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Wanda Pass

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Wanda Pass

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:09 pm

GENERAL OVERVIEW: Wanda Pass takes you from Lake 11,592 in the Ionian Basin to Wanda Lake in the Evolution Basin.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2+. This pass is challenging.

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park HST Map

ELEVATION: 12,640+

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Goddard

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: Going north, head around the east side of Lake 11,592. While the pass may look like a shear wall from the lake, there are ramps on the west side of the face. Make your way to the foot of the ramps, crossing some use trails, meadows, boulder fields…the usual. They start about 3/4 of the way up the pass from the lake. Look for the place where a ramp goes in each direction.

HST WP 001.JPG
Wanda Pass from the South


The ramp that heads west initially looks harder than it is. The ramp swings into a small cirque where you’ll have to backtrack onto ledges and possibly makes some class 3 moves to get to the low part of the pass.

Alternately, take the ramp that goes east toward the center of the pass. That is a steady class 2+ clamber, but doable. At the top, the ramp hangs a left, right to the low part of the pass.

HST WP 002.JPG
The central ramp, with a hiker


Heading down this side, find the low part of the pass and walk the plank toward the edge of the cliffs. The ramp dropping to the right should become visible.

I can’t envision what this side of the pass would be like in heavy snow.

There is a talus chute on the east side of the pass. If loose scree and talus is your thing, this can work. But there were large rocks moving when I dropped down this chute without a pack. I had to take my time down-climbing because there was so much movement.

The north side of the pass is relentless class 2 boulder-hopping. There are a lot of angled granite blocks that are walkable, but sometimes they dead-ended. It was pretty frustrating. If there is heavy snow, that would be useful. Thin snow could be a disaster. Make sure you bear left to avoid the cliff bands beneath the pass.

Heading up the north side from Wanda Lake, the pass is up the slope that goes up toward Peak 12,975, then goes to the left over the cliffs. It’s not the saddle to the right, which goes into Davis Lakes Basin.

HST WP 003.JPG
Wanda Pass from the North


Secor and other sources talk about walking the west side of Wanda Lake to get to the pass, presumably rather than walking the south side of the lake. I believe this is because there is usually a steep snowfield that drops into the lake. The walk around the west side of Wanda Lake is a long slog through talus fields. If the south side is available, it might be a better option.
Last edited by ERIC on Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: minor edits



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ManOfTooManySports
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Re: Wanda Pass

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:05 am

If one is traveling from Lake 11,837 on your way to Wanda Pass you will probably be tempted to take an easy slope down to Lake 11,582 from the outlet of Lake 11,837. Instead cross the outlet and begin up easy class 2 slopes in a North by North Western direction. From here you will realize you can follow up easy slopes slowly gaining your way to Wanda Pass. This avoids any altitude loss to the lower lake.
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Re: Wanda Pass

Postby Cheetahwoka » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:37 am

If you ascend the pass from Wanda Lake, and arrive at the top of Wanda Pass, you are immediately gazing SSE, down one of the most spectacular views anywhere in the Sierra. It's a straight shot down the Enchanted Gorge, framed by the gnarly Three Sirens, Charybdis, and Scylla, across Ionian Basin. This eye-full is one of the wildest, most rugged, and least travelled places in the high Sierra, and is a rich reward after the 1,000' slog up from Wanda Lake.

DSCF1827.JPG
View (zoomed) S from Wanda Pass
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Re: Wanda Pass

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:46 pm

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: The North side of the pass is mostly stable rock yet you should remain cautious as to where you place your feet. I was proceeding down when I placed my foot onto a rock and it gave way beneath me with such ease that I might as well have stepped into air. I fell violently down yet landed on my feet. I was fortunate enough to land perfectly where absolutely nothing happened however it could have gone different.

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