Section J

Dangerous conditions north of Sonora Pass

By: frank gilliland
June 21st, 2016

Dangerous Trail Conditions: I’m a triple crown trail hiker (trail name Starman) and have been long distance hiking for nearly 20 years. I have never seen conditions more dangerous than what I’m experiencing north of Sonora Pass, in particular north of Hwy 4. I’m at mile post 1059.2; Coordinates 38.6187, -119.8436 and can see a pole and ice axe part way down an ice chute. [Editors note: A PCT hiker was rescued from this chute on Sunday.] I don’t see anyone so they may have self evacuated. However, I want you to know this is a very dangerous section of trail at the moment. It’s so dangerous that I recommend no-one walks it. If you don’t have an ice axe or crampons, you’re going to hit the bottom fast.

There are three snow chutes in the area. I crossed the first two chutes, then chose not to continue across the third chute. I turned around, scrambled back, and am hiking back to Ebbetts Pass.

If you don’t have an ice axe or crampons, you can’t cross that chute. The melt is happening so fast, that the steps are melting out and turning icy.

[Editors note: Conditions change. We’ve heard from others who say this area isn’t that bad. Be careful and cautious. Turning around is always better than hurting yourself.]

Raymond Peak

Trail Conditions at Reynolds Peak

By: Peter Samuel
February 5th, 2016

The section of the trail that passes under Reynolds Peak between Ebbetts and Carson passes, is scary and dangerous. I truly feared for my life when passing here. I will never travel on this section of the trail again. I will steer others away from this dangerous crossing.
This section of the trail should be re-routed to allow for safe, non life threatening travel through this area.

Trail Clear from Raymond Lake to Tamarack Junction

By: Nevada Rambler
July 7th, 2014

As of 6/28/2014 the trail is now clear of snow at this point about 11 miles north of Ebbetts Pass, south of Blue Lakes.

There is some loose volcanic rock and erosion, but the trail crossing the escarpment is passable and in reasonable shape:

June 23, 2011

Just talked with my son. He and two of his friends are at the top of Ebbetts Pass. They left Yosemite Valley on 6/14/11. He said that snow is 5 to 8 feet deep everywhere, and water crossing are a challenge.

They are pushing on and plan to be in Echo Lake around Noon on 6/23/11. There is a hiker ahead of them that they plan to catch today, and i think he said there was a group further ahead. I might have got that wrong. Cell reception wasn’t that great.

June 14, 2011

6/10/11 Used snowshoes to hike from Highway 4 at Ebbetts Pass to Pennsylvania Creek on PCT. Drifts up to 10ft with 6-8 ft average. Exposed south facing slopes or tops of peaks had minimal snow. I used snowshoes all but about 50 yards.