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Shepherds Pass Conditions

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Postby kovarpa » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:14 pm

Patchy snow from Anvil camp to Shepherd's Pass. SP itself still has lot of snow, when in shade in the evening crampons were useful.

West Face of Williamson has a little bit of snow, soft in the afternoon. Lot of scree, I can't believe somebody actually climbs UP this way...

The Rib on Tyndall looked snow free, there is a snow field low before getting on the rib.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:57 am

Some hikers say that the hike to Shepherd Pass is pretty tough with a full pack. About how long does it take with a 45-pound backpack?
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Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:11 am

Ugh! That depends on the individual obviously. 45 pounds would take a lot out of me. I did the trip last year, took my time though. Started around sunrise and was at camp in the Williamson Bowl around 3:00 or so I think, without thinking the trip took much out of me. But my pack was just under 30 pounds at the time, at 45 would've been a different story.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:22 pm

mrchad, thanks for the information. Our group is planning to climb the two 14ers within a three-day period. What do you think about the following schedule?

Day 1: hike to Shepherd Pass and set up camp

Day 2: climb Williamson

Day 3: climb Tyndall and hike back to trailhead
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Postby KathyW » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:33 pm

I've made it over Shepherd Pass in a day on a heavy snow year (close to 40 pound pack) - it was a long day, but it was a lot better starting out to Williamson from up there than down at Anvil Camp. I hate Anvil Camp - the bugs are soooo bad there. Anyway, it a slow-poke like me can do it, so can most everyone else.
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Postby cab » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:23 pm

I would try to camp at the top of Shepherd's Pass the first night if you can make it that far. The mosquitoes at Anvil Camp will make it miserable. Going across the Williamson Bowl and up to the summit and back to the top of the pass is a solid day. Then, if your camp is already at the top of the pass, climbing Tyndall on Day 3 will be easier as well.
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Postby BrianChase » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:39 pm

I was on Tyndall and Williamson on Tuesday. Tyndall is snow free on the rib and Williamson had snow in the chute for the last third, we just stuck to the rock on the right and it was easy. We came over Kearsarge and Forester but descended Sheppards which had a lot of snow up top and patchy postholing to anvil camp. the bowl is easy to negotiate due to obvious foot prints in the snow which also lead you directly into the correct chute. Have fun
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Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:32 pm

Mescalito345 wrote:Day 1: hike to Shepherd Pass and set up camp
Day 2: climb Williamson
Day 3: climb Tyndall and hike back to trailhead

That's a great itenerary. Definitely want to camp at the pass as the others suggest. Anvil is unecessary. I didn't find the hike across the bowl to be difficult at all, like people in previous years sometimes say, though the hike in and out takes a little effort, to the first lake. In my case I camped in the bowl, at the first lake. This was largely due to some strong winds my weekend, saw one tent at the pass blow away.

Mine was very similar, day 1 to camp in the bowl, day two Williamson, day three I did Trojan and Barnard, and day 4 pack up camp, up Tyndall, and out by mid-afternoon. The switchbacks down to the trailhead are a real annoyance.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:18 pm

Thanks for all of the responses. How difficult is route-finding? I have several photos of the route to Williamson, but would GPS waypoints be useful? Seems like Tyndall would be pretty easy to figure out without a GPS.
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Postby MoapaPk » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:52 pm

Mescalito345 wrote:Thanks for all of the responses. How difficult is route-finding? I have several photos of the route to Williamson, but would GPS waypoints be useful? Seems like Tyndall would be pretty easy to figure out without a GPS.


You'll have a gps track! :D (preloaded on a gps.)

People sometimes mess up right out of Anvil camp if there is a lot of snow still covering the trail. Other than that, the black stain is pretty clear, and you just have to make sure you get in the correct gully.
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Postby Mescalito345 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:54 am

Thanks, MoapaPk. I just got the email from Lori about the GPS. I'll also print out some of the photos from your 2008 trip.
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Postby mrchad9 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:00 am

Agree with MoapaPk, if it isn't obvious beforehand, the correct chute is quite obvious from the stain (which is likely a waterfall right now). You can see all the way up it from there.
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Postby SeanSullivan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:11 pm

Planning on doing Williamson and Tyndall starting July 11. I'm trying to decide whether to bring ice axe and crampons. We're also planning Whitney for the same backpacking trip (5 days) and will decide to go via Mountaineers Route or the trail from the west depending on how we're feeling by that point.

I'll be wearing sturdy boots so I think I'll be able to kick steps... I'm not really sure how hard/frozen these routes get in July. I'd like to be able to take my axe, but not crampons... if possible. Seems like the snow can be avoided on Williamson (west chute), but not on Whitney.

Any recent photos?
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Postby Sean Kenney » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:23 pm

mrchad9 wrote:Agree with MoapaPk, if it isn't obvious beforehand, the correct chute is quite obvious from the stain (which is likely a waterfall right now). You can see all the way up it from there.


:D Still as easy to pick out but the black stain was white sheet of ice last year at about this same time.
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