Red Peak Pass in September

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gclongo
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Red Peak Pass in September

Post by gclongo » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:25 pm

All, I'm planning a 50 mile loop from Happy Isles to Lower Merced Pass Lake, over Red Peak Pass, Washburn Lake, Merced Lake, Little Yosemite Valley back to Happy Isles the week after Labor Day (Sept 10th-17th). Has anyone hiked this late in the season over the pass? What are chances of encountering snow? Are water sources plentiful? Those are my biggest concerns going this late in the season.

Also, I understand Glacier Point and Mono Meadow would be easier starting points but I'm up for a challenge. Appreciate the feedback.








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oldranger
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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by oldranger » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:56 pm

Unless this turns out to be a super big snow year the pass should be snow free at that time. There should be adequate water this September on that loop. There is always a small chance of significant snowfall at that time of the year. But when it happens it melts within a couple of days and you are at really high elevation just the day you go over the pass. September is my favorite time in the Sierra--fewer people and seldom any mosquitoes. Just remember if it snows it is usually better just to hold tight and keep warm and dry for a day or two and not worry about keeping a schedule.

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robow8
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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by robow8 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:26 pm

Did this hike in late August of 2014, a low snow year.
No problems with water anywhere on the trail.
The hike from Happy Isles to the Clark Fork the first day was pretty stout. If I did it again, i would start from Glacier point.
Beautiful hike.

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gclongo
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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by gclongo » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:24 am

Thanks for the feedback. To give me perspective, how would rate the climb from Happy Isles to the Clark Fork vs the climb up Snow Creek trail or Yosemite Falls trail? The latter two aren't as long but are probably some of the hardest given elevation gain to length ratio.

I did Snow Creek last June with a 50 lbs pack and it was pretty tough. I figure if I can handle that and Yosemite falls, I can handle most hikes out of the valley. Thanks again.

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markskor
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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by markskor » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:05 pm

Happy Isles to Lower Merced Pass Lake on day 1 is a long day. You will be fully loaded, on new legs, and be hiking along with hundreds of others - day-hikers, HD-ers, and maybe even a few others, such as yourself...lots of miles and (too?) much elevation to gain for me.
As for a comparison to Snow Creek or Yos Falls trails...similar trail pain (stout? lol) but add another 12 miles to the day's odyssey...why?

Just another quick question if I may - Why are you targeting Lower Merced Pass Lake in particular...not that scenic, IMHO?

Strongly suggest looking at Mono Meadows or Glacier Point THs as an alternate starting off spots. Stops would include Lower Ottoway, Red Devil, Washburn and down the Merced to HI.
Start high and hike downhill?
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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:44 pm

I really wilt in the heat, so do not go out of Happy Isles in the summer. Labor Day can still be very hot. Another option is to go out of Glacier Point. At least you start up higher.

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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by gclongo » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:29 pm

Great feedback everyone. I'm going to really consider other TH options (Mono or Glacier). Nothing set in stone and I don't have to get permits settled for another few weeks.

Markskor, I only mentioned LMPL so the reader understood the general route. I didn't intend to give the impression it was my overnight spot. That's my fault. I haven't figured out where my overnights will be yet. Lot of planning to do. Looking forward to getting back out there. Thanks again everyone!

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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by robow8 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:05 pm

From Lower Ottoway Lake to the Triple Peak Fork was my favorite section. I would spend most of my time there.

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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by AaronRDavis » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:37 pm

Late last August I did a loop out of Quartz Mountain trailhead, through Ottaway Lakes, over Red Peak Pass, then back though Isberg/Post Peak passes. I wouldn't say water was plentiful, but there was enough water. Of course there's plenty of water near the lakes on both sides of Red Peak Pass. Overal, at that time of year during the drought, it was wise to fill up as often as possible. Here's a few pics, from both sides of Red Peak Pass.

Looking N
http://imgur.com/dJujhHa

Looking S
http://imgur.com/P7bHf0l

Absolutely no snow on the pass
http://imgur.com/0s1ctGi

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maverick
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Re: Red Peak Pass in September

Post by maverick » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:56 pm

Nice pic's, care to share a TR of that trip Aaron, you only shared a camp shot of it previously. :unibrow:
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