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TR -- Shepard's Delight

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TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby quentinc » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:33 pm

Masochistic as it may sound, Shepard's Pass is by far my favorite entry trail in the Sierra, and I just spent 8 days relishing what lays over the pass.

Day 1: Over Shepard's Pass to a small lake a mile or two west.

Day 2: Over "Wright's Pass," into Wrights Lake Basin, explored lake basins on either side of Mt. Barnard

Day 3: Climbed Mt. Barnard, cross-country over to Wales Lake

Day 4: Epic day hike somehow ending up on the top of Mt. Russell, returning to camp by moonlight at 9 pm

Day 5: Back up through Wrights Basin, camped by Diamond Mesa

Day 6: Upper Kern Basin, lake just west of Lake South America; received inhalation therapy from the smoke in the late afternoon

Day 7: Continued exploring Upper Kern, made the mistake of taking the Kern cut-off trail back to Diamond Mesa area. Endless zigzags, needless up and down, needless steepness heading in the wrong direction, need I go on? (memo to self: this is why you hike cross-country.)

Day 8: Back to car, loved every inch of the 500 foot climb on the way "down."

I discovered Wales Lake on a side trip from a group hike of the HST in July, and vowed to return. This is why.

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The sign at Shepard's Pass always cracks me up. Damn, foiled again!

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Wright's Lakes basin is unusual in that lakes are just spread out seemingly at random in a huge meadow.

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This is in the bowl/cirque formed by Mts. Tyndall, Tommy Trojan and Barnard.

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Looking towards the Kaweahs

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Russell and Whitney, as seen from near the top of Mt. Barnard

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Mt. Barnard is Class 1, but my natural instinct would have been to go up this way.

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Wallace and Wales Lakes from the top of Barnard

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Ancient civilization, discovered near summit of Barnard

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Blessed with an instinctive skill for route finding, this was part of my x-country route to Wales Lake

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Mt. Hale, over Wales Lake

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These were the only clouds (as opposed to smoke) in the entire 8 days, but they were sweet

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On my way to Mt. Russell, and more evidence of my knack for route-finding

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So I go up this, only to discover there's a real cliff on the other side, and I have to come halfway down and traverse to a saner crossing point

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Finally made it to Tulainyo Lake, the highest lake in the continental U.S. and the hardest to spell. Notice how blue the sky is.

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Oh boy, my kind of route! This is the only way to the Russell-Carillon saddle. Believe it or not, it's Class 2, although I naturally discovered a Class 3 route instead.

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The beast lies just ahead to the right

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One heck of a sliding board

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Just like climbing stairs

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But don't look back

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I considered being terrified, but then figured, "what's the point?"

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What's left of me, on top of Russell. Smoke in background is from my central nervous system.

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My feet after discharge from the hospital the next morning. I've been wearing the same boots the whole summer, what's with this?

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In Upper Kern Basin, smoke in background.

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I know the Great Western Divide is there somewhere

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I got to witness the creation of the universe

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So it was slightly clearer the next day

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I'd be willing to spend the rest of my life here (side canyon from the Kern basin)

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Rest of the photos are here: Image



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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:46 pm

Very cool Q, I was wondering where you were headed since yo mentioned it in the
"Favorite Meadow" thread.
Wales, and the Wright Lakes area has a lot to offer scenery wise.
Like the views from Barnard, and the expert tape job!
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby balzaccom » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:08 pm

Really lovely photos. Thanks for posting them...and your comments as well!
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby quentinc » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:10 pm

Thanks folks. I was originally going to head down to Junction Meadow, up the Kern-Kaweah (going through Gallats Meadow, which was mentioned on the other thread) and back into the Upper Kern via Milestone Pass, but the smoke deterred me.

Duct tape is a miracle! My toes were a bloody mess and hurt so much I could barely get to sleep, but with the duct tape I was as good as new (relatively speaking) the next morning.
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby gary c. » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:26 pm

Awesome country and great pictures, thanks for posting them.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby windknot » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:34 pm

Great shots, thanks for the report. The smoke gives some of your photographs an ethereal quality which I'm partial to, and I especially like the shot of the taped foot (reminds me of similar job I did earlier this summer).
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby Cross Country » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:06 pm

I went over Shepard twice with my wife, each time with an additional friend. We really found that entry pleasent. Oh, did I mention that each time we took horses to Anvil Camp.
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby mokelumnekid » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:29 am

Great shot of ridge to Russell- great shots over all. Super trip!
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby Ozark Flip » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:31 am

That is a very neat area. I believe what you refer to as Wright's Pass is actually Rockwell Pass (where the tornado was spotted). Wallace and Wales are about as good as it gets IMHO. Thanks for the pictures.
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby copeg » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:46 am

Thanks for posting! Those photos from Russell make my gut churn
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:56 pm

You will want to go back to Wales and Wallace Lakes earlier in the season. In spite of potential for mosquitoes, the wildflowers here are fantastic. I also camped (in my bivy sack) exactly at the outlet of Wales Lake- it was windy and wonderful, views both directions. Wales will always be one of my favorite Sierra lakes.
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Re: TR -- Shepard's Delight

Postby Rockstar fisherman » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:41 pm

Excellent report and beautiful pictures. I don't even know where to begin complimenting, love the pics of climbing Mt. Russel, Tulainyo Lake, and Wales Lake. I never cared to ever visit Wales cuz as I understand it's fishless but, I may have to just for the scenery, Tulainyo is on my list for sure because it's setting is so dramatic and beautiful. Thanks for taking us along.

Mike
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