New Army Pass conditions?

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dmizz
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New Army Pass conditions?

Post by dmizz » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:04 am

Hi all, newcomer here!

Would love to do this loop https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/cali ... -pass-loop but am curious about conditions. One commenter there says New Army Pass was too snowy to cross, but that's from 17 days ago so might be cleared up by now? Anyone been around that area?








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Enigmagic
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Re: New Army Pass conditions?

Post by Enigmagic » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:26 am

The pass can hold a cornice for a while, last year it persisted into August. In 2017 (another big snow year) there was no snow on the trail around the same time. I ran into a few groups that did it with packs mid-August 2019. One said it was terrifying, the other said it was an easy scramble... suppose it depends on your comfort level and route finding ability. It is pretty steep near the top.

Anyways, satellite from the last few weeks shows it melting. The trail is somewhere below "2020" in these photos:
Sentinel-2 L1C image on 2020-05-31.jpg
Sentinel-2 L1C image on 2020-06-07.jpg
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cdevine
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Re: New Army Pass conditions?

Post by cdevine » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:37 am

We had a very low snow year. If you have any data from 2018 that would be a good comparison. But I think by July a lot of the backcountry will be more than accessible. Last year Mammoth got like 550 inches at the base. This year 280.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: New Army Pass conditions?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:46 am

Last year the snow cornice held onto the pass well into August. There is a snow-free "work around" that I used. Going up from Cottonwood Lakes, from the far right switchback before the cornice, there was a use-trail that traversed right around the buttress and then a short (20 foot?) steep climb up a gully (had to use hands), and then a traverse back towards the pass. The use trail was a bit vague but once found it was not that hard to stay on, although the traverse was longer than I had expected.

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maverick
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Re: New Army Pass conditions?

Post by maverick » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:53 am

Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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notis
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Re: New Army Pass conditions?

Post by notis » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:33 pm

Yikes. I went over in mid-late July 2017 and the work-around WD talks about to the east was easy (the two snow years of '17 and '19 are comparable).

I should be crossing NAP in a few days, either June 14th or 15th. But, yeah, this year is more like 2018, and from those pics I'm prepared to backtrack and exit via Cottonwood Pass if I need to. I'll report back.

Thanks for the thread link, Mav.

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notis
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Re: New Army Pass conditions?

Post by notis » Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:33 am

Just posted conditions on the Backcountry Conditions thread after returning from the area (6/12-6/14). Will post a TR with pics soon.

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hstmill
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Re: New Army Pass conditions?

Post by hstmill » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:14 pm

Just returned from Cottonwood Lakes yesterday, June 19th. New Army Pass clear except for final 20 vertical feet. Followed the obvious boot holes in the snow to the top. Very passable with care. No other hazards on the trail from Cottonwood Lake 2.

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