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Crystal PassCross Country Passes

Class 3 - The upper West side of this pass should be considered high level technical class 3. The upper East side is mid level class 3. If traveling East to West leave Amphitheater Lake on it's SW shore by climbing the only available grass / talus slope. Before you are able to exit this you will have to complete a single class 3 climb. From here begin angling up the easy slabs / talus until your directly under the pass. From here you can pick two basic options. You either have to zig zag up some exposed out sloped granite slabs until you can make the final class 3 blocks to the top or you can pick one or two broken cracks and make a some what vertical ascent.

Once on top an obvious route down is not visible nor is there one. Hook hard right and climb along the knife edge ridge of the pass until you find yourself climbing along a 5 inch out crop on the East side of the pass. Shimmey along this rock that will be about waist high until you are blocked by a wall. Climb over the rock your holding onto to get onto the West face. From here you will need to zig zag along this West face which is quite technical and steep so use your best judgement in order to safely make it down. This part of the descent I considered to be the most difficult. Once off the technical faces it will be obvious that you need to pick up some use trails in the sand below. Before you get to them however use allot of caution on these sections of rock. They are covered in sand and are quite slippery. - RoguePhotonic 15 Dec 2013 08:27 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

MIdway PassCross Country Passes

Class 2-3 pass/couloir. Climb steep slabs interspersed with sand on the south side of the pass. From the top of the pass, follow the ridge crest northwest to where Cathedral Lake and Midway Lake can be seen to the north. Descend the southwest side of the ridge over rock and sand, then gradually contour around to the north to meet Midway Lake.

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Ritter / Banner SaddleCross Country Passes

Class 2 - Subject to change based on snow and ice conditions. Ice axe and crampons may or may not be required at any given time. From Ediza Lake take the NW branch of Shadow Creek where some of a use trail can be used to take you into the cirque below the pass. The route I took was a bit to the right where I stayed on grassy slopes as long as I could before I had to cross a rather steep and loose scree slope. This is the only time I have ever fallen and spun my body completely 360 sideways in the air before I hit the ground. Kind of comical considering on my way down the snow I tripped and did a full front flip onto my ass on the snow.

When you cross this scree you'll finally reach granite slabs that will take you to the snow slope. Areas of this snow had solid ice sticking out but I never required the use of crampons although I wore them anyway. Nothing here is an issue until you approach the final narrow push to the top. Here the snow was so steep and soft I just had to crawl my way to the top. Allot of caution is needed though as the snow was melted away from the cliff walls and were quite deep drop offs where if you fell you would likely fall into one of these wells and if you were not seriously injured it could still be quite difficult to get out. - RoguePhotonic 19 Dec 2015 04:47 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Confusion PassCross Country Passes

Class 2 pass. Ascend to Rainbow Lake in Blackcap Basin and continue northward to a broken granite bench. Enter a shallow chute or gorge, hoping from block to block to where the chute ends at the southwest corner of Lake Confusion. Follow the western shore of the lake northward over broken talus to Confusion Pass, which is located at the northwest corner of the lake. The descent into Goddard Canyon consist of much steep, loose talus.

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Goat Crest SaddleCross Country Passes

Class 1-2 pass. The South side is walking up grassy terrain to solid soil up to the top. The North side is steeper but is still a mess of grass slopes and granite slabs. The one time I crossed this pass I used an ice axe to glissade down a steep section of snow. - RoguePhotonic 19 Dec 2015 04:24 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Grouse Lake PassCross Country Passes

Class 1-2 pass. If your heading North at about 10,280 there is a well established use trail leaving the main Copper Creek trail which will take you to a meadow. Cross the meadow and follow the drainage up on it's West side where you can resume the use trail to Grouse Lake. Grouse Lake itself can be crossed by either shore line.

The South side of the pass is mostly a class 1 walk up on grass and granite ramps. The North side is a bit more mixed but is still mostly easy terrain with more class 2 than the South side. - RoguePhotonic 19 Dec 2015 04:06 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Thunderbolt ColCross Country Passes

Class 2 pass. This pass is actually quite easy from either side.

Probably the most complex route finding section of this pass involves leaving the upper most lake in Dusy Basin. There is a large section of granite that is a mess of shelves and micro cliffs. Many routes can be taken through it but I think one of the easiest is a large obvious cut the leads up which is mostly grass ramps. You can take this until much higher up and then cut over to the pass. Once on the top of this entire white section of granite will you cross onto the black rock up to the pass. Most of this rock is surprisingly stable. The last most difficult element is just before you reach the top. There are car sized boulders and there are very few options for climbing through them but it should not be difficult to find one of them.

