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Mather Pass Access

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Mather Pass Access

Postby scott.marley » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:43 pm

Hi All,

Last year I hiked the bottom leg of the Sierra High Route to near Mather Pass then hiked back to Kearsarge. This year I'd like to pick up where I left off for 9 days Anyone have an idea of what the quickest access to Mather Pass would be? One way would be to start at Taboose TH, but I think the elevation gain is a little strong for a first day. The other way I've thought would be to go to Bishop Pass and then hike south the on the high route then pick up the JMT north until the next piece of the high route is available.

Any other approaches one can think of? Thanks in advance.

Scott



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Re: Mather Pass Access

Postby paul » Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:36 am

Taboose seems like the way to do it. I haven't been up Taboose, but have been thinking of going in that way. Seems like most folks suggest a predawn start to beat the heat. But that means you are all the way up the first day, and I'd want to be acclimatized well before that. So I'd plan to sleep high at least one night and preferably two before the start. On the other hand I might try a different approach - get a very late start. Wait until the sun is behind the crest and then start up. It will still be hot but you wouldn't be in the sun and it will cool as you go up. Seems like, and I have heard, that after a few miles you have creek access for water and spots to camp if you look carefully. That way you get up to 9 or 10k the first night , not so bad on the elevation, and with an early start the next morning you should beat the heat nicely.
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Re: Mather Pass Access

Postby freestone » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:10 pm

Seems like most folks suggest a predawn start to beat the heat.


I have done Taboose twice the last 5 years and both times started around 11AM after.... the long drive from the south coast, getting the permit in Lone Pine by 9AM, then the slow ride to the trailhead on the rut riddled road. Heat is always an issue, but remember, elevation is gained quickly so the heat is on only for the first 3 miles then the air begins to cool and water becomes available. The best camping is near water just before timberline on numerous small flat areas away from the trail, similar to Anvil on Shepherds pass trail.
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Re: Mather Pass Access

Postby Crossdrew » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:01 pm

Last year we hiked up to Taboose Pass to Mather. We are doing it again this year. I must note that we don't carry packs, we have llamas. That said, the hike up Taboose is incredibly beautiful and worth the effort. One suggestion is to do part of the hike up one day and then the next day, go over the pass and down toward Mather. That is what we are doing. There is camping at about 4 miles from the Taboose trailhead, and then again at about 6 miles. Next week We intend to get up early & start hiking at 6 a.m. We will camp the night before at the TH, Actually, we will sleep in the truck but one could camp at the TH. I do think that this is the easiest way to reach Mather Pass. However, don't be too 'macho' but be willing to do it in two days. If you are driving from low elevation (flatlands), then sleeping at the TH is a good way to begin to adapt to elevation. It is beautiful hiking up the trail and you will enjoy the wildflowers, the talus, the cliffs, etc. It is steep but beautiful. IMHO. LLamalady ;)
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Re: Mather Pass Access

Postby maverick » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:23 pm

Hi Scott,

Taboose is your best option, and as mention, an early start or late afternoon start work great. No need to do it in a day, if you get early start, stay at the campsite at around 9600ft, and go over the next morning, sunrise at the top will be beautiful as it hits Arrow Peak. If you get a late afternoon start then go to the lower campsites a few miles in from the trailhead, they are located after the short foresty area, and there is also one a little futher up, right before you cross Taboose Creek, near the bushes next to the creek.
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Re: Mather Pass Access

Postby scott.marley » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:20 pm

Hi All,

Many thanks for the feedback. It sounds like Taboose is the way to go. Any idea on how much traffic the road gets out there? Is it realistic to plan to hitchhike back from a northern destination?

Scott
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Re: Mather Pass Access

Postby Crossdrew » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:54 pm

The Taboose TH is about 5 very long miles from 395. I don't know how easy hitch-hiking would be. There is a shuttle service that we have used before, a guy out of Lone Pine. Very reliable. Not especially cheap but very handy if you need to get to another TH. I don't recall his name but google something like "Shuttle Service east side Sierra" or something like that. I think we got his name from the Ranger Station. We had to walk down the road a bit (at Taboose TH) to get cell service to change our meet-up time and he was very accommodating. Good luck! Llama Lady
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