OFF TRAIL 09/15
Aug 15, 2023 at 9:39 am #3786675eric schultzBPL Member
Has anyone been over Puppet, Feather, and White Bear Pass recently. I am looking at doing an off trail hike of these passes starting 09/15. I am wondering what the snow conditions are like. I have very little off trail experience. I am wanting to start more off trail hiking. I am not sure if this is the year to do it.
EricAug 15, 2023 at 6:17 pm #3786716Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I’ve not been this year but I did go over Brown Bear Pass, Feather Pass, and Puppet Pass in early August 2019. There was significant snow on Feather Pass that year. I used Microspikes and was glad that I had them, but I did run across a hiker that crossed it without them. There was no snow on Puppet Pass that year. Beautiful area, you’ll have a great hike!Aug 15, 2023 at 7:20 pm #3786730Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
Looks pretty snowy on the most recent (Aug 11) clear day satellite image.Sep 6, 2023 at 10:55 pm #3788546Steve ThompsonBPL Member
I crossed these passes mid-August 2011. A bigger than average snow year, but nothing like this one, so my situation may not apply. Feather had a long Snow run from ~11,800 all the way to the pass. This year it may extend even further and you might hit snow shortly above Bearpaw Lake. Heading N to S, with microspikes, this was an enjoyable pass to cross. The snow allowed a straight line, talus free ascent.
White Bear pass had just a small snow cornice at the very top and a small snow field to the lake. We ascended at the left edge of the cornice and crossed the snowfield and then around the northeast end of the lake. Snow may extend further this year. Our crossing did not require microspikes. I think the biggest challenge this year, assuming a larger cornice, will be finding a path up either side. Once atop the pass, the “snowfield” has no appreciable slope. Puppet Pass was snow free, so no insight to offer for that crossing.
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