Nancy Pass

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alpinemike
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Nancy Pass

Post by alpinemike » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:01 pm

TITLE: Nancy Pass

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This pass leads from Superior Lake to the basin South of Deadhorse Pass along the Sierra High Route.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: Class 2-3

LOCATION: In the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest. To the Northwest of Superior Lake and along the ridge of Red top Mountain. HST Map

ELEVATION: 10,200

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Ritter

ROUTE DESCRIPTION: I know that there is a good deal of debate surrounding the location of Nancy Pass. I have seen multiple routes, some of which utilized the route I took and others that didn't. I did not find the plaque on top of the pass that is dedicated to Nancy. So that likely means my route is not considered the most standard one. My initial guess is the proper chute and pass is further Northwest along the ridge. This route to me looked steeper and more brushy than the one I took. But my route did involve some mild Class 3 climbing and route finding. I left Superior Lake and no more than a quarter mile decided to head up to the ridge. There was plenty of brush but it wasn't thick. Eventually it all gave way to ledges and quite a few cliffs. I avoided the cliffs and went further West until I picked my way through many Class 3 ledges and rock. Eventually it leveled out and the route was Class 2 talus to the top.

The North side is far more straightforward for my route as I went down the steep talus only a little ways and angled Northwest to keep as much elevation as possible. This is suggested by Roper and is highly useful unless your goal is to drop down to the meadows and not try and climb up to Deadhorse Pass and subsequently continue along the Sierra High Route. The initial drop off the pass is steep and definitely has loose rock, some of which is very large talus. But it quickly mellows out and you'l be walking along granite ledges and into a forest on your way to Deadhorse Pass.
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