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SHR solo Tioga pass to twin lakes 7/3-5 2014

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SHR solo Tioga pass to twin lakes 7/3-5 2014

Postby Gazelle » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:28 am

Day 1 7/3 2014 10.10 miles +4346 -4011 Started the trip at the Gaylor Lakes trailhead right past the Yosemite entrance dropped a car at Twin lakes and had my friend shuttle me to Tioga. Started hiking 7:30 am up a nice trail going to Gaylor lakes trail ended around Upper Gaylor on way to Great Sierra mine.
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Gaylor lakes and peak

From mine shaft pass I worked towards Spuller lake not visible yet. Then over to Green Treble lake and up to the east ridge of mt Conness The view to sky pilot col is almost always in sight as I wanted to be over this pass today.
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Sky pilot col, shepherds crest, cascade lake

I think I didn’t go far enough west on the ridge and had to butt slide down some class 3 but worked out fine lower conness lake is beautiful.
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Lower conness Lake

Worked towards Cascade Lake where I did see 2 people and the tent of some others my plan was to go over sky pilot col today but backup was to camp here decided to go for the col it was still early. Made it up to secret lake and up to the bowl of the col I went up to the left but when reached top realized I had gone up to soon as I could see Upper McCabe lake so went up to the right as one could not traverse to the actual col up and over shepherds crest found this to be quite easy and hoped the other side would work out it did, worked down to the actual pass I should have stayed below where I was as below the pass is rock hard with no real foot stopping ability. Nasty! Could see my destination for the evening Shepherd Lake and where I was to go tomorrow, up and over Stanton pass, and Matterhorn peak to below Burro Pass.
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Shepherd lake across to soldier lake and Virginia and Matterhorn peaks

Anyway snow is your friend below Sky pilot col and yes the flowers are up there. Took a bit to get to the lake as the rocks all seem to want to move. Got there at 4 set up camp which was my bivy and got dinner going was in bed at 7 dead tired. First big passes of the SHR were over but was nervous about Stanton Pass backup to go around to spiller lake but pretty much had decided to go for Stanton.
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Looking back at Sky pilot


Day 2, 9.1miles +4551 -4550
Got a slow start as was waiting for the sun to hit to dry of the frost on my bivy etc but didn’t get the sun so packed up and started at 8am went down the left side of the creek staying above the willows most of the time then crossed to the right and through the trees to the bottom of Virginia canyon easy hiking crossed the creek and worked towards gray butte up and up it seemed to go but got out of the trees and had great views worked up to soldier lake, beautiful
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Back to Sky Pilot from almost Soldier Lake

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Soldier lake

Found out I had lost my Roper directions and ended up in the trees above soldier lake but having been so nervous about Stanton Pass had the directions burned into my head. When I got to where I could see the pass stopped for some food and took out my monocular to find a good route up, once there found did not really need to scout.
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Stanton Pass from east with Virginia Peak

Other side a different matter fortunately I topped out a little above to the left of the actual pass and could see a good? way down alittle to the right. Took off my pack and scouted looked doable stowed my poles and did a little way of butt sliding down some class 3 for not very far then grabbed the poles and was on my way not to bad,
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Stanton Pass west side

Got down into Spiller Canyon and worked up to Horse creek pass and Matterhorn peak,
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Spiller Canyon with Matterhorn Peak

next part to come
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein



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Gazelle
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Re: SHR solo Tioga pass to twin lakes 7/3-5 2014

Postby Gazelle » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:37 am

The tarn below Horse creek pass is really pretty, but my destination was up and over matterhorn peak. Description is easy to follow but the 2 steps up 1 back is VERY correct especially with a loaded pack, did see 2 people coming down by horse Creek pass but to far away to talk to. Finally made it to the notch that goes both to the SE ridge route and SW route (my exit), dropped my pack and grabbed camera and worked up to the peak itself. Realized part of the way up I did not grab the inreach se duh. Signed the register only person that day july 4th. Took pictures and decended back to my pack.
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Looking down Matternhorn peak to lakes by Burro pass

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Stanton pass and Sky pilot from matternhorn peak

On way down 2 steps up 1 down is great just go with the flow in quick order I made it down the steep part and was on my way to Burro pass, found trail and went over pass then cross country to the lakes below, awesome spot to camp got there at 4:30pm with finger peaks and the sawtooth range as my view.
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Matternhorn peak SW route

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Finger peaks from camp

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Sawtooth range from camp

Day 3 13.59 miles +1373 -4562
Got moving around 7:30am worked way down to trail through beautiful country on way to Mule pass a lot more elevation gain then I was expecting lost the trail in a meadow for a second. Met a guy around a corner scared the crap out of me but talked with him for 15 minutes or so.

After mule pass you drop down to crown lakes lost the trail in the snow to find again. Beautiful trail up there rock walls etc to hold up the trail.
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mule pass

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Way down to crown and Barney lakes

Crown lake quite nice but just wanted to get out it was getting hot. Robinson Lakes are beautiful.
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Robinson lakes

Then you drop to Barney lakes on the way passed easily 20+ people going the other way. At Barney Lake probably 25 people with dogs – assault on my senses. Way down from there passed another 15 or so, I like off trail SO much more. Got to Twin Lakes probably 95 degrees campground,d trailers, kids, dogs, many , many people was going to jump in the creek there but looked disgusting so got in the car and drove down the lake a ways and cleaned up. Done hiking at 2pm. Drove home to Donner Summit awesome trip next up section 3 Lake italy to Mammoth hopefully over Labor day weekend.
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein
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Re: SHR solo Tioga pass to twin lakes 7/3-5 2014

Postby Vaca Russ » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:29 am

Yuberiver,

Wow! What an adventure. It has been years since I have hiked that area. Do you plan on doing the entire SHR section by section?

How happy are you with your monocular? This might be an item we need to get.

So you plan on doing section #3, the Lake Country? Do you plan on starting up over Italy Pass or will you go south over Pine Creek Pass to hit the Bear Lakes area?

Thanks for the report and great photos!

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: SHR solo Tioga pass to twin lakes 7/3-5 2014

Postby Gazelle » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:24 pm

I plan on going out of mosquito flat over Cox col/North col as I only have the weekend. Also plan to go to Hortense Lake. Out to Horseshoe Lake. Leave Aug 29 maybe out Sunday but probably Monday. I want to do the whole SHR as I get the time off.
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein
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Re: SHR solo Tioga pass to twin lakes 7/3-5 2014

Postby seanr » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:53 pm

Nice report! I mostly stay outside the YNP boundaries and rarely backpack for now, but I have spent a lot of time recent years in the area of your trip. In fact, I was over on Kettle Peak up Little Slide Canyon the day of your Matterhorn Peak summit. Then I was up on Matterhorn Peak on the 6th. Only a few summitted that day, but I think there were several on the 5th. I avoid what limited crowds there are in that area by starting early and coming out late or at odd times. I also have yet to visit the primary easy destination of Barney Lake. Hey, if you ever go up Matterhorn again, sticking to the brushy/bushy/rocky area immediately upridge from Horse Creek Pass provides much firmer ground to step up. In my two times there, I used the sandy scree slopes to boot ski down and then descended Horse Creek Canyon. The area up around the Col route is pretty as well, but it is easy to get slightly off trail every way down Horse Creek, and Little Slide as well. Rugged, but fun and scenic routes!
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Re: SHR solo Tioga pass to twin lakes 7/3-5 2014

Postby Gazelle » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:07 pm

I thought about little slide Canyon and now wish I had gone that way if I were to go back it would be a day trip either up little slide/matterhorn/horse Creek or visa/versa awesome area
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein
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