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Favorite/Least Favorite Passes?

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Postby maverick » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:13 pm

I went over Snow Tongue Pass above Wahoo Lakes and went
down to Lake 11092, then on to the small ponds west and over the
shoulder to the next basin that has some small lakes and Lake
11236 in its upper region. This basin is really nice with good views
towards the Evolution Valley area, saw no traces of human traffic.
Glacier Divide Pass (class 2) is above the last lake above Lake 11236.
The lakes on the other side of the pass are also worth visiting, from
here I descended the creek to Piute Creek, I stayed on the western side
of the creek while descending .
That year was a low precipe year so I found a crossing a little up
the creek near the treeline.
I also checked out the Lobe Lakes area on this trip, which are also
quite pretty an worth the visit.
I had been to Packsaddle Lake and PL pass on a previous visit to
the area.
To me the highlight of the trip was the Lake 11236 basin, which might
be worth a revisit in the futher with my new camera gear!

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Postby TonyC » Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:37 pm

I only have two to choose from, but my recent hike to Kearsarge Pass was one of my best hikes ever, so it wins easily over Morgan Pass, which was very anticlimatic after hiking through the beauitiful Little Lakes Valley.

I'm glad to hear there are so many more amazing ones out there that perhaps I will see someday.
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Postby SPeacock » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:14 pm

Shepherd Pass is the most spectacular in early Summer. Its the trail from the first ridge on (including the slight dip in the trail) until Anvil is the best part. Early snow melt allow tumbling waterfalls off from the granite on your left and Williamson does a slow strip tease as you labor up the trail. It is a great (!) day hike up to Anvil.

The trail going between BearPaw Meadows and Kaweah Gap - that counts as a pass, right?

The south to north route over Forester Pass - especially the grandeur unfolding from the top going north down toward Vidette Meadows.

There are many others, but they don't have trails.
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Postby BigPsycheDadee » Sat Sep 22, 2007 4:30 pm

My first pass was Shepard Pass, I like going from hot desert to stark alpine in less than 24 hours.

New Army Pass is very nice. Very imposing appearance, great views - but not all that difficult.
A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.
To win without risk is a triumph without glory.
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Postby gcj » Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:07 pm

The worst for me has to be Harrison Pass... getting to the top was simple and easy from the south, but that north side... :eek: It could be, though that I was just inexperienced with that kind of mixed ice, snow and steep rock. Actually, some better route-finding would have been beneficial. Many great views, though. The Ericcson Crags and the Mount Brewer group were outstanding.
It's hard to choose a favorite; I enjoyed them all for various reasons (even Harrison was mostly great). The one that pops into my head first, though, is Colby Pass. It was one of my earliest passes and I remember the excitement and anticipation of kick-stepping my way up the northwest side through late season snow. The view from the top, especially of the Kaweahs, was truly unforgettable.
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Taboose is Taboo

Postby asabat » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:36 am

I consider Taboose my least favorite. For what I would consider a primary route, it is miserable - 6,000 feet gain in 7 miles, which consists of soft sand at the bottom and loose football-sized rock at the top.

I've seen worse conditions, but those were lesser-used paths and crosscountry routes. For a trail, Taboose is taboo. Maybe because each time I've been on it the weather has been less than favorable as well.
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Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:37 pm

I thought I would add to this late topic, heh...

X-C passes are a different kind of beast, so I will stay with trail passes.
Bad passes:
Any of the east side passes that compell you to gain ~6000 feet is a hard day of hiking.
Of the non-east-side passes, Black Rock pass is a lot of toil and work, but the view makes up for it. Sawtooth Pass is just crap on the west side, but again, the views are nice. Goodale Pass is pretty average for the work. But the "worst" is probably Pinchot Pass: rather "OK" views from the top and an ugly reroute through endless gardens of rock on the south side. A good trail to leave and go x-c east down the valley along the meadows or south to visit lakes.

The best pass? Perhaps Mather Pass
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favorite Pass

Postby don norton » Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:35 am

Having recently completed the JMT I would have to say Glenn Pass it is not the tallest but the view is somethng that the other just don't measure up to.
Does the Golden Stair Case count since it is on the way to a pass too many switchbacks all one thinks about while climbing will I ever get to the top :)
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Postby maverick » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:29 pm

Hi Don

Was this your first time doing the JMT? If yes, which parts appealed
to you the most?
Whoops, just noticed your JMT trip report, but my question stlll stands.
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Postby MooseTracks » Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:40 pm

I may be quite nutbar, but I actually loved Shepherd's Pass. Spectacular views all the way, and even though the 600ft drop is a b@#$%, I was just sucked into the beauty of it.

Two I went over this summer that I didn't see mentioned were Elizabeth Pass and Colby Pass, deep in the heart of SEKI. From the south Elizabeth is a 4K slog in 4 miles, but when you see Deadman Canyon yawning beneath you like a giant vert-ramp, the work becomes worth it. Colby is also one hell of a slog on the east side (which is why I came down there instead of up!), but the fishing in Colby Lake was the bomb!

-L :cool:
"Why do I climb? Quite simply because the mountains and I had to meet." - Colette Richard

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