I’m considering skiing (to what extent that is possible) a variation on the High Sierra Trail. Pretty soon. I’m leaning towards starting at Whitney Portal, booting up Trail Chute to lookers right of 99 switchbacks (little concerned about the switchbacks below Trail Camp), taking the standard HST route until breaking off and taking Colby Pass trail, Pants Pass, and then rejoining the HST and taking it to the West Side.
I’ve never been on Pants Pass. I understand there are two different notches, I think I’m OK here with two tools, crampons, and skimo skis, but please let me know if there are issues here I’m missing.
What I’m more concerned about is the western half of the HST. I haven’t been on in it but it appears, based on my map study, it traverses some very steep slopes. I wonder, to what extent, the snow has filled in the trail cut and it’s going to be miles of extremely steep traversing. Further I understand there is a tunnel that fills in with snow. Is that accurate? Is it easy to circumnavigate? Do people regularly navigate this section in snow? Maybe I’m nuking it, but I’d hate to get that far to slide for life into the canyon.
Love to know your guys thoughts in general.