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Echo Col - how much exposure

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Echo Col - how much exposure

Postby oldhikerme33 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:45 pm

Some friends are planning a backpacking trip over Echo Col - I want to join them but have a fear of heights that keeps me from getting near any sharp drop-offs of more than ~10 feet. HIking up steep terrain is OK, and I have a lot of backpacking experience but mainly on trails. I would like to join them - how much exposure is there crossing Echo Col? I have seen photos and a video but hard to tell. Thanks.

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Re: Echo Col - how much exposure

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:00 pm

Hi Oldhikerme33,

I don't think Echo Col will be suitable for you if drop offs of 10 ft or more
are a no go for you, though when you write shear drop-off, to me that means
class 5 rock climbing, class 3 on the other hands means where one has to use hands
and legs, but the rocks angle is not a shear drop-off.
Here is an excellent TR with pictures, and you will see that the eastern side could
be an issue for you: http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... 82&start=0
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Echo Col - how much exposure

Postby cgundersen » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:29 pm

Hi Oldhikerme33
This is basically going to second Mav's call. My only time over Echo was ~10 years ago and we approached from the west (JMT) side. The climb up to the ridge was typical of lots of tight little off-trail passes, but the fun came when it was time to head down. Fortunately, my buddy was pretty tall, so he climbed over sans pack and I was able to dangle both packs down to him, but being a troll, it was a bit more of a leap of faith for me going over. I recall about a 10 ft drop. Our packs were nearly empty, so it was not a big deal, but it can cause some squeamishness. Just aim to land firmly, if you do it. On the other hand, if you're going the other direction and you can poke around to find the best way to climb up, it may be a source of good memories. Note however, that I've been in no hurry to go back, in spite of the fast access it affords to places like Ionian Basin.
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