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#46261 - 05/16/16 12:18 PM Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 13
Loc: Encinitas, CA
Some friends and I are planning on attempting Mt. Williamson via Shepherds Pass/Williamson Bowl/West Face on Memorial Day weekend. Does anyone have any beta on the conditions up there, particularly past Anvil Camp? I imagine there will be quite a bit of snow (we are planning on bringing crampons and ice axes) but any info from someone who has been up there recently would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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#46262 - 05/16/16 12:23 PM Re: Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Expect snow level at around 11,000'

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#46263 - 05/16/16 01:48 PM Re: Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
Sierra Angler Offline


Registered: 05/10/13
Posts: 72
Loc: Lake Tahoe California
At this time of year ,the Pass itself can have a small cornice or steep ice wall covering the trail/switch backs at the summit pass notch. To slip there is very bad. However, Have fun ! GST

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#46264 - 05/16/16 02:16 PM Re: Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions [Re: Sierra Angler]
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 13
Loc: Encinitas, CA
Thanks! That's what I am worried about, if anyone has been up there in the last week or two, I would love to know what the snow conditions on the pass itself are.

Edit: Also, if we don't get stopped by a cornice at the pass, would snowshoes be beneficial for crossing the Williamson Bowl? Or would they just be unnecessary weight to drag up the mountain?


Edited by Encinitas_Guy (05/16/16 02:54 PM)

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#46266 - 05/16/16 04:00 PM Re: Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Shepherd Pass is just south of Forrester Pass...

This posted on FB by Elevation Sierra Adventure Essentials   Website: Sierra Elevation

Quote:
Mountain Education Crew are out there again with snow conditions

"Current snow/trail conditions Forester Pass May 14th:

Snowline north of Cottonwood Pass sits at 10,000 feet with 1-5 feet where able to see the ground. The snow is hard and consolidated before 10 or 11am, but after that horrible postholing occurs!

Carry crampons as the trail over the snow has not been set and a self-arrest pole for slip and falls!

Sun is warm and very bright while nights are as low as 18. Dark glasses and sunscreen are a must!

Trail across Forester was lost in recent storms, but re-cut yesterday!"

Thanks Ned




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#46269 - 05/16/16 06:12 PM Re: Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
Sierra Angler Offline


Registered: 05/10/13
Posts: 72
Loc: Lake Tahoe California
Encinitas_Guy,I would bring at least one set of small light weight snow shoes for the beyond the pass area . The snow is very deep there and layered .It can be post hole / slogging in the morning on Break Able Thick Crust- as no one has packed a trail Up there yet and Once the sun hits it for 3/4 hours it can be " Bottomless " . Take one set/pair and Spit the snowshoes up in the group,with one for 2 people each . Then when you Finally get your Butts over the Shepard Pass Notch , one person can use the snowshoes first to pack a trail for the group across the Hugh bowl ...... otherwise this section is" Animal Post Holing time " ...if you have no shoes . Trade tasks as necessary Energy fails the leader. Some times we bring a 9 mm rope , couple biners, slings, and some courage to to boot/ice ax belays at the notch between the Dragons Teeth . It all depends on what the pack looks like at lift off at Symmes Creek trailhead Very Early "O- Dark Thirty " that Morning . Camp at Anvil Camp- good flowing water /level areas and consider also camping at the top of the notch if you have the extra day or are very fast. Between the potholes and the top notch you have a small area of Cell phone resep . Good luck and hope this helps - G. St. Denis

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#46281 - 05/17/16 08:01 AM Re: Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions [Re: Sierra Angler]
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 13
Loc: Encinitas, CA
Many thanks to both of you, this is very helpful!

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#46284 - 05/17/16 08:59 AM Re: Shepherds Pass/Mt. Williamson Conditions [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: Encinitas_Guy
Would snowshoes be beneficial for crossing the Williamson Bowl? Or would they just be unnecessary weight to drag up the mountain?

When we did Williamson in February 1996, we left our snowshoes at the bottom of the steep climb up to Shepherd Pass, and that was the right choice. Much of the terrain between this point and the summit is too steep for snowshoes. I would expect much of the gentle terrain between the top of Shepherd Pass and the point where you drop into Williamson Bowl to be either well-consolidated snow or bare dirt. There are ledges and huge blocks in Williamson Bowl that you won’t want to negotiate with snowshoes. I think snowshoes would be useless weight.

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