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Trip Advice: Shepherd Pass and Mount Tyndall

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Trip Advice: Shepherd Pass and Mount Tyndall

Postby papercup » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:22 am

Hello all,

I am considering a trip to climb Mount Tyndall in early September.

Our group is likely to consist of five people. Three of us are Level 3 hikers, two of us are Level 2. Class 2 terrain is generally the goal here. Main interest is high country scenery and a physical challenge-- we want to knock out one of the tough east-side passes and climb a new (for us) 14er. We have a three-day weekend to get this done, so three nights and two days. There is a good chance that we won't be able to get our permit in advance, so will have to pick it up the morning of day 1 and won't be able to get an early start. All five of us are young and fairly athletic, but there is some variation in current levels of physical fitness among the group. None of us have ever hiked any part of this particular route. All have hiked at altitude, but not all have been above 13k.

My general plan is to spend day 1 getting as far up Shepherd Pass as possible. If we make it all the way up, great, but I think more realistically we're likely to camp partway up, somewhere between Mahogany Flats and the Pothole. Day 2 we will finish off Shepherd Pass and climb Mount Tyndall via whatever looks like the easiest route-- that appears to be the northwest slopes from what I've read. Day 3 we will hike out.

I have done a bunch of reading about this region, but still have a few areas where I'd love some advice from the more experienced folks here.

First: Any recommendations for a campsite on our second night? I would love to camp somewhere with really majestic views. It looks like that shouldn't be a problem in this region-- is it reasonable to just plan to camp somewhere north of Mount Tyndall, between Shepherd Pass and the JMT, and assume that we'll be able to find water and views easily enough?

Second: Can anyone give me some thoughts as to the feasibility of a slightly more aggressive day two, in which we drop our packs, ascend Mount Tyndall, descend to our packs, then go across Rockwell Pass to camp in the Wright Lakes Basin? Rockwell Pass looks fairly straightforward on topos and photos that I've seen, but I'd love any insight here. Is it possible to climb Rockwell Pass, drop our packs on the top of the pass, and follow the ridge to Tyndall (looks questionable on topos)? Would it make sense to go to Wright Lakes first and then ascend Tyndall from the south (I understand that this involves an awful lot of fairly steep talus)?

Third: Any other advice on this area-- things we should watch out for, things we should do differently or try to see?

Ultimately, what we will do is get to the top of Shepherd Pass, check out the area, and then make a plan that seems reasonable given the terrain and our condition. But any advance insight would be helpful. Thanks!



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Re: Trip Advice: Shepherd Pass and Mount Tyndall

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:53 am

Hi Papercup,

Use the "search" feature in this section and the "backpacking" section, you will find
a lot of TR's, info on routes, and places to stay.
Things to keep in mind before you do this trip, not everyone in you group may
be able to handle the steepness of Shepherd or the elevation of Tyndall without
suffering from AMS.
Getting a late start on an eastern treadmill is not a good idea, it gets hot very
quickly and can sap your energy no matter how fit you are unless you are
fortunate enough to live and train in the mountains.
Also there has been a lot of damage reported to the trail by HST members after the
recent storms that you should take into consideration, it will slow your group down
even more.
Go with a solid plan, climbing route, and bail plans. Do not go with the summit at
all cost mentality, and back off if anyone in your group feels uncomfortable.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: Trip Advice: Shepherd Pass and Mount Tyndall

Postby papercup » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:39 pm

Thanks Maverick. Given the mixed ability and fitness of the group, we may end up going with a more leisurely Kearsarge Pass / Glen Pass / Rae Lakes out and back. Will have to ruminate on it for the next month or so.
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Re: Trip Advice: Shepherd Pass and Mount Tyndall

Postby KathyW » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:26 am

The north rib of Tyndall is generally considered the easiest route.

If it's a warm day, start very early up the Shepherd Pass Trail. It is not reasonable for the Forest Service or the National Park System to have you wait until the office opens to pick up a permit when the weather is warm on trail like the Shepherd Pass Trail. If you do not mention that you are going into the National Park, you can call in a request for the permit to be left in a night box a couple days before your trip.
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