Lower Palisade to Bishop Pass

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Lower Palisade to Bishop Pass

Post by TahoeKine » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:24 am

I'm planning a modified JMT trek this summer; starting at Horseshoe Meadows and exiting Rush Creek. This trip includes a couple of side trips including a "shortcut" over Crabtree Pass and a resupply at South Lake. The trip to South Lake will be via Palisades Basin and the basis for my question; which route is the best route between Lower Palisade Lake and the top of Bishop Pass?

I've found a route that climbs Cirque Pass and the southwest edge of the lake at 11676 and on to Potluck Pass, while another climbs directly up the drainage to the north of Lower Palisades skirting the southeast edge of 1167 and then on to Potluck. I'm an experienced backpacker, but I'm looking for the best solo route with a full backpack (probably B/C3-1).

Additionally, there appears to be options beyond Barret Lakes as well. One track goes south of the Lakes and straight up Knapsack Pass, while another goes north of the Lakes and heads due north over an unnamed saddle below Thunderbolt Peak then traverses the base of the crest directly to the top of Bishop Pass. The latter seems to be the more direct route, but looks like it crosses a substantial talus field to the west of the unnamed saddle. Again, I'm flying solo and don't need anything too dicey.

Lastly, and I know every year is different, but does anyone have an opinion on whether this area will even be passable the first week in July of this year?

Anyone with experience in this area willing to give some advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your help,


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Re: Lower Palisade to Bishop Pass

Post by maverick » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:33 pm

Hi Chris,

Welcome to HST! We have a "Cross Country Passes" section, which will give you a lot of information about numerous passes in the Sierra, including route descriptions and photo's, the answers to your inquiry are here:

Cirque Pass: http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... ss#p101697
Potluck Pass: http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... 72#p101698

Thunderbolt Col: http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... ss#p103264
Knapsack Pass: http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... =31&t=7685
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

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: Lower Palisade to Bishop Pass

Post by Bluewater » Tue May 10, 2016 11:21 pm

I have taken the x/c route from lower Palisades Lake, though Palisade Basin and over Bishop Pass via Knapsack Pass (both directions) and Thunderbolt Pass (north/west bound). Starting at Cirque Pass I just followed the basic directions in the Roper route. From there getting over Potluck Pass is straightforward. The shortcut to Bishop Pass via Thunderbolt Pass may be shorter, but it involves lengthy boulder fields and the northwest side was especially slow going. The view to the southeast from the top of the pass was incredible. The terrain on both sides of Knapsack Pass was much easier to cover, and even though it is farther to Bishop Pass the terrain and route finding through Dusy Basin was easy and pleasant (creeks, meadows, lakes). If you are comfortable crossing long boulder fields then Thunderbolt Pass may save some time.

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