Longely Pass

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RoguePhotonic
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Longely Pass

Post by RoguePhotonic » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:40 pm

TITLE: Longely Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads between Upper Cunningham Creek and South Guard Lake to the Upper East Creek drainage and Lake Reflection

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park on the Southern slope of South Guard Peak HST Map

ELEVATION: 12,430

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Brewer

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The Western side has one tedious steep sand slope to climb before it's class 1 walking to the top.

The Eastern side is again steep sand. If a cornice is present you may need to get creative. I dropped down around the cornice on it's far Southern side and then walked beneath it to the sand slopes of the Northern side. Due to the terrain and general exposure this might be out of allot of peoples comfort zone.

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Cross Country
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by Cross Country » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:23 pm

Longley Pass was my first cross country route done on my own. It was early July. We were at Sphinx Lakes just hanging around, getting board. I was fishing the upper of the two large lakes when I saw 2 men hiking down with full packs from the upper lake. Of course I met up with them to get info. They had come from Reflection. This was the route that I had been looking at on my map. I wanted to go, but had much trepidation having never done solo a cc route any more difficult than reaching Sphinx Lakes from the trail below. I talked (listened) to them extensively about the route and they told me (among much more info) about crossing Longley at the North end. The two men couldn't be anyone writing now on HST because they were in their 30's to 40's and this was 1974. After the conversation we immediately packed up and headed out to South Guard Lake. Because of our late start we arrived at SG a little before sunset. In 1974 there were still fish in SG (barely). I didn't catch any. The next day we headed over Longley. Please realize that in 1974 I had very little experience. Hiking to the top of Longley was slow (high elevation). At the top was a large snow cornice (I didn't know what a cornice was). I set my pack down and began to walk alone past the top of the cornice. I wanted to go farther but got a bad felling about this. Good thing I did -- it was a cornice. I backtracked, and began walking to the left with (saint) Diane. We worked our way down the left side (pretty easy, really) to the bottom. I'll never forget every part of that experience. It's etched indelibly in my memory from 38 years ago (and I do not have an excellent memory). It was a very memorable experience.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:09 pm

I have messed up once down the pass, on the way to Reflection Lake. Perhaps you can give some details on the best way to get from the lake directly below the pass to the outlet of Reflection Lake. I am not going to give details on my route, because it obviously was not a good choice.

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RoguePhotonic
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by RoguePhotonic » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:23 pm

When you pass the small lake just below the pass don't drop straight down to the bigger lake from here. Stay higher for a bit and then angle down to the lake closer to the small peninsula on it's Northern shore. At the far Eastern side of the lake is a cut in the terrain that starts down. Take this and not the outlet. After picking up the creek a bit down easy slopes I pretty much followed the creek most of the way. There were areas that I knew would be more difficult in high water since I was hoping along rocks in the creek bed. Other sections took a bit of route finding through mild brush down small cliff faces. Most brush I had to climb through was small and easy. Then I took the Northern shore of Lake Reflection.

The route down does involve a great deal of micro route finding and perhaps I just did really well as I never became frustrated with the descent. It all went really smooth.

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nikhilm
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by nikhilm » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:34 pm

Crossed from W to E on July 5, 2014. Cornice is present and slightly bigger than in the above pictures.

The easiest (and well traveled) route to avoid the cornice is to go north of the snow and descend down some rocks about 15ft of cl 3 downclimbing. There should be footprints and mini sand 'avalanches' making it obvious.

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creekfeet
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by creekfeet » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:09 am

I did this route traveling up the south side of the lake. It was time consuming, but not technically challenging or sketchy in any way. The last part of the scramble in the sand is pretty brutal, though.

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cgundersen
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by cgundersen » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:35 pm

Rogue does a spectacular job of documenting these off-trail passes, so I have very little to add here except for the fact that conditions on Longley can vary considerably in different years. On my first time over Longley, the best access was at the northern extreme. However, as the attached photos will illustrate, on June 21 of this year, the cornice dwindled in height to a manageable ~6 ft at the southern extreme, thus making it possible to carve out a big step and reach the ridge. Yes, an ice axe would have helped, but I avoid carrying one so that I am not tempted to do stupid things for which I'm ill prepared. Here are the photos:
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Cameron
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CAMERONM
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by CAMERONM » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:09 pm

Well for this thread I'll repost this picture and another from June 10, 2018 showing the massive overhanging cornice. The north side was completely not going to happen, and I only took about 30 seconds to consider and reject the south side. It was steeper and looser than it may appear in these photos. I did not dare walk to the edge of the cornice so I had no idea of it was deep or not. I rerouted my trip and walked back down the hill relieved. I just don't need that kind of trauma. I still get flashbacks from Mt. Russel that haunt me.
South:
IMG_6176.jpg
North:
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canyonfish
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by canyonfish » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:08 am

Did west to east on June 28, 2014. From the top, I don't remember remotely considering the south end of the cornice, looked like a cliff under a cornice (these things always look worse from the top, though). As others have said, we picked our way down the south facing scree on the north end of the cornice, and worked a crack in between the snow and rocks. We lowered packs down the snow with a section of small cord. No serious exposure, but definitely steep and tedious.

I also remember becoming frustrated with my route selection down to the second lake on the east side of the pass. Ended up on some slabs that were a little steeper than I would have preferred. It was also around 7pm by that point, we had come from Sphinx lake that morning.

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robertseeburger
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Re: Longely Pass

Post by robertseeburger » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:21 pm

I thought I would add a piece to this. Secor says that if the cornice is impassable take a very short class 3 pitch just to the right of the cornice going up.
I was interested in this just in case on my recent trip. While I did not need to do this, I did snap a shot of it. It doesn't look very difficult, but it is a little longer than I thought of from the narrative in Secor. Here is a shot. I dont think this is usually necessary for most people.
DSC00976.jpg
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