Alternate Approach to Temple Crag


Original Post
Brian Banta · · Pacifica, CA · Joined May 2012 · Points: 30

Looking for Beta on an alternate approach to Temple Crag that takes the South Fork trail and then goes cross country to Contact Pass.  Anybody gone that way before?  Same goes for alternate approach to Mt. Sill.

-Brian

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

It's a trail all the way to Third Lake, then cross-country to Temple Crag and Contact Pass. Are you looking to avoid the South Fork Trail? Why? The trail is probably the most direct way to Third Lake and Temple Crag.

Edit: Sorry, I meant "north fork." Which is the normal approach to Temple Crag and Third Lake.

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 10,544
Brian Banta wrote:

approach to Temple Crag that takes the South Fork trail and then goes cross country to Contact Pass.

I've done that on skis more than once in springtime. 

I guess maybe going up South Fork to Contact Pass works as a way to get to the summit of Temple Crag, but the famous climbing routes start way down on the other side of Contact Pass, so I think you end up doing much extra work if your goal is to climb say Venusian Blind or Sun Ribbon Arete. Especially if you're not doing the route car-to-car in a single day.

Ken

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

Do not come up the South Fork ......       I have a hard ball approach climbing partner, he like the hard hikes....  he was one day later than me getting to the Base of the Swiss Arete and I am slow. His worn out partner told me on the way back down via the regular way, "oh man this is much better" .....    my advise for Temple crag is to cross at 2nd lake and head up the tallas (sp?) field directly.... if going to Sill/Swiss hang along the base of Temple crag and go straight up to the glacier.... if hard snow and ice at dawn its a easy little crampon workout. 

If you do one of the climbs on Temple.... look back down and you can see a faint trail heading down just south of the creek, 2nd lake... this is an old abandoned trail used by some miners.... I like this trail, no mule shit and dust. Once you use it and know the way you can come up it much quicker next time.  

wsperry · · San Jose/Lafayette · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 110

Looking at a topo, the route from south fork cross country to Contact looks.... heinous.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,121

What Guy said.

Brian Banta · · Pacifica, CA · Joined May 2012 · Points: 30

Thanks for the info guys.  I guess we will just hit Norman Clyde and wait for Temple until we get permits for the North Fork.

-Brian

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,121

When is your permit for? I'm thinking of the snowpack.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

Diamond Peak, will be really good once the snow sets up. No permits required for Baxter Pass-- no people eather. Diamond has some really nice snow chutes to choose from for early morning climbing, then a fine class 2/3 exposed ridge to a pointed summit with one of the best views ever. One only needs crampons and a Ice ax or two. One can do this in a weekend. 

This year will be really different as far as what one can climb due to the snowpack. The Domelands, usuly dry as a bone by the time the access roads open, will be really nice. The Needles on the other hand might not have a open road till mid-late June. Tuolumne might not have a clear road till July! Whitney Portal might be closed till late summer.

But one thing I know... this will be a record year for mosquitoes. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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