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#56048 - 08/19/19 09:46 AM Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 280
Loc: California
So, my plan for the week before or after Labor day (I can adjust to go either week) is to start at Shepherd Pass, go up Mt Tyndall, then go up Mt Williamson.

Those are the primary goals. After that, depending on conditions and how I feel, I may traverse over to Mt Barnard and up Mt Russell. If I survive all that, I may even go up the Mountaineer's Route to Whitney from UBSL.

I could also take the easy route after Williamson: skip Russell and go out to the JMT and just do Whitney from the west again. Descending from the Mountaineer's route might be an interesting change of pace, but not sure about doing that with a full pack.

Unfortunately, next week already has some suspect weather in the long term forecast. I'll have to decide by Thursday to wait for Labor Day or not.

I saw the recent report on Tyndall, anyone been up Williamson recently and have any info on conditions?

Anyone been up Russell recently and can share some info? I'll probably reach the peak by climbing up from Tulainyo Lake and then across the east ridge, then drop down to UBSL.

I'm hoping crampons and a ice axe won't be needed (and in a normal year, I wouldn't even think they'd be needed this late), but open to opinions on that.
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#56049 - 08/19/19 10:13 AM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7908
Loc: Fresno, CA
Many years ago, my hiking buddy and I started out on a similar trek. Short story: We bailed after the 4th night -- windiest night ever in the Sierra.

We had really heavy packs, more than 50 lbs. We started up the trail using headlamps, and camped ON the trail about midnight. Then on up to Shepherd Pass the next day. We climbed both Tyndall and Willi on day 3 -- that was nuts! The night at Lake Helen was torture with the wind blowing like a hurricane. Long day out--our car was at Whitney Portal, so we walked the dirt road clear to Onion Valley road to hitch-hike back in the dark.

Anyway, I can't imagine you would encounter any snow or ice requiring crampons this late in the summer. Maybe on Shepherd Pass, but you should be able to walk up it mid-day.

Take it slow and steady, and don't overload your pack! I'm hoping you can do it. Good luck!

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#56051 - 08/19/19 10:44 AM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: WanderingJim]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 76
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'm likely headed back to Shepard Pass/Mt Tyndall/Mt Williamson in the next few weeks (probably the weekend after Labor Day). See the picture gallery for recent conditions. The only sketch part is right before the pass. Others said mid-day it was no problem crossing the snow. It was so steep that we climbed around it.

Lots of bears active (up until ~10500 ft), especially around Anvil Camp. There is bear scat even at the trail head. Also lots of mosquitoes.

Might want to bring slippers for the first 4 water crossings.

I plan to sleep at Horseshoe Meadow for two nights, then above Shepard Pass. I think Mt Williamson needs a full day for me.

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#56087 - 08/23/19 10:53 AM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: WanderingJim]
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 17
Loc: Encinitas, CA
I went up the east ridge of Russell in mid-July, and at that time from UBSL to the summit there was only one 50 ft. section just below the eastern summit where I used crampons and an ice axe to get across a snow field on the way up. The snow field was an easy crossing, but early in the morning before the snow had softened, a slip would have been very bad news. There was a more exposed bypass around the snowfield but I figured I had carried the gear all that way, so I made use of it. I would think that snow patch is entirely melted out at this point however, so I would save the weight any leave that gear at home. Have a great trip!

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#56152 - 08/30/19 07:21 PM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: WanderingJim]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 280
Loc: California
Well, I survived.

Didn't quite get as much done as I hoped.

Halfway up Shepherd Pass, I remembered why I decided not to do this pass two years ago: It's brutal.

Took me 2 days to get up (kind of what I expected).

AND a dislocated finger (not expected).

I could say it was a heroic saving of a fellow hiker who slipped.
I could say it was deflecting a rock falling from above.
I could say it was a lot of exciting or heroic things...

But it was me slipping on a rock when packing up my tent and gear.

frown

Fortunately, it wasn't a bad dislocation ("only" 45 degrees from the normal position frown ). I was able to snap it back into the correct position (only thought to take a picture of it after I snapped it back in position). Definitely some swelling, pain, and slight discoloration of the knuckle. It was fully functional (abet with some discomfort when I flexed it), so I played wait and see on how it would affect me.

So naturally, I started by climbing Mt Tyndall.

No vertical class 3 climbing, so should be okay.

Success! I made it up with only a few million curses to the lack of a trail and all the loose scree. Coming down was another adventure in cursing. smile

But...

There was no way I would trust going up Mt Williamson's chimney with my injured finger.

The overland route to Mt Russell didn't seem like a good idea either (especially after I saw the route up close and from the top of Mt Tyndall).

I came 'this' >< close to going out to the JMT and doing Whitney from the west, but my heart wasn't in it. It wasn't a big desire to do this summer and I've been up it twice before.

Plus I didn't want to chance any serious injuries for something that wasn't high on me 'need to do' list this summer.

At least I can add two 14ers to my list (WMP and Tyndall).

Full report and pictures to come.









Edited by WanderingJim (08/30/19 07:21 PM)
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#56153 - 08/30/19 09:05 PM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7908
Loc: Fresno, CA
Welcome back! The finger could have been way worse, glad it wasn't.

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#56159 - 08/31/19 09:41 AM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: WanderingJim]
dero Offline


Registered: 04/21/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Los Angeles
Welcome back! I'm thinking of attempting Williamson next week, looking forward to your pictures and report!

How was the snowfield just before Shepherd's pass? I've been watching it slowly get smaller and smaller on caltopo's weekly satellite imagery; do you need micro-spikes/crampons to cross it?

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#56163 - 08/31/19 02:12 PM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: dero]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 441
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: dero
How was the snowfield just before Shepherd's pass? I've been watching it slowly get smaller and smaller on caltopo's weekly satellite imagery; do you need micro-spikes/crampons to cross it?

Iíve been across Shepherd Pass on two trips this year: July 24-25 and August 24-28. The snow patch has two boot tracks across it. Itís easy with bare boots.

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#56164 - 08/31/19 06:18 PM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: dero]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 280
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: dero
Welcome back! I'm thinking of attempting Williamson next week, looking forward to your pictures and report!

How was the snowfield just before Shepherd's pass? I've been watching it slowly get smaller and smaller on caltopo's weekly satellite imagery; do you need micro-spikes/crampons to cross it?


Short snow crossing wasn't really any problems if you went slow and kicked some better boot tracks as needed. I did it in afternoon with soft snow going up and down in the morning with it just starting to be a little soft from the sun. Both times with plain boots. I had microspikes, but didn't want to take the time to put them on on the way down (that could have been my epithet).

5 people followed me once I paved the way by not dying. smile
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#56175 - 09/01/19 09:25 PM Re: Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall, and beyond [Re: WanderingJim]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 280
Loc: California
Here's the White Mountain Peak report and pictures:

https://wandering.earth/index.php/2019/09/02/white-mountain-peak-2019/

And the Shepherd Pass report and pictures:

https://wandering.earth/index.php/2019/09/02/shepherd-pass-2019/

I had a new camera, so went even wilder with the number of pictures. While I like the quality of most of the pictures I took, it was a learning curve to get the pictures to be in focus and the sunset and sunrise pictures were a little trickier to get like I like them (i.e. to look as close to real life as I could get them).
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