Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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jessegooddog
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Re: Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by jessegooddog » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:11 pm

The bird, a white tailed ptarmigan, was probably surprised to see you! While they are native to alpine areas of the west, they were introduced to the high sierra in the 70s. Inspiring trip report, looks like you had great weather.








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Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by Bluewater » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:54 pm

Thanks for your comments. I hiked out at about 2:00 or 2:30 on Monday March 26th, the Monday before Easter. It might have been me he was looking for, although I was long gone by Tuesday. I parked a silver 4-runner in the pull-out area just before the gate. BTW the back window was open the entire time. Not a lot of crime in Aspendell.

Thanks for the info on the white bird. I saw several tracks in Darwin Canyon but that was the only bird I actually saw in person. I'm not sure how anything survives in the winter but there were tracks of all kinds throughout the trip. I got an almost perfect window of weather. Only a light dusting of snow the first night so the tracks were all over. No bears in sight.

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Re: Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by DAVELA » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:38 pm

Awesome!!Are you an ultralighter-i dont see much winter equipment in photos?How were night temps?
I need to do this in the nx few weeks.Never done a multi day winter trip.Although i pretty much only do solo ,for winter trip like this i would need a partner.Done a lot of winter day trips in sierra.
http://www.suwa.org/protect-greater-canyonlands" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by Bluewater » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:40 am

Hi Davela, I tried to stay lightweight (with a base weight just under 11 lbs) but there are some things I won't take any chances with in the winter. I used a large TAR xTherm, a homemade down quilt and booties for around camp. Full snow/rain gear. The Solomid is a good four season shelter and still only weighs about 8 ozs. Andrew Skurka used one on his 4,600 mile Alaskan trek. A small canister stove (Manutak Gnat, 1.6 ozs) and 750 ml titanium mug were enough for melting snow when solo. I just wore trail runners with gortex socks over wool socks.

The lowest temp I could measure was 14 degrees, but my watch froze after that. The NOAA forecast was for 10 degree nighttime lows. It was in the mid 30's during the day and I was comfortable wearing shorts, merino s/s t-shirt and gaiters while moving. A down jacket and gloves was fine during breaks.

If you're interested here's a link to the gear list from the trip:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/backpac ... 8d6df0.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Have fun!

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Re: Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by hikerdmb » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:51 am

I parked right behind you. Noticed the open window and the nice speakers in the back. At least it didn't rain/snow while you were out. Glad to know everything was still there when you returned.

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Re: Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by fishmonger » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:59 am

Nice trip report - I'm heading into the same area in about 2 weeks. Good to see snow a the trailhead. Alpine Col looks pretty dry compared to images from other years. How was Lamark a the top? A lot of exposed rock?

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Re: Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by paul » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:40 pm

Any issues with your Gnat in the cold?

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Re: Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by DAVELA » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:26 pm

If anybody is doing a similar trip soon and needs a partner,give me a holler.I ve never done a winter multi day trip but my cardio is good-lap swim and rollerblade 4-5x a week.
http://www.suwa.org/protect-greater-canyonlands" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by Bluewater » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:45 pm

I've been in Idylwild since last Thurs, just getting back to civilization.

Thanks for keeping an eye out for my truck hikerdmb. I must have been in a hurry and left the back window open. I was surprised that everything was still just sitting there.

The top of Lamarck was about 2/3 snow and 1/3 boulders on the east side. After the first 200 feet of steep snow I was able to follow the boulders most of the way to the top. I started from the second lake (from the end of the canyon) and worked up from there. The route from the first lake had a lot more snow. The west was almost all snow at the top followed by mixed boulders on the upper plateau. The rest of the way down was snow, really good for easy snowshoeing (with the exception of that ridge above Upper Lamarck Lake).

The Gnat worked well except for Sunday afternoon. It was a little temperamental but worked ok once I switched canisters. Both canisters had fuel and I'm not sure what was wrong. Maybe it needs to be cleaned? I have an old MSR Windpro I like better in the winter but it was too much for this trip.

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Re: Glacier Divide Loop ~ Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Lamarck Col

Post by SSSdave » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:45 pm

Instead of following the use trail over the end of the rib 3000 feet due south of the outlet of Upper Lamarck Lake that in summer are steep switchbacks, you probably should have followed the canyon north of topo point 12052 down to Grass Lake. In summer the trail does not follow that route because it is full of tedious talus. In winter probably is smooth snow.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.20384,-118.64634&z=15&t=T" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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