Bishop Pass, July 11 2015

posted in: Photos, Trip Report | 0

The Plan

We had originally planned to hike White Mountain Peak July 11-12. With the crazy rain in the days leading up to the hike, as well as the forecasted temperatures and wind speeds, we decided that we should find another hike. Looking at a list of possible hikes in the area, we decided on Bishop Pass, with the possibility of hiking to Chocolate Peak on the way back to the trailhead.

Here are the stats I had compiled going into the hike:

Bishop Pass (11,980′) 

  • South Lake to Bishop Pass Totals:
    • 12 miles RT || Duration: ~6 hrs || Elevation Gain/Loss (1 way): +2500′, -300′ || Net Elevation Gain @ High Point: ±2200′
    • Sections:
      • South Lake > Treasure Lakes Trail Junction
        • 1.25 miles || +500, -35
      •  Treasure Lakes Trail Junction > Long Lake
        • 1.5 miles || +565, -85
      • Long Lake > Trail Junction (Chocolate or Ruwau Lakes?)
        • .25 miles || +100, -30
      • Trail Junction > Saddlerock Lake
        • 1.25 miles || +415, -90
      • Saddelrock Lake > Bishop Lake
        • .75 miles || +150, -50
      • Bishop Lake > Bishop Pass
        • 1 mile || +810, -50
    • * Adding the Chocolate Peak (11,682′) side trip on the descent adds:
      • 2.5 miles || +800, -960

The Outcome

We hit the road by 4:30 am and hit the trail around 9:30. When we started, the sky was mostly clear, but as we approached Bishop Pass, we could see some clouds moving in. We moved quickly until Bishop Lake, but at this point the trail started to get steeper. Just before the switchbacks, we ran into some friends (@TOTTSeries). The switchbacks offered some great views of the valley we just hiked through and with the increased incline, I was happy to take frequent breaks to enjoy the view, chat and take pictures.

We spent a good chunk of time hanging out on the summit before heading down. When we realized how late it was, we decided to say goodbye to our friends and pick up the pace on way towards the trailhead. By the time we hit the junction to climb Chocolate Peak, we were both feeling more tired than expected and it had started sprinkling. We decided to save Chocolate Peak for another day.

After a quick stop in Bishop for an eclair eating contest (I was the only contestant), we headed back to SoCal. On the drive back we stopped a few times to take photos of the clouds forming over the Eastern Sierra.

South Lake to Bishop Pass Totals (as measured):

  • 11.23 miles RT || Duration: ~8 hrs (long break at Bishop Pass) || Elevation Gain/Loss (1 way): +2613′, -473′ || Net Elevation Gain @ High Point: ±2140′


A few notes on the gear I used.

  • WoolX Merino Wool
    • Explorer 1/4 Zip Baselayer Top
      • I started my hike wearing this top.
    • Outback Tee
      • I wore the tangerine colored tee for the first time on a hike today. It seemed to be cooler than the black tee of the same weight. I wore it around the house the next day doing chores and am debating whether or not I need to wash it before my next hike. Merino is truly amazing!
    • Boxers
      • On the HST with my heavy pack, I had some irritation where the sewn in tag is attached to the waist band. This did not happen on this hike. I’m not sure if it was the weight of the pack or the way it rides on my back
  • Farm to Feet Merino Wool Socks
    • High Points
      • These have become my favorite socks. I plan to order another pair of them.
  • Oboz Traverse-Mid BDry Hiking Boots
    • With all of the stream crossing, I was glad I wore waterproof boots
    • Around mile 10 I started missing the full shank of the Beartooths, but these boots performed well.
  • Deuter Airlite 28
    • My first hike with this pack in a few months – I had forgotten how much I like the ventilation this pack provides.
  • Cotton Carrier STRAPSHOT EV1 
    • I made a simple modification to the STRAPSHOT to see if it would improve it’s utility. I am happy with the results. More on this later.
  • Geigerrig

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