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What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

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What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby dbogey » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:13 am

Starting to plan for a 7 day trip in mid August that will go over Shepherds pass, into the Kern Canyon and beyond. I have printed out all the 7.5 Topos for this area and i'm looking to plan a route that would start leaving shepherds pass on a Saturday and return the following Saturday. I have no issues putting in 15 mile days and carrying a pack whilst hiking and have done part of the SHR with another member on this forum (Hi Andy). I've read and re-read alot of posts on BPL and HST but I want to make sure that I plan accordingly. I love to fish (Tenkara) and take photos so I'm not in a mad rush to do miles. I'm coming from Pittsburgh, Pa.

My one must see area is the most eastern Lake on Picket Creek ( UTM 11S 0369791E 4048484N). From here I'd like to go over the saddle into the Kaweah Basin to explore for a day. I've heard that Chagoopa Creek has good fishing which means I'd have to go over the Kaweah Pass.

Any input would be greatly appreciated in helping me plan this trip!

Thanks
Dan
Just another day in paradise



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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby oldranger » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:23 am

Pretty ambitious for 7 days coming from near sea level. W side start might be a better alternative for your destinations. Also creek fishing in August this year is likely to be pretty marginal.

Mike
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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:19 pm

Hi Dan,

Shepherd Pass is at 12,000 ft, and unless your sure you are not effected by the
altitude, and are able to get a very early start, your fist night will be at Anvil Camp.
You should be able to make Pickett Lake on day 3 of your trip, there are several
TR's on how to access it from the Kern-Kaweah River area southwest of Kern Point.
Kaweah Pass is nasty loose, but better ascended than descended.
You mentioned that you are not in a hurry, with your time frame would recommend
that you add 1-2 more days to make it less rushed and have contingent days (weather)
built in, or drop the Chagoopa section and descend the creek from the last (lowest)
lake in Kaweah Basin to the Rockslide Lake area and then go back towards Shepherd
via the JMT this time instead of descend the Kern River (Upper Kern-Milestone), this
way you'll see different areas coming in and going out.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby sparky » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:15 pm

You might be better off starting from Crescent Meadow or Mineral King. A west side start would mean crossing the Kaweahs though so I guess it is pick your poison on this one
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:34 pm

Hard to answer that since every backpacker has their own definition of accomplishment. Some like to zero in on an area and explore every nook and cranny; others want to make miles and get an overview. The logical are to explore from Shepherd Pass is loop through Lake South America, the cirques under Mt Jordan, Milestone Creek, then take a trail east to Wallace Basin, Wrights Lakes, and end with a climb of Mt Tyndall or Mt Williamson. PS the fishing is good on this loop.

I did Keweah Basin from the west. It really works out better, I think. I did Hamilton Lake, over Pyra Queen Col, Picket Guard Pass, head of Kern Keweaha, Colby Pass, Cloud Canyon, Deadaman Canyon, Elizabeth Pass and out.
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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby Mike M. » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:47 pm

I did Keweah Basin from the west. It really works out better, I think. I did Hamilton Lake, over Pyra Queen Col, Picket Guard Pass, head of Kern Keweaha, Colby Pass, Cloud Canyon, Deadaman Canyon, Elizabeth Pass and out.

WD, how many days did that take you? Sounds like it would be a gonzo (i.e., very ambitious) itinerary for a seven day trip.

I've never done Pyra Queen but would give it a try if I had good photos of the pass from both the north and south.

Mike
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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 am

If you just wanted to get into Keweah Basin, you could do it in 7 days. Now that I looked back at notes on that trip, I see that my memory was poor! Getting senile! I actually did it from Roads End. Day 1, over avalanche pass to Roaring Fork RS, Day 2 - Colby Lake, Day 3 upper Kern Keweah, Day 4 over Picket Guard Pass to Keweah Basin, Day 5 over Pyra Queen to upper Nine Lakes, Day 6 over the two Lion Passes to Cloud Canyon, Day 7 back to Roaring Fork with a long day-hike up Deadman, Day 8 walk out to Roads End back over Avalanche Pass.

It was another trip that I did from Wolverton. Day 1 Hamilton Lake, Day 2 climb a peak from Keweah Gap (sorry cannot remember the name of the peak) and camp at lake below Pyra Queen, Day 3 climb Lawson Peak and walk back to Hamilton Lake, Day 4 out.

I am thinking that if you want to get to Keweah Basin from the east, perhaps go in from Cottonwood Lakes instead of Shepherd Pass. I think that would be easier. Either trailhead you still have to drop down to Junction Meadow and go back up Kern Keweah.
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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:23 am

Please start a seperate thread with your questions if it not what the original OP
was requesting information about. Thank you.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: What can I accomplish in 7 days over Shepherds Pass

Postby thegib » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:54 am

You can't have it all. If you take time to fish and photograph, you're gonna have to drop Chagoopa. Day 1 is Anvil Camp, D2 pick a lake on Milestone Ck. D3 explore branches of Milestone Ck. D4 over to Pickett Ck. D5 into Kaweah Basin. D6 turn around. Make it up Wallace Ck. Day 7 is long out.

This gives you one easy or layover day - you pick Milestone, Pickett or K basin. Day 6 is harder than you think. You've first got to get down to Junction Mdw, which takes time, then up 3000'. Day 7 you'd like to pass through Wright lakes (skipping the JMT where possible), and then 11 miles down. It's a heavy hiking trip, but it's doable. It's a particularly spectacular area.
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