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King Col

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King Col

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:28 pm

TITLE: King Col

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads between Gardiner Creek and an unnamed basin West of the King Spur.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park along the far Western ridge of Mt. Clarence King

ELEVATION: 11,700

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mount Clarence King HST Map

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: From Gardiner Creek you will begin up a steep section of hill side that has the option of either taking steep grass slopes or class 3 rock faces. Once you reach the top of this the grade levels out significantly as you make the final climb on class 1 terrain.

The Col. itself is a very steep mess of terrain with hard packed dirt scattered along crumbly granite faces. There are small rocks that make the slope even more unstable to stand on. Every step down is an exercise in how close your willing to come to being smashed into sausage as you tumble down the slope. The cliff walls offer some hand holds but generally do not offer any more comfort. Lower down the dirt briefly softens up so that you can sink your feet in. Leaving the Col. you still encounter intermixed talus with slick sand that demands caution.

I personally cannot recommend that anyone use this route. In my opinion it is too unsafe. If you want to anyway I would recommend the use of an ice axe even if snow is not present.

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RoguePhotonic
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Re: King Col

Postby kursavwilage » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:23 pm

I did this pass a couple of years ago and was shocked when I gazed down the steep northern side. The class 1 ramp on the south side kind of sets one up for the shock of the steepness of the northern side. I have done Pants Pass, Milly's Foot Pass, Lucy's Foot Pass, Pyra Queen Col, Milestone Pass and Longley Pass ( with the cornice) but , this one gave me the heart-in-the-throat and sweaty palms. We navigated it with no events but, I was constantly aware that disaster was always close at hand with one wrong slip. The remoteness of the basin below is a beautiful reward for crossing this pass. I would not bother with King Col in a snowy year because it might be choked with ice on the northern side. I would not recommend it if you are not comfortable with really steep, loose, rocky slopes.
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