McDonald Pass

Member descriptions, photos, and map locations of Cross Country Passes in the High Sierra. This forum is for information only - discussions should be kept in the appropriate categories.
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Stanley Otter
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Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:44 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: Flat Land (a.k.a. Northeast Wisconsin)

McDonald Pass

Post by Stanley Otter » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:56 pm

GENERAL OVERVIEW: Leads between the upper north fork of Iron Creek and the upper portion of Dike Creek
LOCATION: Sierra National Forest/Ansel Adams Wilderness HST Map
ELEVATION: 10560 feet
USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt Ritter, CA
ROUTE DESCRIPTION: I crossed from west to east in mid-July 2018 -- winter 2017-18 had lower than average snowfall. The greatest challenge coming from the west is the climb up from Dike Creek -- it is 1250 feet of steepness along the stream that empties the basin above. First through meadows and then more rocky terrain. Near the lip of the basin there is a notch to follow on the left/north side of the stream, parts of which are like climbing one extension ladder after another -- Class 2 scrambling in my book. From the basin it looks as though there are two options to go over the pass, one left/north and the other right/south. I took the south option, which put me on a descent path that looked significantly less steep than the north route. During the final stage of the ascent I made use of a snowfield (out of frame to the right in the first photo below) to make relatively rapid progress and then crossed a shallow sloped boulder field to the top -- easy Class 2 hiking. The upper portion of the east side is somewhat steeper with a short stretch of loose gravel right at the top followed by fractured slabs and stable talus lower down. Straightforward Class 2 hiking all the way down. Hope this helps.
McDonald Pass A.jpg
McDonald Pass B.jpg
McDonald Pass C.jpg
McDonald Pass D.jpg
McDonald Pass E.jpg
Dike Creek.jpg
Minarets A.jpg
Minarets B.jpg
Iron Creek.jpg
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