Piute Pass to Bishop Pass in July
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Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - M

Locale: No Cal
Piute Pass to Bishop Pass in July on 01/21/2010 15:54:55 MST Print View

I'd like to make the loop the week of July 4th..

With luck, the snow / pass piece won't be an issue..

However, I am concerned about crossing Evolution creek that early in the season .

Any thoughts / comments ??

Thanks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Piute Pass to Bishop Pass in July on 01/21/2010 16:42:54 MST Print View

Hi Scott,

There's a lot of winter to yet unfold. You might keep your eyes on the monthly DWR snow surveys and make your decision on the viability of early July based on the last one, which will be on or around May 1. You might also monitor the PCT list, since northbounders will be obsessing on earliest departure dates and discussing high Sierra snow data and field reports with considerable zeal.

http://mailman.backcountry.net/mailman/listinfo/pct-l

Happy planning!

Rick

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Evolution Creek on 01/21/2010 16:55:51 MST Print View

Approximately where did you expect to cross Evolution Creek?

I've never gone that direction before. I went south to north on foot in August, and south to north on skis in April. It's fabulous scenery in any month.

--B.G.--

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Piute Pass to Bishop Pass in July on 01/21/2010 17:10:21 MST Print View

I went from South Lake to South Fork of Big Pine Creek July 4 weekend of 1983. The route was Bishop, Potluck, Cirque, and South Fork passes. Except for the first couple and last couple of miles I didn't set foot on anything other than snow or rock. I walked right across the Palisade lakes.

Conditions in July are highly variable- It can look like winter one year and summer the next. Check out the snow reports after April 1 to see the total snowpack, then again about June 1 to see melt rates.

Snow sensor data is here:
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/snow/PLOT_SWC

Bishop Pass snow sensor:
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryDaily?s=BSH
Blackcap Basin snow sensor:
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryDaily?s=BCB

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Piute Pass to Bishop Pass in July on 01/21/2010 17:27:13 MST Print View

With this snowfall that is happening this year. July 4th weekend might be kind of tough, unless you are skiing

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Evolution on 01/21/2010 18:10:43 MST Print View

Bring trekking poles and Id think youd be fine keeping three points of contact. I know what you mean though, Its very swift with a nice waterfall very close by just to make it more exciting. I saw people cross streams in Crocs and was very envious too.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Evolution on 01/21/2010 19:54:58 MST Print View

I think you can cross further upstream than where the JMT crosses. It seems to spread out rather wide with a sandy bottom.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Re: Evolution on 01/21/2010 20:08:19 MST Print View

I took that route when I hiked the JMT as well. My only concern with mentioning that as an alternative is that if there is more snow this year than last it could be very deep. I was up to my waist where I crossed although it was very slow moving water. This was mid July last year. Pick your poison I guess.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: Piute Pass to Bishop Pass in July on 01/21/2010 20:09:11 MST Print View

Scott,

At the standard Evolution Creek crossing, when heading south, there is sign that says that if the water is too high, you should cross further upstream at the meadow. Note that I did the same hike, but in August last year. Check it out at:

http://www.caseyandemily.com/Backpack/2009/08_NLaketoSLake/NorthLaketoSouthLake.htm

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Last Year on 01/22/2010 12:36:55 MST Print View

Was up in that neck of the woods last 4th of July. Crossed evolution creek a bit upstream from crossing without any problems. This year, who knows, the area just got almost 4' of snow since I was snowshoeing over Kearsarge two weeks ago. At this rate there could be a snow bridge across evolution creek. Another option would be to go cross country from evolution lake up to Darwin Bench, across Alpine Col into Humphry's Basin and to Piute Pass. This would give you a combo trail and x-country. The snow actually could make a crossing of Alpine Col easier than last year. Just a thought.

Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - M

Locale: No Cal
Piute Pass to Bishop Pass in July on 01/22/2010 14:16:30 MST Print View

As always, very much appreciate the commentary !

I pretty much knew that I wouldn't have a firm answer until the Spring, at the earliest, however, I thought I'd ask thinking that maybe someone had done the same trip @ the same period of time..

Accordingly, again, I did get some good commentary!

So... thanks guys !!

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
piute to bishop on 01/22/2010 15:10:52 MST Print View

Remember that lots of snow makes some things MUCH easier (e.g. glissading down the north side of a pass vs. picking your way down talus).

As long as you are ready to deal with it, heading into the Sierra in earlyish season is amazing.

Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - M

Locale: No Cal
piute to bishop on 01/22/2010 15:20:56 MST Print View

Yep.. agree !!

Again, I'm not so much concerned about the snow .. It's that Damn creek that's got me hesitating ..

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
another suggestion to Greg's comments on 01/22/2010 16:03:58 MST Print View

I've done three similar loop trips, going clockwise over Bishop Pass or else Echo Col, going through upper Evolution, and then turning east up over Darwin Bench and up and over Lamarck Col. That takes you down to North Lake.

April 1 is the best ski season for it, and July 20 is the best backpacking season for it.
--B.G.--