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#35858 - 04/17/14 02:19 PM Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18?
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Any chance the roads to the trailheads will passable in May?

May 17/18 is the last weekend I will be able to get in a good hike before our Whitney attempt on June 3rd. I would like to do something in the Sierras and get up to 13 or 14k if possible.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?


Thanks!
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#35862 - 04/17/14 04:53 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Horseshoe Meadows road should be open in another week. So Langley would make a good training hike.

You might call the White Mountain ranger station in Bishop and ask about the road to WM, but I am guessing it will still be closed.

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#35881 - 04/18/14 10:01 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
God only knows when the roads will be open this year, I have heard HM Rd. will be open in a week or less, which is unusually early.

I don't know what the deal is with WM Rd. I do know I have hiked the trail in mid-June, in low snow years.

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#35889 - 04/18/14 05:16 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Thanks for the info.

Do they often run out of permits for Cottonwood/Horseshoe? Where do hikers prefer to camp on the trail?


Timewise, how would you compare a Langley hike to Mt. Whitney?
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#35890 - 04/18/14 05:55 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
There's no quota like in the Whitney Zone.

There are plenty of places to camp by the lakes regardless if you choose New Army or Old Army Pass.

You should be a little faster on Langley than Whitney but not by that much. Mileage is almost the same but of course there's more gain on Whitney.

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#35893 - 04/18/14 08:13 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
The plan would be to hike as far as we can safely go with micros and hiking poles.

I know that no one knows what the weather is going to be between now and then, but what is the likelihood of us NOT summiting due to snow/ice?
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#35898 - 04/18/14 10:31 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Last year I did a loop from horseshoe meadows to cottonwood lakes, up old army pass, down new army pass, and back to horseshoe meadows. This was on June 28th, 2013. Prior to that I was watching trip reports to assess the trail conditions. Based on that I would doubt that you will be able to summit without winter climbing gear. However, this has been a very dry year:-)

You can check out the trip reports from 2013 to see pictures of the conditions and get more details as to the trail conditions.

Let us know what you encounter.


Edited by John Sims (04/18/14 10:40 PM)

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#35908 - 04/19/14 03:52 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Thanks for the info!

My Whitney hike this year is in early June, so the goal for this hike is to spend some time above 10k at a minimum and if possible, get up to 12-13k for a bit.

I think the route we would take is New Army Pass. Would you expect us to need to turn around before reaching the top of the pass? If we made it to the top of the pass, I wonder if Cirque Peak would be doable even if Langley is not.

Are there any other suggestions for hikes in the area that may allow us to get 'up to elevation' that are less likely to hold the snow?

One of the guys that may join me for the May trip has never been above 12k (Trail Camp). It would be neat to get him to a higher elevation.


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#35909 - 04/19/14 04:18 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
The hard part would be getting to the top of either passes. Once on top, the trip to Cirque or Langley would be on easier terrain.

Can't answer whether you'd be turned around before making it to the top or not. That's on the conditions and your skill level.

Lone Pine Peak has beautiful views and a trail for most of the way. A sample of what you'd see. This is from 3/4 of the way up the very picturesque North Ridge. You won't see this from the trail, but you'll see it once on the summit.

http://i57.tinypic.com/ixwge9.jpg
http://i58.tinypic.com/dmxvrd.jpg



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#35915 - 04/19/14 09:58 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 2600fromatari]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
I was thinking that getting to the top of the pass would be the difficult part. I found one trip report where they turned around due to snow on the switchbacks. I wasn't sure how the hikes to Cirque and Langley compared to each other once hikers reached the top of the pass.

Thank you for the information on Lone Pine Peak. I am interested...

Do you happen to have a GPX file for the portion of the hike that is off trail?
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#35919 - 04/20/14 10:30 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Chevy,
Cirque is a relatively simple Class 2 walk up from the top of New Army as is Langley depending on where you decide to start heading up. There is no right or wrong way. If you have your sights set for Langley, I would suggest Old Army. I do not find New Army being any safer than Old Army if conditions are similar. A lot of the trail on Old Army has been washed out, but it's not some dramatic climb. Just exercise caution and common sense. I find New Army adds unnecessary distance and is not as scenic, but if you're shooting for Cirque, it is the way to go.

I do not have a gpx file for Lone Pine Peak. I typically don't carry a GPS unless it's winter or to record a track that someone has requested. I would not have been able to help you anyhow as we only stayed on trail for a short distance before heading over to the North Ridge. Once on the summit, we made the mistake of descending the cliffs instead of taking the scree slope down. My hypothetical gpx track would have shown us ascending the North Ridge, going straight down the cliffs, then wandering around cross country in the dark. :-)

If you download the higher resolution version of the first image, you'll faintly see the zig-zags of the trail immediately to the right of the yellow willows and to the left of the pines in that gulley that looks like it had a slide. This link might help you but it's pretty intuitive. If a bozo like me can find his way back cross country in the dark, you shouldn't have any problems with the trail and the short slog off-trail during the day.

http://www.backpacker.com/destinations/hikes/1221195

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#35925 - 04/21/14 12:01 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 2600fromatari]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: 2600fromatari
... If you have your sights set for Langley, I would suggest Old Army. I do not find New Army being any safer than Old Army if conditions are similar. A lot of the trail on Old Army has been washed out, but it's not some dramatic climb. Just exercise caution and common sense. I find New Army adds unnecessary distance and is not as scenic, but if you're shooting for Cirque, it is the way to go....


hmmmmm..... Atari, did you miss that he's hiking May 17/18?

