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Jigsaw Pass

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Jigsaw Pass

Postby rlowgren » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:38 am


GENERAL OVERVIEW: Crosses the Inconsolable Range and connects Bishop Pass/Dusy Basin with the North Fork Big Pine Creek Drainage.


LOCATION: Located on the border of the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon Nation Park. Pass is shown on the HST Map.

Note: Location of the pass is actually located closer to Aperture Peak.

ELEVATION: 12,720'

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): North Palisade

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: This pass is most challenging on the south side (Bishop Pass). From Bishop Pass identify Aperture Peak which is a little challenging from this viewpoint. Aperture is the peak with a large white diagonal dike running across it. Jigsaw pass the is the first low point in the ridge leading towards Picture Puzzle. There are two chutes that look very challenging from this vantage point. The correct path up Jigsaw is the right hand chute shown in red below (southernmost notch closest to Aperture). Make your way across talus and slabs towards the two chutes. The pass continues to look intimidating but is not as bad as it looks. Once at the base, ascend scree into the right chute and work your way up. If one is opposed to using your hands at all its probably possible to keep the difficulty at Class 2 but you will be struggling with loose kitty litter on a steep slope. I found it much easier to scramble up rock that was on either side of the chute but probably increased the difficulty to Class 3. I found the pass to be much easier than expected but I was also climbing it without a pack. On top you will be able to see a 4x4 post that marks the pass, but it doesn't do much good ascending from Bishop Pass as you can't see it. It took me a little under an hour from Bishop Pass, but I probably travel quicker than most.

From the N. Fork Big Pine Creek side finding the pass is much more straightforward. Leave the trail at Fifth Lake and make your way up the drainage coming from the Southwest. It's a slog up endless talus from the lake all the way to the pass but straightforward and easy. From this side you should be able to identify the 4x4 post and find the correct chute to descend. I did not descend this side so I'm not sure how challenging it would be to slide down the steep kitty litter.

Route up Jigsaw in red from near Bishop Pass

GPS track from Bishop Pass to Fifth Lake

Look down Jigsaw towards Bishop Pass

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Re: Jigsaw Pass

Postby frediver » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:50 am

Back in the day when Jigsaw was a regular route I have read that stock actually made it over the pass.
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