Emerald Pass (unofficial) | High Sierra Topix  

Emerald Pass (unofficial)

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Emerald Pass (unofficial)

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:27 pm

I named this pass Emerald due to it's proximity to Emerald Peak and because of the green colored lake at the bottom of it's Western side.

TITLE: Emerald Pass (unofficial)

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads between the basin East of Emerald Peak and a mini basin on the Western wall of Mcgee Canyon.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: East side is class 2. West side is intermixed class 3.

LOCATION: Kings Canyon National Park / East of Emerald Peak / South of Evolution Valley / On the South ridge of Peak 11,751. (National Geographical maps list this peak incorrectly as 10,751) HST Map

ELEVATION: 11,370

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mount Henry

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: If traveling West the pass is best to go directly up from it's base any way you can. I began angling up towards the pass on the Northern side of the lake but it makes you travel across some small talus fields that is just unnecessary.

This route is extremely intermixed class 3 terrain. From large blocks to small scree. Steep and intermixed with small trees. I do not recommend it to anyone that is not experienced and comfortable on unstable class 3 terrain

The saddle of the pass is large and easy to navigate however the best route down is questionable. I began to the right (North West) until some large rocks leading up the saddle to the North are in the way. Angle downward into a narrow steep and loose chute (about two feet wide). Turn left and hop over a large boulder. Angle down and turn right. Go down a large slab of rock. Angle up to your right until you reach a steep loose scree ridden chute. Carefully cross this to the cliff wall in front of you. Angle slightly down the chute until it is possible to skirt the cliff face to your right. Make a couple more class 3 rock descents until your on the consistent slope below. This may seem like a relief at this point until you realize that this talus field is too small to be talus and too large to be scree. It's perfectly mixed between completely unstable and stable. Basically every step is extremely uneasy as you never know when the rocks are going to give or not.

Other thoughts:

After taking this route down I examined the pass from below for a better route. Slightly further South of the route I took is a mix of rock that may offer an easy class 3 route up. The validity of this is unknown at this time without further exploration of the area.

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RoguePhotonic
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