Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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agfhst
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Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Post by agfhst » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:27 pm

Planning to hike this route around August 26-27 and would be grateful for any snow (or bug) reports that anyone who's passed that way recently might be able to provide. I've seen the thread on Rockyroad's July 20-24 Tablelands trip and the thread on Elizabeth Pass that grampy started on August 4 -- thanks all for that information. But if anyone has additional or more recent info, that would be great.








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PDK
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Re: Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Post by PDK » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:53 pm

We went from Pear Lake to Moose Lake last week, Aug 7. Encountered several snow fields near the crest overlooking MooseLake. We avoided most of them, but did walk over two. No snow from the crest to Moose Lake. Mosquitos were minimal. Fishing was good.

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zacjust32
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Re: Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Post by zacjust32 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:50 pm

I was in all of those places August 10th. Don't have to walk on snow in the tablelands if you don't want to. Patch of snow on east side of Horn Col and north side of E Pass. Here's a photo from Horn Col looking across to E Pass:
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agfhst
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Re: Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Post by agfhst » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:06 pm

Thanks, PDK and zacjust32. Good info and good news. Like the photo too, with all the mini-aretes lined up.

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ChrisInIthaca
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Re: Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Post by ChrisInIthaca » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:49 am

I was at Horn Col on August 17th. I was a bit sketched out by the prospect of slippery granite from melting snow on the approach, so I instead descended by the drainage to the Elizabeth Pass trail. I am attaching an image, with a red arrows marking what I figured to be the best route. Does this look on point, or would you go up another way?

BTW, beautiful shot, zacjust32!
Horn Col.jpg
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brownbat
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Re: Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Post by brownbat » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:12 pm

I went over Pterodactyl pass on the 31st. No snow on the pass. There are still a few small snow patches on tablelands. I didn't go to moose lake but the route was clear. I heard mosquitos were terrible in tablelands - but I didn't find them too bad. Maybe a 3 in some of the wetter table meadow slumps. I opted to camp high on the ridge overlooking the lakes above big bird to avoid the worst of them. It was then about a 2/2+ in the evening but very few the next morning.

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agfhst
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Re: Conditions request: Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass

Post by agfhst » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:04 pm

Thanks, Chris and brownbat. Got back today. I'll file a trip report hopefully soon, but short story is on August 25-27 we did the Moose Lake/Pterodactyl Pass/Horn Col/Elizabeth Pass route with no snow or bug problems.

Chris, that's basically the same route we took up to Horn Col,, starting even further down and to the left to make a nice fairly gradual climb. But for the last stretch before the Col we went about 15 feet higher in the talus/slabs and then stepped down a little to the col itself. Not because of snow -- the rock on the west side was dry -- but because the talus/slabs seemed to be less risky than the slanted smooth rock lower down. There was 10-15 foot snowfield along the length of the east side of Horn Col, but it wasn't an issue as it didn't cover the top of the col and didn't block a simple descent to the east at the southern end of the col.

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