Shepherd Pass   

The Shepherd Pass Trail is a difficult climb. It starts in the desert at 6400' where the temperature was in the 90's, and goes up to over 12,000'. Near the top it gets very steep, and when I got there the trail was covered by many feet of snow. Crampons and ice-axe were required to get over it. Here are some of the views I got from the wilderness side of the pass. There are no roads back in here, and no civilization, the only way around is by foot.


In mid-June of 2006 I went back over Shepherd Pass and camped on the Sierra Crest at about 12,500 feet elevation. This meant climbing 6700' (and losing 500') with a heavy backpack in two days. I started down in the desert where occasional wildflowers were blooming amongst the cactus plants. 6000 feet of elevation makes a world of difference. For several very windy nights the temperature was in the low 20's, in the daytime 40 - 50 degrees. I was surrounded by peaks well over 13,500' elevation (I could see 24). All the lakes over 12,000' were still frozen. Afterwards I went back down to the valley where it was almost 100 degrees out. What a change! Maybe you can see that in these pictures:


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