Chocolate Peak via Bishop Pass Trail
2 reviews Inyo National Forest #16 hike out of 190 in
3 hrs 15 min
This is a moderate one way trail in Inyo National Forest.
This is an alternate route for Bishop Pass.
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Solo day hiked Fri 10/20/2023 – Spent the night at Forks campground and was lucky enough to see the Orionid meteor shower. Early hike out to Ruwau Lake and then up the north face of Picture Puzzle. Went too far west and was climbing class 4 too early so back east (towards Cloudripper) and up the bigger north chute talus field to the right of the snow. Crossed to the left side of the chute near the top of the ridge and ran into a flock of mountain chickadees picking through the snow. The talus was fun to climb but more unstable than even Agassiz with some of the largest boulders frequently moving in spite of careful hold placement/testing. The few sliding scree sections were ridiculous to cross but the snow was good and the ice not too bad. Took the ledges around the pinnacles and climbed up the last one just north of the summit notch. Descended down to the NE couloir /notch after trying a few different routes and took off my pack for the last summit climb. Found 2 great chimneys that started from a point 30 feet down the notch’s west chute to start up the real summit which was a much easier ascent than what it looked like from the notch. Views from the summit were spectacular with the wind just starting up. Summit register was an empty water bottle with a note pad and a golf tee but no pen. The down climb was long and uneventful until a 3 x 4 boulder dislodged and rolled about 50 feet downward which added some real excitement and had me snugging my helmet straps. Got back to Ruwau Lake and hiked up Chocolate Peak which was well worth the views from the top. Took the Chocolate Lakes Loop back to Bishop Pass to finish off another day of awesome hiking/climbing weather. Highly recommend Picture Puzzle for the scramble/climb/views and Chocolate Peaks for the hike/views. Logged 10.5 miles/4103 vertical ft. with Gaia★ ★ ★ ★ ★