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#43791 - 08/04/15 01:40 PM Cirque Peak
ChrisInLongBeach Offline


Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Long Beach, California
Hello!

In a couple of weeks, I will arrive in Lone Pine for my yearly ascent of Mt Whitney.

Since 2013, I follow SteveC's suggestion and acclimatize every year in Horseshoe meadow for two days before my ascent.

This year, I would like to make my acclimatization a bit more challenging and would like to climb Cirque Peak.

Problem is that I tried that last year and got lost. I figured there was no trail to speak of and making it to the summit required 100% scrambling.

I went pass Chicken Spring Lake and could not figure out where to go next. I find more info on this web link but it's still a bit vague:

http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/cirque-peak-inyo-national-forest/

Do you guys have a web link or Google earth file or Garmin GPX file you could share? Anything helps.

Thank you!


Edited by ChrisInLongBeach (08/04/15 01:45 PM)

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#43792 - 08/04/15 01:44 PM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: ChrisInLongBeach]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
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#43793 - 08/04/15 02:14 PM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
ChrisInLongBeach Offline


Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Long Beach, California
Thank you!! I'll check it out. thanks

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#43794 - 08/04/15 02:17 PM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
I've climbed Cirque Peak twice the last 4 years, however, for me, I tackled the peak from New Army Pass. From the pass just followed the flat ridge all the way around. It is easily a nine hour hike, or 15 miles.

Keep in mind, that on the decent, the PCT is just below. So head down, somewhat southeast and you pick up the trail.

Since you leave your car at Cottonwood Lakes trailhead (head over New Army Pass)and you return via Cottonwood Pass trailhead, take the equestrian trail which junctions at Trail Pass cutoff. Once at the pack station (about a 1/4 mile), just stay to the left and at the end of the horse turnouts head toward the equestrian campsites and viola, you are back where you started.

Last year when I climbed Cirque, I left at 7am, (took the South Fork shortcut), was on top of New Army at 10:30. I was on Cirque (after stopping to watch a herd of bighorn sheep sidle by), at 12:15.

I was back at the car by 4:45pm

paul

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#43797 - 08/04/15 06:40 PM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: Paul]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
Paul, your route sounds like I should do Cirque Peak soon! What is the South Fork shortcut to New Army?

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#43798 - 08/04/15 07:01 PM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: Gina]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Hey Gina.....

The South Fork trail leaves the Cottonwood Lake trail right after the first stream crossing (about 100 meters beyond the crossing. You come to a sandy area with tree limbs on the ground on left side of trail). It's an old trail that existed prior to the addition of a new trail from the New Army Pass trail. The trail follows the creek through some beautiful meadows and passes by a trapper cabin).

It cuts about 2 miles off (give or take). However, it pretty much ends after it circumvents South Fork Lake as it continues to Cirque Lake.

At this point it's cross country for about a half mile to where you pick up the New Army trail, just before you cross the stream outlet from Long Lake.

Take a look at google maps or another map program. Some maps show the trail, others don't.

I would say that if you have some time, do a trial run using a map.

I am not sure why you need to do Cirque Peak soon.

paul

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#43812 - 08/05/15 04:35 AM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: Paul]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
Thanks, Paul-I appreciate the information. I say I need to do it soon because the summer is almost gone and I've wanted to hike Cirque this year. I'm trying to improve my cross country hiking, too.

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#43908 - 08/09/15 08:46 AM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: ChrisInLongBeach]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1239
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
I do not understand getting lost here. This is about as easy as it gets.

You ascend New Army Pass, walk around the cirque as close to the edge as you feel comfortable and you eventually end up on the summit.

From Cottonwood Pass, it is a bit more difficult but not particularly hard to figure out. You climb out of Chicken Spring Lake and when the peak becomes visible on your right you start angling toward it. There is a bunch of bouldering at the end.

Get a good map (Cirque Peak USGS 7.5 min quad) and study it. A GPS is not required to figure this out. A GPS makes it easier from Cottonwood Pass...but not required.

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#43913 - 08/10/15 01:02 PM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: wbtravis]
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 189
Loc: New York
Chris, check out my posts here: It is doable from Chicken Spring Lake for sure, just allow yourself some time.

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/36286/Re:_Cirque_Peak_via_Cottonwood#Post36286

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#43934 - 08/10/15 10:40 PM Re: Cirque Peak [Re: nyker]
63ChevyII.com Offline


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