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Jigsaw Pass

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:38 am
by rlowgren

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.


Re: Jigsaw Pass

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:50 am
by frediver
Back in the day when Jigsaw was a regular route I have read that stock actually made it over the pass.

Re: Jigsaw Pass

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:55 pm
by tie
Some more discussion of the pass: ... s_Accident

It includes a closer photograph showing a route:

Re: Jigsaw Pass

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:32 am
by williammuhler
I have a question about the 4x4 marker post on Jigsaw Pass on the Palisade crest. One report from 2010 indicates that it is no longer there. Eric Renholts and I placed it in 1961 at the request of guide Larry Williams. We were 15 years old. Have there been any recent sightings? William Muhler

Re: Jigsaw Pass

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:29 am
by Wandering Daisy
It should be noted that this pass, regardless of "rating", is quite risky; people have died on it recently.

Re: Jigsaw Pass

Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:03 am
by c9h13no3
Wandering Daisy wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:29 am
It should be noted that this pass, regardless of "rating", is quite risky; people have died on it recently. ... gsaw-pass/