Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

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SSSdave
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:10 pm

Poking about this thread as am working on a 9-day plan for this area.

Image

rlown >>>"...The last shot is from Puppet looking back. The red line is approximately where the wall is."

When I first looked at your pic it was obvious this was not from Puppet because that lake does not have steep talus next to it like this. Was easy to figure out with the topo then verified that here with Google Earth, first pic below. Its from near the outlet of Paris. The east end of Paris is the only zone with a bunch of trees in that area.

Image

Rogue's third image from Roget should be looked at at full size which allows a view of the boulders at top. A lot of unpleasant large talus off west of the wall so can see the wisdom of staying next to it most of the way. That is typical where loose small sand and dirt blowing with the wind tumbles over steep bedrock then accumulates at its base. Near the top it looks like I would move towards the right.

And this is rim view from the 11880+ knob on the saddle.

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The actual lowest point on the saddle is behind this position and that may be what people are referring to as a cliff as the topo shows it stupidly steep. I marked it with a magenta X on the map snippet at top. The col is on one of the trips in the original Wilderness Press Sierra South. Backpackers that don't bother to look at topos have been looking down from the magenta X for decades.








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rlown
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Post by rlown » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:39 am

SSSdave wrote:Poking about this thread as am working on a 9-day plan for this area.

Image

rlown >>>"...The last shot is from Puppet looking back. The red line is approximately where the wall is."
You are correct. That was an evening fishing trip on the shore of Paris on the North side looking back towards the pass.

Updated my original post as well.

Thanks Dave!

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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Post by neil » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:21 pm

I just came South over Puppet Pass on August 18, 2016, completing a section of the Sierra High Route. I recognized Puppet Pass as an XC pass I had done in 2001 without knowing then that it was a named pass. So I just followed the route I remembered, heading essentially due South from the East shore of Roget Lake, angling up the talus to a notch.
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The cairns are much bigger here at the notch than at the "obvious low point" of the Steve Roper description, but maybe that just means fewer Roper-inspired cairn destroyers go this way. From the notch you can see that the route is a straight continuation of the line from Puppet Lake to Roget Lake.
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I'm not recommending this route. It's less steep that the standard route, but some of the rock is not stable. In particular, I was in a gully of small talus and scree when a 12 foot long and 3 foot wide section broke loose and slid about 3 feet. Fortunately nothing above it broke loose, but the smell of rock against rock was sickening.

From this notch at the top I walked NE about 1/4 mile along the top to see the real Puppet Pass. The actual low point is above some nasty cliffs, but just a little bit further NE, climbing slightly up the side of "Puppet Peak" (12225), I saw a use trail heading down with some cairns. I walked down a bit to see what it was like, it looked like the dirt path disappeared down into some very steep stuff, turning the corner around a huge block. Probably very steep but if there is a defined route it's probably efficient and safe. I never saw the plaque.

When I was here in 2001 I came across the divide from Humphreys Basin above Rust Lake, making the mistake of assuming that the gap with the widest separation of contour lines is the best and safest route. This "pass" is an exfoliating vertical cliff on the N side. You can walk along the flat top of this cliff to the right the whole width of the pass, and I found a way off the cliff on the right side onto some of the loosest and scariest talus / scree I have ever set foot on. The short route down to more stable stuff terrified me, larger blocks were moving as I walked down the scree. Anyway, not recommended. That's why on the way back I took Puppet Pass, albeit my own version going up and right to the notch. Back then I thought it was an excellent route, sort of like a short version of the E side of Lamarck Col, and I was proud of myself for "discovering" it.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Post by rlown » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:29 pm

neil, I do like your pack choice!! :thumbsup:

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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Post by shtinkypuppie » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:17 pm

Just did Puppet Pass on August 26. It is definitely best to stay to the east, hugging the base of the little ledge. There is actually a pretty good switchbacking use trail there for most of the way down. I didn't do that for most of the pass, and I found the direct route down the huge talus to be perfectly stable, if annoying.
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Re: Carol Col (Puppet Pass)

Post by SSSdave » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:45 am

I apparently deleted images linked to in my above post. Restored one but not the two Google Earth pics. Was back up there a week ago and took more shots. First will state there are two preferred ways down from the top as has been noted. The one most used is at the lowest point in the col that had that plaque Rlown identified. Although the difficulty here is listed as class 1/2, it is most definitely NOT class 1 in the steep section because with a pack one will use hands. Thus Eric should change that. A climb should be rated for its most difficult sections not the easy run outs or walk spots as even class 4 routes have walking sections. To rate at 1/2 means there is a class 1 route down if one can find it but otherwise it will be class 2.

The less used route that requires hiking a short distance up the ridge line towards peak 12225 is less difficult than the the more used route at the lowest point on the col. Looking down from the top, that is the route in Neil's picture. A clearer photo showing where it is:

CarolCol4.jpg
Unlike last year I also climbed down to look at it and check it out. In any case after snow is melted, whether a group uses one route or the other will not be much a deal. The easier route does have a shorter section of class 2 through the talus before reaching a ramp that cannot be seen from the bottom and is not visible on Rogues photo above. I did not look at the wall section below that just seems to be minor small talus. While I was taking photos a large group of 8 that had come in using both routes days before was in fact using the easier route on their return that says something of what they thought.

For this first image below, I climbed out to a steep spot I could peer down at the ramp. Where my arrows bend at frame left is where those climbing up along the wall have a choice of continuing directly up to the lowest point of the col or doglegging left onto the ramp. What my image does not show is the wall before that point as it is blocked due to my perspective and is right behind the ramp.
CarolCol1.jpg
Also note the rib red route on the topo crop of south side is the most straightforward class 1 way to reach the col from the Mesa Lake zone though one could scramble up there many other class 1/2 ways. These next 2 images are from the end of the short ramp clearly showing the class 2 section where one is going to need to use hands a bit going through a short section of steeper talus. The top of the bottom image is where that sandy slope in Neil's image ends.
CarolCol2.jpg
CarolCol3.jpg
This image from last year shows the ramp with red arrows where it doglegs away from the wall. The first few feet are a bit steeper with some sand until one reaches the more level section of the ramp while the direct col route in orange has more sand :
CarolC5.jpg
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Last edited by SSSdave on Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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