Jacob Nie

Shepherd Pass 2020 [fail]

A three day trip with Daniel and Hagen. Pretty much a bust, through and through.

Daniel had a really bad jock itch that probably started from our Big Sur trip, but he still decided to come along.

Our original plan was a 6-day trip with 2 days of driving and 4 days of hiking. We would cross Shepherd Pass on our first day of hiking, and then visit Milestone Basin and explore some of the Upper Kern Basin. Here's what ended up happening!

The first day was mostly spent driving. We stopped by Olmsted Point (an old favorite of mine) and Tenaya Lake - spending the night at Ellery Lake campground to help acclimatize for the rest of the trip. It was super windy!

Half Dome from Olmsted Point

Daniel carefully tending to his genitals

The next morning, we woke up nice and early at 5 a.m. to get on our way to the Shepherd Pass trailhead. Highway 395 in the early morning light... that's the stuff I dream about.

Ellery Lake from Tioga Rd

Mono Lake from Tioga Rd

Mt. Williamson from the road to the trailhead

We started hiking at around 9:30 a.m. Hiking up to the first saddle connecting the Symmes Creek canyon with the Shepherd Creek canyon was very speedy! Symmes Creek needs to be crossed 4 times. Since it was flowing high, we had to find alternate crossings further down the banks to keep our feet dry. (On our way back, we weren't able to reverse these crossings and had to get our shoes wet.)

There are two saddles (easily seen on the map) and there are some nice flat camping spots, but not very much shade, except underneat the squat little trees.

After the saddle, our progress got progressively slower because Daniel's jock itch was getting really bad and painful. (The mudslide area between Mahogany Flat and Anvil Camp turned out to not be an issue. The trail seems to have been rerouted? The tiny canyon etched into the ground was easily passable.)

Below Anvil Camp

We elected to stop at Anvil camp for the night. This meant that we'd have to wait for a long time the next day to cross Shepherd Pass, because the snowfield would be too dangerous in the early morning.

Lots of nice campsites, and the breeze meant no mosquitos

Ramen with fresh spinach

The next morning, we woke up late because we knew we couldn't get any progress up Shepherd Pass until the afternoon. We ended up deciding to just turn back, because Daniel's rash really was getting bad. So we headed home.

Williamson from between the Shepherd and Symmes canyons

Ritter and Banner? from Bishop


We were pulled over by a park ranger in Tuolumne Meadows for going 43 in a ambiguous 25/35 zone. His name was D. Johnson. (We got pulled over by the Rock.)