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#50938 - 07/15/17 05:51 PM 7/13-15 Summit via Switchbacks
Benc Offline

Registered: 03/18/17
Posts: 14
Loc: Socal
We left 7/13 and used the old trail to bypass the North Fork stream crossing and save time. It worked great.
1) We never encountered a serious bug problem as opposed to some other trip reports. We could see some bugs and mosquitoes near Outpost camp and Mirror lake but I never applied bug spray and I did not get bit.
2) Near outpost camp there are multiple stream crossings that will most likely get your feet wet. Some people crossed the long crossings barefoot while some were just fine with waterproof boots and carefully foot placement.
3) Currently there are 2 ways to ascend to trail camp following the rock steps after mirror lake. One way involves following the main trail which is mostly clear of snow except for 1 snow crossing on an angled slope. The other is a direct route to consolation lake which involves crossing about 4 long snowfields, none of which are very technical and many people ascended and descended with no spikes.
4) We spent both nights at trail camp and were able to find a good site however there were multiple flooded sites due to snowmelt and some groups were struggling to find a good site on Friday night.
5) Thursday morning we started at 6 AM and began to ascend the switchbacks. We needed to cross a patch of snow over the lower switchbacks and we used our microspikes for this section. The cables section does not require you to go on the outside of the cables, but does require you to cross a snowy/icy section about 15 ft long then go in between the inner rock wall and a 4ft wall of snow. There are 3 more snow crossings on the switchbacks traversing snow but there is a trail cut into them which makes it doable but still sketchy. The last one is avoidable by scrambling on rocks up to the ridge then descending down the ridge to trail crest.
6) From trail crest to the summit is snow free but does require some scrambling in the last quarter mile due to snow blocking the main trail.
7) Microspikes are extremely helpful at this time however crampons and an ice axe are not necessary for most people on the switchbacks.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Edited by Benc (07/15/17 07:30 PM)

#50939 - 07/15/17 06:55 PM Re: 7/13-15 Summit via Switchbacks [Re: Benc]
Climbingfrog Offline

Registered: 07/15/17
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
What did you use for your descent? Hoping the chute is still snowy enough to glissade down.

#50940 - 07/15/17 07:29 PM Re: 7/13-15 Summit via Switchbacks [Re: Climbingfrog]
Benc Offline

Registered: 03/18/17
Posts: 14
Loc: Socal
We descended through the switchbacks, however we saw multiple people glissade with ice axes and I think the chute will have enough snow to glissade down for about a week more.

Edited by Benc (07/15/17 08:07 PM)