Arc Pass

Member descriptions, photos, and map locations of Cross Country Passes in the High Sierra. This forum is for information only - discussions should be kept in the appropriate categories.
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alpinemike
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Arc Pass

Post by alpinemike » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:49 pm

TITLE: Arc Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads from the upper reaches of Miter Basin to the Mt. Whitney Trail at Consultation Lake.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2-3

LOCATION: On the border of Sequoia National Park and the John Muir Wilderness in Inyo National Forest. Directly South of Consultation Lake on the ridge between McAdie and Irvine. HST Map

ELEVATION: 12,940

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Whitney

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: I have only traveled the South side of this pass from Miter Basin. From Sky Blue Lake there is nothing worthy to note getting to the top. It is in many places a Class 2 walk up. There are a few sections with rocky climbs but a good chunk of it consists of following the inlet stream up from Sky Blue Lake to the lake below the pass via grassy benches and small talus. After the lake there was a bit of a use trail through sand and the sand continues almost to the top of the pass.

The North side on the other hand is a very different beast. From all my photos and peering down the edge and other reports it is extremely, viciously loose. I would honestly stay away since it just doesn't look pleasant. I have put a Class 3 rating due to the potential to encounter cliff bands and very steep snow. A snowfield was present when I was here in August of 2017.. which was a heavy snow year. The angle is steep enough to warrant crampons and ice ax under snow conditions, which could be present a good portion of the year since it's North facing and heavily shaded by surrounding high peaks.
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Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

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