McGee Pass 2019

Lake Wit-So-Nah-Pah to Franklin Lake

Sunday, August 18, 2019

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One of the bigger challenges of the trip, Pretty Pass is at just under 11,900 feet elevation and is a class 2 crossing of the Sierra Crest.  The approach was not bad, with no snow crossing required on this side of the pass.  The other side had some snow to cross, but it was not bad at all.

Journal Entry:  Swarms of mosquitos last night after 7pm, worst yet this trip.  Pleasant night otherwise.  Started toward Pretty Pass with a short uphill to Bighorn Lake, then a downhill to a pond above Lake Dorothy.  Could see the pass from above Bighorn Lake.  Long uphill, most over easy terrain until the upper part of the basin.  Some large talus, then the final slope which was quite steep with a mix of talus and loose scree.  Got to the top around 12:30.  Didn’t cross any snow on the way up.  Downhill side was more loose scree and talus, with some snow fields.  Some were a bit steep but soft.  More talus brought us to Franklin Lakes around 3:00.  Saw one person walking on lake shore.  Found a campsite not far from the lake.  Very few mosquitos so far at least.  They have been worst between 9000 and 11,000 feet, we are a bit above that here.

Pika near camp in the morning

Pretty Pass (low point on ridge)

Bighorn Lake

Lake Dorothy

view east

Pretty Pass above

Pretty Pass

barren basin below Pretty Pass

Ron taking a breather on final approach

Pretty Pass just a bit higher

view west from the pass:  Franklin Lake

view west from the pass:  Ram Lake

Steve & Ron on Pretty Pass

Franklin Lake

Pretty Pass from the west

Ron heading down to Franklin Lake

our tracks across one of the snow fields

Pretty Pass west side

Pretty Pass above Franklin Lake

evening alpenglow

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