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Italy Pass trail condition

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Italy Pass trail condition

Postby calsurfer » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:27 pm

I'm heading over Italy Pass August 13th. Looking for any trail condition reports.

Happy Hiking,

CalSurfer



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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby Dave_Ayers » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:29 pm

Are you looking for a report from this year (snow, etc.)? Or looking for info on the trail in general? Sorry, but can't help with the former, but maybe bumping the thread will help with that.

Regarding the latter, I went over Italy in '13 (IIRC). The use trail through Granite Park is good virtually all the way up the east side. There isn't really any trail near the top on the west side. But it can be found again as one descends to near Jumble Lake. The top of the west side is pretty steep, but not to the point of requiring hand holds. As one descends past Lake Italy down the west side there is a semi-rough spot or two along the path where rocks and trees require a hand hold or two. I think I scraped a leg once going through there. But it's nearly all class one. Very scenic, definitely a good hike and makes a nice loop (Pine Creek, Italy, JMT, French Canyon, or the reverse). Seven Gables is definitely a worthy climb as are Gabbot and others in that area.
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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:02 pm

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:35 pm

My understanding of that trip report is that they went directly to Dancing Bear Pass from Jumble Lake (please correct me if I am wrong about this). The route from Italy pass traverses higher and connects with the route from Jumble Lake at about 12,000 feet. The steep snow they refer to is the north facing slope above Jumble Lake. The upper part of this slope (above 12,000 feet) is not quite as steep. There are two permanant snow fields in this area. The steeper part of the traverse from Italy Pass is west facing, and likey more melted with patch snow. Other than the top 100 feet on the east side of Italy Pass, it looked like you could find a snow-free route from Granite Park (when I was there 7/28).
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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:15 pm

WD, you are correct. That is the route we took.

Calsurfer, while I cannot speak the conditions on the east side, the west side looked clear. However, you will likely encounter snow fields as you make your way down to Jumble and Italy Lakes. I found micro spikes and/or poles necessary on the southern side of Jumble Lake, but I am not the most experienced traversing late season snow. There were patches on the north side of the lake, but not as much. Here's the best photo I can find of the pass.

IMG_7939.JPG
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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby calsurfer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:03 pm

Thank you all for the information. Carne, when was that photo taken?

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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:08 am

CalSurfer, photo taken July 28th.
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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby escapist » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:32 am

Myself, my husband and two friends went over Italy Pass on August 7 (we just returned home today, hope you get this info in time).

We did not encounter any trouble on the approach to Italy Pass, though there was one snow field with a run out onto rocks at the entrance to Granite Park. Italy Pass itself was clear of any snow obstacles. We stayed to climber's right and we didn't even need to use our hands on the ascent up the east side of the pass.

Once over the pass it was a slightly different story. Many of the cairns marking the trail had collapsed, making the descent toward Jumble Lake an interesting challenge in route finding. At one point we got so far off-piste that we had to remove our packs and downclimb a 9-foot drop.

Then, at Lake Italy, the trail along the south shore of the lake was submerged under water/snow. There were a few large snowfields that we had to traverse, that were calving into the lake. We had to climb quite high on these steep and slushy fields to get across them, and it was scary for me. We had trail runners, hiking poles and microspikes. We felt the microspikes did help a little even in the soft snow.
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Re: Italy Pass trail condition

Postby calsurfer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:09 pm

We left for our trip August 12th. I day late and a .....Thanks for the post.Like you no issues going up to the pass. But the other side was challenging as you mention about the the cairns. We knew we had to go down on the right side of Jumble lake, so just went for it. Since we could not find any cairns, we followed the water to Lake Italy. We did not camp at the lake, about 200' above it. In the morning we made our way to the lake only to find 3 large snow fields next to the lake. Rangers were telling people micro-spikes were not needed. I beg to differ. We were there in the morning and using them was the only way to cross the snow at that time. Maybe later in the day you could kick into them, but we were not going to wait and see. Glad we brought them with us.

Our only other miscue we had was not crossing over the creek at around 11'000' so we scrambled our way down 200' slope of rocks and shrubs. Then crossed the river in our water shoes to get back to the trail. Good times! Great trip!

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