Old Army has a cornice-like cusp of snow right at the top, where snow blows off the flat top of the terrain, and collects. It is not a cornice, but it builds up in a similar manner, and can result in a nearly vertical slope of snow. So climbing the last 20-30 feet to the top of the pass can be dicey on that leftover snow pile. New Army is on the windward side of the storms, and has more sun exposure, so the snow slope is not nearly as problematic in May.

I almost hate to add this, but in the past 10 years, several people have died on the Old Army slope, so in May, I would definitely stick to New Army Pass.

However, later in the summer, the (old) Army Pass route, even though the trail is unmaintained, is more direct and can be more fun, so what atari says applies.

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#35937 - 04/21/14 11:14 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: Steve C]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
Steve,
I am aware of his date and last time I was on Langley in the Spring, there was definitely a cornice at the top.

With that said, my response to towards Chevy and not a general audience. Reading his past trip reports and seeing his blog, he appears to be a cautious hiker with common sense, and not a newbie asking what clothes to wear. If conditions on OA turns him back, there's a good chance that he wouldn't have much luck with NA either. He did ask for an opinion, and in MY opinion, I'd be comfortable going up either or none.

I am aware of the deaths on OA which is why I urged common sense and caution in my earlier post. Again, I don't think Chevy is a newbie. I understand the need to address the lowest common denominator, but at some point, people need to take personal responsibility.

My $.02.

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#35947 - 04/21/14 07:40 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 2600fromatari]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the replies.

I tend to be more cautious than those I hike with and at times butt heads with others as a result. I've refused to take people on hikes that I didn't feel were up to the challenge, cancelled hikes when conditions were less than ideal and others still wanted to go, and have been accused of trying to 'scare' someone out of going on a trip (Skyline). I go out to have fun, not put myself and my group in a dangerous situation. I realize that dangerous situations can happen at any time, even to those that are the most prepared.

The reason why I asked for advice/opinions much of the time is so that I can help others have realistic expectations of what is going to happen. I have no problem turning around when the situation calls for it, but have seen others have a hard time doing so.

Anyway, thanks for the 'vote of confidence' (for lack of a better term) 2600fromatari, and I appreciate the reminders of the 'worst case scenarios, (once again, for lack of a better term, lol) Steve. It's nice to hear that I may be going about something right occasionally, as well as get the occasional reality check!

That being said, please keep the replies coming. I really appreciate it!

Someone had mentioned Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass in another thread. Are there any worthwhile peaks that can be reached from the pass or Kearsarge Lakes?

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#35950 - 04/21/14 09:54 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Hi 63,

Perhaps some "food for thought":

Langley really is (more or less) the equivalent of Whitney. Same/similar distance, it is a "14 teener", and although the elevation gain is not as much, the sandy trail will wear on you. Since this is a "tune up" for Whitney perhaps there is no need to make the summit. If you wanted to extend your hike you might want to consider heading up to Cottonwood lake #6. This is actually another route to Langley, with a steep chute to climb to the west of the lake. I have no idea if you will be able to reach lake 6, or how much snow will be in the chute, or if it will be reasonably passable, but if it is you have a shorter route to the peak, and if not you've extended the time and distance spent above 12,000'. Anyway, a different perspective.

I'm planning on hiking in that area the second week of June. Please post pictures and trip report.

Thanks,

John

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#35952 - 04/21/14 10:03 PM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: John Sims]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Say, John, the webcam needs another window cleaning! ...if you're up for it. smile

...or maybe one of these other people?

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#35957 - 04/22/14 08:58 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
So I've been talking with my group and I think we've decided to plan on setting up camp near the lakes Saturday, exploring a bit Saturday afternoon (try to get an idea if a summit attempt is worthwhile), then either try for the summit (not likely) or hike towards Cottonwood Lake #6 followed by a trip back to the cars and a quick hike up to Trail Peak.

Does anyone have a preferred spot to camp? Are there designated camping spots, or are you ok as long there aren't any signs and you're 200 ft away from water?

I will definitely post some photos and a trip report.

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#35958 - 04/22/14 09:16 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
We camp at the north end of Cottonwood Lake #3. It's sheltered and gives easy access to Army Pass for Langley or points west.

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#35962 - 04/22/14 10:10 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: wbtravis]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
We camp at the north end of Cottonwood Lake #3. It's sheltered and gives easy access to Army Pass for Langley or points west.


Thanks Travis, I am looking at a terrain map now and see what you mean by sheltered. We'll check it out!
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#35964 - 04/22/14 11:25 AM Re: Mt. Langley or White Mountain, May 17/18? [Re: John Sims]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: John Sims
If you wanted to extend your hike you might want to consider heading up to Cottonwood lake #6. This is actually another route to Langley, with a steep chute to climb to the west of the lake.


Hi John, is there a trail to lake #6, or a way you prefer to go?
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