McCabe Pass

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oldranger
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McCabe Pass

Post by oldranger » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:38 pm

TITLE: McCabe Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: Connects upper 20 Lakes Basin and Upper McCabe Lake.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2

LOCATION: Yosemite National Park. HST Map

ELEVATION: ~11k ft

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Dunderberg Peak, Ca

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: Lots of people take this pass to get from Saddlebag Lake to the McCabes. I have never been there without seeing people make it much harder than it is. I think many people take the old mining road to the south end of Steelhead lake then work their way up to the east side of Cascade lake and then head north up to Secret Lake just below the saddle that is McCabe Pass. I much prefer to follow the road all the way to the North end of Steelhead Lake and follow it to the 3rd switchback before working my way up to the broad slope between Cascade Lake and Hidden Lake. But here is the real crux. Go to the sw corner of Secret lake and look for the ducks and follow them religiously! If you do so you will work your way to the top of the ridge and not have to use your hands at all. Pay attention to where you attain the ridge because it is hard to find that point on return. At the top you will turn right (n) to the saddle where there is an old bent up park boundary sign. At that point look for a user trail zigzagging down to the west before turning n. into a gulley that heads down to the broad saddle that separates the ne corner of upper McCabe with the broad valley to the sw of Shepherd Crest.

Most people tend to work their way farther s. than the ducked route. That is ok. But then they try to go down directly to the lake and that makes it much more difficult. Watched people take 2 hours of dicey down climbing and steep snow to make it down to the lake. Believe me it is much easier to head north until you get to the lowest point before the ridge rises to Shepard Crest before dropping down.

From the west just do the reverse. but if it is your first time finding the one easy route down to hidden lake can be difficult.

PHOTOS:
1st switchback.jpg
headwall.jpg
Stay on route!.jpg
View west.jpg
Park entrance sign.jpg
Loking for trail down w. side.jpg
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Last edited by ERIC on Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!






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austex
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Re: McCabe Pass

Post by austex » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:23 pm

Mike 2 yrs ago I day hiked to Upper McCabe from Steelhead. From Cascade I went to Secret. Didn't see too many if any ducks at all; but spied the pass. Contoured over/up to it. Got to the notch; *don't recall a NP sign* looked down to the lake and picked a way down to the jut out just N or the large rock in the water. Messy but made it. Quickest way is a straight line? NOW looking to return there was no way w/o a rope to get back the same way. I looked towards the North and saw a few use trails to get back up to the ridge. WRONG in so many encounters. Either dead end or cliffed out.Wasted time and persistence paid off; I made it to the wall and just hugged it hoping not to cliff out again. Made it to the notch and made it back to camp just as it got dark. Next time immediately at the notch turn right and hug the wall down to the north end of Mc Cabe...A real eye-opener for me. Make educated/smart decisions and all will be good.

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oldranger
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Re: McCabe Pass

Post by oldranger » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:38 pm

The hardest part of the route is in the gulley that you work your way down and over to on the west side are a couple 3 foot or so step downs or ups depending on the direction you are going. No cliffs. I've read accounts of people roping up and down packs. Honestly all I need are my hiking poles when on route. I'm sure Markskor will confirm.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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