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#28883 - 11/01/12 11:36 AM Mount Langley
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
Hi all,

I'm looking to possibly climb Langley in < two weeks, likely as a dayhike.

From Cottonwood Lakes, is there any access issues by car to get to the trailhead?

I've never been up this route, anything I should be paying attention to?

Where do you think the highest spot would be to get water, assuming seasonably cold temps then?

I assume I should bring my axe and crampons?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.

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#28884 - 11/01/12 11:50 AM Re: Mount Langley [Re: nyker]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Only issue would be if there's snow and they close the road, or don't clear the road of all the rocks that falls down constantly.

Route is pretty straight forward. Nothing really different than taking the trail to Whitney. There is no official trail above Old Army, but it's kind of hard to get lost unless you're really trying.

There's no water above Old or New Army Pass that I can remember.

I'd just bring Microspikes right now.

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#28885 - 11/01/12 01:48 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: nyker]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: nyker
Hi all,

I'm looking to possibly climb Langley in < two weeks, likely as a dayhike.



Hello. I don't have answers to your questions. However, I am thinking of climbing White Mountain in the same timeframe so if you are interested in joining forces, shoot me a PM. I talked with the Rangers today, and I expect it to be doable (subject to what may happen with the weather), and that crampons probably will not be needed (though microspikes may be helpful). But we all know how conditions can change. As you probably know, at 14252', White is the third highest 14er in California (after Whitney and Williamson). It is also by far the easiest (I did it back in 2010). I will say that I think Langley is more scenic... (Oh, and White Mountain is dog friendly, so my pup may bag her first 14er.....)

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#28886 - 11/01/12 01:50 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: 2600fromatari]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
ok thanks 2600fromatari

When you say there "There's no water above Old or New Army Pass"..what elevation would say is that around?

So, the trail is pretty easy to follow in the dark?


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#28887 - 11/01/12 02:02 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: nyker]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Sorry to keep chiming in, but just did Langley, am a big fan of this mountain, so, if helpful:

Your best last water, going to NAP, is Long or High Lake, which are about 11,000' (if not frozen). The pass itself is 12,300, I think. Then you head down and north (losing altitude), before heading up and north across the plateau, to the summit pyramid.

If you take NAP, the trail across the plateau might not be so easy to follow in the dark, unless there was a good moon. There are a lot of use trails that cross the plateau, some of which head North to Langley summit pyramid, and some of which head West and then down towards Upper or Lower Soldier Lake. However, depending when you start, by the time you get to NAP, there should be light.



Edited by Akichow (11/01/12 02:08 PM)

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#28888 - 11/01/12 04:11 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Akichow]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
Thanks Akichow, What do you think start time should be to get to the point on Langley where there would be enough light to not be too concerned on route finding? (I am not a super fast hiker - my three summits of Whitney on the Main Trail where around 7-8hrs to get up to the summit with one trip taking 10hrs in the snow and me carrying a ton of water).


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#28889 - 11/01/12 04:22 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: nyker]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Extremely easy to follow. It takes about 5-6 miles to get to the bottom of Old Army and you hardly gain any elevation (a little over 1,000). By that time, you'll have plenty of light assuming you're not doing anything crazy like leaving at midnight.

The trail splits after the first or second creek crossing, I can't remember, but the left will take you to NAP, the right towards OAP. I'd take the right every single time. I only did NAP once and never will again. Much more scenic on the other side, all IMO of course.

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#28891 - 11/01/12 04:49 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: 2600fromatari]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
While I haven't taken Old Army Pass, I have to say it sure did look more scenic from every angle (from NAP, I did drop down to Old Army Pass, and check out the first part of it heading down out of curiousity). And as others have written, it is much more efficient than NAP.

I will say that, IMHO, NAP is also scenic, though. No part of this area is a drudge!

I stayed away from Old Army because of the concerns cited by others ... concerns that are exacerbated when there is ice (e.g., boulders on the trial, and falling rock).

