Alpine Col

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RoguePhotonic
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Alpine Col

Post by RoguePhotonic » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:42 pm

TITLE: Alpine Col

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads between the upper Darwin Bench and Lake 11,910 to the Goethe Lakes and Humphreys Basin.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: SW of Muriel Peak, NE of Mt. Goethe. Bordering Kings Canyon National Park and the Mono Divide area. Sierra National Forest / John Muir Wilderness HST Map

ELEVATION: 12,350

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Darwin

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: Take the Eastern side of Lake 11,910. Before you are directly under the pass begin angling up past some bits of grass. There are 3 rock outcroppings that form small cliff faces. Between these are two sections filled with some mixed talus. Aim for the one on the right. Once you have passed the major rock outcroppings it's an easy walk to the top.

Drop down the pass slightly and angle left onto smaller talus slopes. Continue to drop down until cliffs are in front of you. From here you will have to either choose to go right or left. The right side has very large talus fields. Off hand I would recommend going left but due to the amount of snow present when I crossed it I cannot comment on the nature of the terrain.

Make sure to take the Western shore of Goethe Lakes!

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Alpine Col

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:48 pm

I was there late season with little snow. I descended, tried to go left from the cliff band and could not find a good route (talus looked unstable and too steep for me), so traversed the top of the cliff right quite a ways (slightly dropping) and found a use-path through a tight slot that primarly is on steep dirt and scree. When down past the cliffs, turn left again and aim for the inlet of the lake, then traverse the left side to the outlet. I tried both staying near the shore and about 100 feet off the shore and it was six of one, half dozen other. A case for staying off the shore is if there are lots of those nasty gnats or black flies.

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Jimr
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Re: Alpine Col

Post by Jimr » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:07 pm

I second approaching or retreating via the western shore of Goethe Lk. Unless you like spending two hours in this stuff.
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RoguePhotonic
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Re: Alpine Col

Post by RoguePhotonic » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:10 pm

I crossed this pass again this year this time from Goethe Lakes. We went around the Western shore which is a bit further and still involved plenty of talus hopping but not the unstable and horrible nature of the East side. Once we started up the pass although the amount of talus is an issue the over all stability of it is quite good.

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rlown
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Re: Alpine Col

Post by rlown » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:15 pm

Thanks for the description and pics. Makes me feel better about another attempt at that area. At least to go deeper towards the other end of Goethe.

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Re: Alpine Col

Post by cgundersen » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:48 am

I realize that Rogue covered this pretty well both with snow and when most of the snow has melted, but this off-trail pass is one of the best examples I know of as an example of how helpful snow can be for avoiding some of the interminable boulder-hopping that this route normally entails. The same is certainly true of certain other routes, but since my wife captured some excellent shots as we were recently heading over this ridge, I felt obliged to share some additional shots. I know that I donated blood to rocks on my other times over Alpine, but this one left me unscathed, so I highly recommend doing Alpine early. Views from the ridge are not too bad either!
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