|David Schneider presents... Southfork Pass (from the east; hidden on the right side)|
On Friday morning (well, just before noon), David, Andy, and I started up the Bishop Pass trail. This trailhead and its destinations are known for their popularity, which explains why we saw about 10 other people along our route, about a half-dozen more than we usually encounter on a typical crest ski tour. We camped at the Timberline Tarns, an easy 4 miles in.
After that, it was just us and some occasional ski tracks. We got an 8AM start and cruised over Bishop Pass into Dusy Basin, over Thunderbolt Pass, taking lunch overlooking Palisade Basin, and then to the lip of Potluck Pass, which we kick-stepped our way down (and occasionally through). Andy found a nice wind-protected hollow for camping, as David made the bold prediction that the weather, increasingly wintry, would clear overnight.
|Bob pausing on the descent of South Fork Big Pine Creek|
Our descent back to camp was the probably the best of the trip. Then, we packed up and navigated our way over Cirque Col, dropping carefully between cliff bands down to our final camp at Palisade Lakes.
Day 4 was another full day, popping over the steep Southfork Pass, and skiing the increasingly deep slush down until it ended at cactus level, a mile or so uphill from Glacier Lodge. We took off our skis, took an exciting leap across Big Pine Creek, and trudged the rest of the way down to the trailhead.
-Bob Akka, 5/1/01