Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by Jimr » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:08 am

My favorite is Finger Col.
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I'm not much of a peak bagger, but I LOVE passes.
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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:40 pm

The worst passes are those that you go over once and are glad to be alive and hope to never go over them again - unsafe passes that you can die on. Loose large talus is at the top of my list. As is unstable steep snow. Snow Tongue, Skypilot Col, Pyra Queen, Sluggo and White Bear.

The best passes are spectacular, safe, great exposure made safe with good trail construction or nature's construction - cleaver ledges through seemingly impossible terrain. The pass to Whitney (sorry can't remember its name- trailcrest??), Keweah Gap (west side tunnel is cool), Thunderbolt Pass (cleaver ledges on south side) and spectacular view of Palisades.

Passes that I simply did not like due to miserable loose rock, scree or sand (but relatively safe) - Longley, Nancy, Sawtooth, Pants Pass, Gabbot, Avalanche (false summits)

Passes that I simply like - Taboose, Kesearge, Elizabeth, Italy

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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by East Side Hiker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Tom's previous note:

I call the pass above Virginia Lakes "Frog Lakes Pass." By the little ice-fed lake that's behind the pass, there's an incredibly beautiful population of Saxifraga tolmiei, surrounded by shooting stars.

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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by John Dittli » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:53 am

Never met a pass I didn't like...
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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by Herm » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:17 am

jdunne wrote:Re: Tom's previous note:

I call the pass above Virginia Lakes "Frog Lakes Pass." By the little ice-fed lake that's behind the pass, there's an incredibly beautiful population of Saxifraga tolmiei, surrounded by shooting stars.
Image
Here is a photo from July 2008 of that little pond just over the pass above Virginia Lakes. Too bad the photo doesn't show the incredible shade of blue from the water. And we saw abundant wildflowers all along that trail. Beautiful country.
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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by balzaccom » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:32 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:

Passes that I simply did not like due to ..., Avalanche (false summits)

I am with you on that one, Daisy!
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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by rlown » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:39 pm

JD: Haekel col.. wow. That's about where i lose clarity on what a pass is vs. a col. For me, a Pass kinda has to have a trail up one side and then down the other side. A col can be a "pass"age, but is it really a pass?

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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by BSquared » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:46 pm

John Dittli wrote:Never met a pass I didn't like...
John, does "North Goddard Pass" go from Martha Lake to (well, "toward") Ionian Basin? And is that the Ionian-Basin side in the photo?
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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by East Side Hiker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:55 pm

Herm - thats the one. Good photo. What a beauty that little lake is, with the ice shelf above it. If I knew how to attach a picture, I have one of the clarity of the blue quality you spoke of.

The Saxafrage and shooting stars are in that little mdw in the lower right hand of your photo. Also, the tiger lilies on the trail up there are awesome.

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Re: Worst - or Best - Pass in the Sierra

Post by East Side Hiker » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:05 pm

New Army Pass is really great, as is the entire Horseshoe area. Many different passes. Kinda reminds me of Mineral King in that regard - big bowl with many passes out. Down in Mineral King, Coyote Pass is another wonderful treasure. Used to be part of my patrol area long ago.

But the best thing about New Army Pass is the walk up to Langley.

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