The South side of the pass has a large ramp system that angles down which is quite easy. The crux of it is a steep slab of rock which I simply walk up or down while hugging the cliff wall. Follow most of the drainage route to the upper Barrett Lake. - RoguePhotonic 19 Dec 2015 03:37 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Franklin ColCross Country Passes

Class 2-3 pass. This pass crosses between Franklin Lake at the head of Purple Creek and a branching cirque that contains the primary creek coming from the NE into Tully hole. - RoguePhotonic 19 Dec 2015 02:47 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

East Ferguson Pass (unofficial)Cross Country Passes

Class 3. From both sides of this pass your faced with a bit of a wall before you without an obvious route. If your coming from the SE side you can start by angling up a section of grassy ramps that will lead you into class 3 blocks and shelves. Route finding throughout this area is going to be within a persons own comfort level. Further into the center of the pass I noticed some small narrow shelves that could be zig zagged up but I kept more to the right of the saddle and made my way through a couple difficult class 3 sections.

The NW side of the pass you will begin moving to your right where a great ramp leads down. At one point it will end at a class 3 section of rocks to climb down at which point you just drop down as you please. Lower down there is a number of large patches of willows which can be navigated through quite easy.

If your climbing from Ferguson Creek just stay far to the left until you make your way to the ramp. You might feel intimated of the pass until you find this ramp as it's not visible at all until you reach it.

I found a large number of cairns marking the route. - RoguePhotonic 18 Dec 2015 08:49 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

West Ferguson Pass (unofficial)Cross Country Passes

Class 2. From Ferguson Creek you can begin leaving the canyon through fairly sparse forest and a mix of granite shelves. Route finding through here is not difficult but also not completely straight forward. Approaching the pass itself the route will not be obvious but leave the sparse forest heading to the right of the pass where a larger open area will present itself. There is one major cliff band that has a number of ways that it can be gotten through at which point you'll take what looks best for you. I went straight into it through a very narrow grass ramp which turned into a short section of vertical class 3. From here it's mostly easy grass and slab ramps to the top which is a broad flat saddle.

Dropping down the West side angle far to the left to avoid some cliff bands. You'll find yourself zig zagging through a few cuts through some micro cliffs before you reach obvious locations that will run out to the bottom on easy talus. The easiest one has a mix of willows growing on it. - RoguePhotonic 18 Dec 2015 09:12 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Wanderer Pass (unofficial)Cross Country Passes

Class 2. The East side of this pass is an easy class 1-2 walk up. Move through a mess of slabs and rocks containing grassy terrain to the right and then curve back to the left up easy slopes until you reach the top.

The West side of this pass is much steeper but is still quite easy. Head straight down the slope which will begin to narrow. This slope has allot of small vegetation and rock on soft soil. It will bottle neck you into one narrow point which is steep but still easy to head down. Nearing the bottom you'll begin small talus hoping.

The route between the two lakes here is mostly small but some what loose and tedious talus. On the NE side of the lower lake below Giraud Peak there is a very steep section of grass that can be a bit dangerous although if you wish it can be bypassed by climbing higher.

If you move down into Leconte Canyon stay on the North side of the creek for the entire descent. This is by far the most tedious aspect of this route. At some short sections you'll be in willows above your head and some stinging nettle. - RoguePhotonic 18 Dec 2015 08:24 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Cirque PassCross Country Passes

Class 3 pass. The North Side of this pass has a large ledge system with no obvious way up it. With good route finding skills one can avoid most Class 3 on this side. One can traverse to the Southwest by the outlet stream of Lake 11,676 or further up the shore of the lake to enter the ledges.

The South side of the pass contains lots of rocks slabs and ledges that occasionally have easy Class 3 moves. One passes a tarn on the western side before reaching the descent to the JMT. Descend the western edge of a cliff on a series of ledges. Then you make a gradual descent to the East to bypass a cliff above the JMT. You will enter the JMT just below the lowest Palisade Lake. - alpinemike 29 Sep 2015 03:09 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Lion Rock Pass 2Cross Country Passes

Class 2 pass. If your heading up from Lion Lake's outlet there is an obvious ramp of rock running up at an angle. Follow up this until you come to larger patches of willows. From here It can be tempting to climb straight up but do not. Continue at an angle across the face of rock which maintains class 2. Your goal is to reach an obvious narrow chute. Either take the chute up or to avoid the small loose rock in it climb the rocks on the East side of the chute which can involve some easy class 3. This chute will deposit you directly into the cirque which goes over the pass. Now where the photo is taken below (see linked thread) which is the pass there is a cut off to the right which cannot be seen. This route can also be taken and up to the ridge but involves much more tedious talus and perhaps more hazardous talus as well. Use it only as a connection to doing Lion Rock. - RoguePhotonic 12 Oct 2015 04:24 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Pika PassCross Country Passes