Re routefinding, while I agree that it is pretty straightforward, once you get above the passes (AP or NAP), it is not the same experience as Whitney, with a yellow-brick-road ushering you all the way to your goal. And getting to the summit plateau through the boulder field at 13,500' or so can be a little puzzling if you are new to this type of thing and you're not expecting it (pretty easy if you are experienced and/or do expect it). Responded to your PM with more on this.


---

Ahh, here's a photo from NAP looking North to Langley summit. On the right, that notch (cirque) ends at Army Pass, which is now below you in elevation.


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#28923 - 11/03/12 08:00 AM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Akichow]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
What does everyone prefer - going up via New Army Pass or Old Army Pass? (under conditions next week, i.e. possible early season snow, etc.)

Also, to clarify is "Old" Army Pass denoted on maps as simply "Army Pass" to the right of NAP?

The route from New Army Pass seems to be the easiest / most popular way to climb Langley?

I've heard people mentioning the "right" way and "wrong" way up the last portion to the summit where terrain turns to more scrambling - which is the "right" way?

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#28925 - 11/03/12 08:23 AM Re: Mount Langley [Re: nyker]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Old Army pass is the same as Army Pass. It is to the north of New Army Pass, in a different cirque that is closer to Langley summit.

Old Army Pass is more direct than NAP. May save an hour. Also it is more efficient because you don't gain altitude only to lose a little, like you do on NAP. And the lakes are especially pretty in that cirque.

But the trail to Old Army Pass is not maintained, so it has some rockfall to scramble around. And, according to the rangers, rockfall risk can be high on Army Pass trail during certain conditions (e.g., freeze melt cycle that is currently going on). Also, AP holds snow and ice longer than NAP, though that might not be an issue now (check out Richard P.'s recent Whitney MT pics for a sense of what's going on in high country...).

All that said, you cannot go wrong on views. This is a beautiful hike.

P.S. Re the summit block, gotta keep in mind that one person's Holy Sh*t! is another person's F*cking Awewome! That said, if you try to approach too far into the South side of the summit pyramid, you will get into HS/FA territory.


Edited by Akichow (11/03/12 09:14 AM)

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#28932 - 11/03/12 03:41 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Akichow]
Glenn Offline


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Oklahoma
Regarding Old Army Pass, something to consider is the section of trail near the top where the snow and ice tend to linger, there is also considerable exposure. A slip or misstep will almost certainly end badly. For that reason, it's good to ask someone heading down the trail if there is snow or ice up there, and if there is maybe use New Army Pass.

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#28951 - 11/04/12 12:07 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Glenn]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Hmmm. Looks like Mother Nature may not play nice this weekend. (Thinking of road conditions.)


Edited by Akichow (11/04/12 12:37 PM)

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#28953 - 11/04/12 03:25 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Akichow]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
Yea, saw that..going to have to start thinking of some backup plans...maybe further south or east...

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#28954 - 11/04/12 03:47 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: nyker]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Yeah, me too. The Sierra Club is running some peak-baggers. But not throwing in the towel just yet.

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#28957 - 11/04/12 05:04 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Akichow]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
Given the typical weather patterns this time of year,
how do you think this pending storm/system might impact the White Mountains?

Would it be fair to assume that the San Bernadino Mountains down south or higher elevations of Death Valley would be ok given theit locale? Just looking for some backup options for the weekend...

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#28963 - 11/04/12 06:42 PM Re: Mount Langley [Re: nyker]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
I am going with Plan B, a Sierra Club Peakclimbers one-nighter backpack in the area you've been thinking. The negative 1 degrees Fahrenheit anticipated temperature at 12,000' for Friday in the Whites, together with the desire NOT to risk being snowed in in a rented SUV at the end of a long, largely unmmaintained at this time of year, dirt road, did me in.

I'll shoot/PM you details in case you are interested. There is still space available.

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#28974 - 11/05/12 08:02 AM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Akichow]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Hmm. With 10" of snow possible at higher elevations Thursday, may need to be thinking about a Plan C.

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#28976 - 11/05/12 09:10 AM Re: Mount Langley [Re: Akichow]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 202
Loc: New York
Yea, saw that...We'll have to see what the storm does over the next couple of days.

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