So what is the consensus for snowpack near Shepherd Pass this year, say vs. 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008?
Two sets of friends, who were planning to go up the class 3 chute on Williamson this July, now tell me they contemplate canceling because of an expected heavy snowpack. I'm inclined to think it is a little early to predict what will be around in 8 weeks.
There is no snow coverage to worry about. You struggle with some snow on the trail already on your way to Symmes, but it will probably be gone in two weeks. Then it clears up until above Anvil Camp. There it is pretty much all snow, but it is well consolidated and my snowshoes just took a free ride on my back all the way up to Shepherd pass. The pass itself is covered, but, again, it is well consolidated and if you go not very early, you will hardly need any gear. On the Tyndall slopes though crampons came in very handy.
Bottom line: snowshoes stayed on the pack, gaiters stayed in the pack, crampons were used above 13000.
I tried to get up there this weekend. I only got as far as lower Anvil Camp. But there is no snow until Anvil where there was quite a bit under the trees. Not wanting to try to get up the pass and then back to the trailhead in the same day, I turned back at Anvil.
It was warm and I got lazy over the winter. Ack! More running, less video games.
Cool thing was I had the whole area to my self. Both Saturday and Sunday. I only saw 3 day hikers in the parking lot who'd decided the trail was too tretcherous after the first few hundred yards.
Wish I could report more.
Glad I couldn't stay another night though. Woke up Monday with an abcess under my bridgework. @*%$ PAIN!