Tedious and difficult Class 2 pass. Leaving Pika Lake you'll begin the ascent on it's North shore at a gentle climb through sparse forest. Slowly the terrain will become more talus covered until your forced to talus hop all the way to the top of the pass on tedious and loose rock. At the top immediately very narrow and quite steep sections of terrain have to be taken. Some of it border lines becoming class 3. From here it's a long extremely tedious and loose scramble to the bottom. When enough distance is put between you and the pass you are left with the thought of "I came down that!?". - RoguePhotonic 12 Dec 2015 10:41 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Gunsight PassCross Country Passes

Class 2 pass. If moving West to East go around the Hockey Lakes on their North shores. This involves allot of talus hoping on the final lake. Take the slabs of rock and cross the talus pile on it's shortest section on the left aiming straight up at the slabs of rocks. Hidden in this area is many grassy ramps of terrain that allow you to bypass allot of nasty talus hoping. hug the rock faces alternating between hidden grass ramps and some talus hoping. The last push to the pass is a cut that also has plenty of grass.

The East side of the pass is a mess of some what steep granite slabs lined with some loose small rock. You just have to zig zag your way through the best you can until it's much easier to either drop into Goddard Canyon or make the easy traverse to Lake Confusion. - RoguePhotonic 12 Dec 2015 10:09 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Alpine PassCross Country Passes

Class 2 pass. From Alpine Creek most any route can be taken up. I aimed for some slabs of rock to avoid more talus hoping for as long as I could. Once near and on the top you will have to talus hop continuously around the SE side of Tunemah Lake. - RoguePhotonic 19 Dec 2015 03:05 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Valor PassCross Country Passes

Class 2-3 pass. From Blackcap Basin ascend to Ambition Lake and make the steep ascent to the cirque that hold Valor Lake. Steep talus leads to the surprisingly flat summit of the pass. Descend the northeast side of the pass by first going east and then north to Martha Lake. - MichaelRPetrick 04 Feb 2016 12:46 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016

Isosceles PassCross Country Passes

Class 3 pass. From the Dusy Basin side start by climbing a steep narrow hillside on it's left side which will quickly turn into tedious talus hoping as it takes you up and then curves to the right to the pass itself. When you reach the base of the pass most of it is lined by a small cliff. I went straight into it crossing a small ice field where a narrow section of slope could be taken up. This involved vertical class 3 blocks that requires hugging rocks on small narrow ledges.

The South side is much easier with if any small easy bits of Class 3. Aim slightly to the South West and then move down and South East to reach an easy run out slope to the small lake below.- RoguePhotonic 12 Dec 2015 09:44 pm

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ERIC 02-20 -2016

Recess PassCross Country Passes

West side of the Pass is Class 1, east side is Class 2. At the very top of the east side hands are useful for balance. Approaching from the West, leave the JMT where it intersects with the Bear Ridge Trail and continue cross country trending ESE until turning NE abeam the 10400 contour line. There is very little in the way of landmarks to use for navigation until making the turn NE, where the forest gives way to some clearings and the Mono Divide and Recess Peak become visible. There is a use trail that follows this route, but seems to be sporadic. Once the Mono Divide is in view, begin the final ascent by heading for point 12,188 through the trees. This keeps the route north of steep/loose/cliff terrain. Once at the top of the tree line (about 11,500') head for the mid point between Recess Peak and point 12,188. The Pass is not readily identifiable approaching from this direction. However, once in the general location of the Pass, there is only one obvious way down into the First Recess that is Class 2. - BufordT 13 Oct 2015 01:28 am

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ERIC 02-20 -2016

Kid Pass (unofficial)Cross Country Passes

Class 2. To obtain the North side of this pass one heads up to the highest Glacier Lake as they would if they were heading for Goat Crest Saddle. Once at the Northern shore of the lake one travels Eastward up a forested steep slope until one reaches granite shelves. From there you traverse South towards a small tarn nestled in a small bowl below Kid Pass. Kid Pass will be directly above the tarn and very obvious.

The South side of this pass follows the short ridge-line that extends to the Southeast from the pass around the small lake directly below the pass. From there one follows grassy slopes down a short ledge system to a a small meadow. This meadow is directly North of the next highest Kid Lake. From there the route finding is tricky around micro-cliffs with lots of options but if one stays further to the West one should find a Class 2 route. You get dropped off directly below and East of this next highest Kid Lake. It is a short but beautiful detour to check it out from here. One follows down the drainage to find the next Kid Lake. - alpinemike 30 Aug 2015 12:10 pm

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ERIC 02-21 -2016