchy in any way. The last part of the scramble in the sand is pretty brutal, though.
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