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Advice: Connect PCT to SHR near Twin Lakes (Matterhorn Col?)

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Advice: Connect PCT to SHR near Twin Lakes (Matterhorn Col?)

Postby Stanley Otter » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:50 pm

First, I just want to say thank you to everyone who contributes to these forums -- there is a wealth of accumulated wisdom here that is incredibly helpful to aspiring Sierra hikers. I have posted my “I’m not lurking anymore” self-introduction to the appropriate thread, and I would like to ask for a bit of route advice.

I completed a JMT variant this summer -- Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point to Illilouette Creek to Red Peak Pass to Vogelsang Pass to Lyell Canyon and from there the standard route to Whitney. Needless to say, I want more. My plan for next summer is to pick up the PCT at either Granite Chief Wilderness or Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, hike to Yosemite NP, and then test myself on the northern section of the Sierra High Route perhaps as far south as Red’s Meadow. (I got caught in the early July storms this year from Vogelsang Pass [snow?! -- looked just like a 10,000’ elevation version of winter in Wisconsin -- if I could see the mountains it wouldn’t be so ridiculous!] over Donahue Pass and on to the Thousand Island Lake region -- I’d like to revisit those areas in what I hope will be nicer weather next year. Fingers already crossed.)

My thoughts on connecting the PCT to the SHR are to leave the PCT at about mile 1001 on Hoover Wilderness Trail 056 (I’d call it Cascade Creek Trail?) to Trail 046 (Kirkwood Creek?) to Trail 068 (South Fork Buckeye Creek?) and then over Buckeye Pass on to Peeler Lake and then Mule Pass and Burro Pass. The crux of my Blofeld-like plan is to do a 1.5 mile off-trail section from Burro Pass to Spiller Creek to “join” the SHR, and that’s where I need your input. There is a pass/saddle between Whorl Mountain and Matterhorn Peak ESE of Burro Pass that I am hoping is doable with nothing particularly scary along the way. Does anybody have experience/opinions about this? I could simply go down Matterhorn Canyon and back up Virginia Canyon to catch the SHR a bit further on, but that isn’t as nifty (nor as short) a solution as this could be.

On the matter of a permit, I called the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the USFS and was assured that with a two-week lead time a permit for the trip could be issued that was not subject to quotas (the ranger I spoke to said they really don’t want to hear from me much sooner than that because “plans change,” and I was also told that I would not have to make Desolation Wilderness campsite reservations on recreation.gov ahead of time). I also called Yosemite NP to see if such a permit would be valid outside the PCT corridor, specifically on the SHR, and was told it would be okay -- the standard language about obtaining the permit from your starting trailhead and that it would be valid for your entire hike was quoted to me. Hopefully, restrictions similar to this year’s Donohue Pass exit quota won’t be enacted in the mean time.

Anyway, thanks for your input, I really appreciate it.
Dennis
Last edited by Stanley Otter on Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Advice: Connect PCT to SHR near Twin Lakes (Matterhorn C

Postby Stanley Otter » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:14 am

While reading Roper's Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country this morning, I came across a passage that seems to confirm this is possible. In the Approaches section of the Tuolumne Meadows to Twin Lakes chapter, Roper discusses a potential loop trip from/to Tuolumne Meadows -- p. 187 "Follow the High Route until half a mile short of Horse Creek Pass. Leave Spiller Creek at this point and climb up to the prominent saddle south of Matterhorn Peak. From this 11,400-foot pass the traveler is able to descend, in short order, to the trail in upper Matterhorn Canyon." That's my saddle! :thumbsup: I will be sure to report back after next summer's trip -- stay tuned...
Dennis
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Re: Advice: Connect PCT to SHR near Twin Lakes (Matterhorn C

Postby Stanley Otter » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:47 pm

Still doing my due diligence on this, and I may have a name for my little obstacle -- Matterhorn Col. I ran across this thread that describes what I think is the route I have in mind connecting Burro Pass to the SHR along Spiller Creek:

http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9454

Anybody have anything to add to John Dittli's description from that thread? "Use caution on Matterhorn col. There is a direct, exposed 4th class+ route near the center or a long traverse in from the left (south); 3rd class. Other ways too I'm sure, but those are the two I've used." I'm still not done looking around the interwebs, but thought now that I had a name I would see if it brings up any fond memories for anybody here. I'll try to attach a frame-grab of a map (still working on my CalTopo chops and haven't got saving/linking/etc figured out yet...). Thanks much for your help.
Dennis
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Re: Advice: Connect PCT to SHR near Twin Lakes (Matterhorn C

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:48 pm

The traverse from Burro to Matterhorn pass is quite easy. Mostly grass ramps. Some fairly easy talus hoping up to the pass. I have the pass written up in the cross country pass section:

Matterhorn Pass / Col
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Re: Advice: Connect PCT to SHR near Twin Lakes (Matterhorn C

Postby Stanley Otter » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:53 pm

Rogue,
Sweet! Thank you *very* much.
Dennis
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Re: Advice: Connect PCT to SHR near Twin Lakes (Matterhorn C

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:58 pm

Don't forget that the cross country pass section is there. I was in the mountains when you first posted this so I never saw it but that pass write up has been there since late 2013.
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