ROUTE 2 - Feather Pass Variations

Variation Descriptions

Feather Pass HeadwallFeather Pass Variation

From Big Bear Lake marker 6, ascend east past Ursa Lake to Bear Paw Lake. Climb southeast over easy terrain and slabs to the Feather Pass headwall. The headwall is most easily negotiated on the right at Class 2, but more interesting and challenging lines exist. From Feather Pass (12,360 ft/N 37º 19.264', W 118º 46.943')) descend south to La Salle Lake over mostly Class 1 terrain, although there is a steep section to gain the north shore of the lake. Follow the drainage SSW over pleasant country, rejoining the main loop at Merriam Lake.

Royce-Merriam Saddle Variation

This variation is used in combination with Feather Pass to access the Royce Lakes directly. It stays high, avoiding a descent into French Canyon, and significantly shortens the loop.

Descending below La Salle Lake, climb the second major stream course east to a lake at 11,860 ft. Turn northeast to the obvious saddle between Royce and Merriam Peaks. The going is Class 1 and Royce Peak (13,280 ft) on the left is easy pickings from here. From the Royce-Merriam Saddle (12,190 ft/N 37º 18.752', W 118º 46.112') descend Class 2 terrain traversing left to Royce Lake #1. Ice axe and crampons may be helpful in the chute at the top (or it may be completely melted out).