Shepherd Pass trail

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phenocryst
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Shepherd Pass trail

Post by phenocryst » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:33 am

We crossed Shepherd pass Monday of last week and returned yesterday. Several items of note:

The snowfield at the top of the pass is not too wide and is easily crossed, with deep, solid steps. It is exposed and the runout isn't pretty. We had hiking sticks and were glad we did. The trail is beginning to melt out and will probably be exposed soon.

The only water between Mahogany Flat and Symmes creek is in the westernmost of the 3 drainages shown on the 15 min quad/John Muir SEKI map. The next drainage east, at the low point, was completely dry.

On Sunday afternoon there was a big hailstorm over the ridge where the trail crosses between Symmes and Shepherd creeks. The trail had been in beautiful shape on the way up but it isn't anymore. There is one moderate size washout and lots of smaller-scale erosion and deposition on the south side. On the north side there are many washouts including a larger one affecting about 7 switchbacks, with lots of rocks and debris on the tread. Nothing that impedes travel in any serious way... but an already "interminable ordeal" just got worse.

My photos aren't very good but I will include a couple to give the general flavor.








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maverick
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Shepherd Pass Trail Update 7/23

Post by maverick » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:52 pm

Carolyn Ann Lynch on SNCC-TPP wrote:
The damage we saw Monday is nowhere near as severe as the big gully below Anvil Camp from a few years ago, but it is widespread. The biggest washout on the northern side of the ridge affected at least 7 switchbacks and there were many smaller washouts and lots of debris and erosion in the tread. We were he first ones through on the north side and did not have any serious difficulty, but it was slow going. Too bad, a week ago the trail was in great shape.

Shepherd Pass trail, both sides of the ridge separating Symmes and Shepherd creeks, after a thunderstorm Sunday afternoon:
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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JayOtheMountains
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Re: Shepherd Pass trail

Post by JayOtheMountains » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:38 am

That's a bummer; but also great to get an update. I was going to ask about conditions and would love to hear reports. I have a permit for the first week in Sep. I'm assuming that there will be some use trails coming into existence between now and then.

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phenocryst
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Re: Shepherd Pass trail

Post by phenocryst » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:07 am

Don’t worry, it isn’t that bad. For me, Shepherd pass is such an ordeal that it was comforting to recall that the initial section would be a nice, well-graded, smooth track, just one foot in front of the other… and, mostly, it still is. Just thought it would be good to give a heads up, especially since a lot of people start the hike in the dark.

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