Day 17 SHR – A 3 Pass Day

“Move 100 feet to the east, where a steep and loose defile plunges 100 feet before debouching onto a talus slope or short snowfield. Clamber down this section.”
-from the Sierra High Route guidebook describing the descent of Whitebark Pass

July 7
Below Minaret Lake to tarn below Lake Catherine  – 9.6 miles

Minaret Lake * Iceburg Lake * tarn below Banner and Ritter * Whitebark Pass * Unnamed Pass * Glacier Pass * Lake Catherine

-Major day.

-We are bushed.

-The wind is cold and fierce. The temps are very cold.

-We creatively found tent spots on granite, thanks to Wired’s magic way of using rocks in place of  tent stakes. Snow has made finding a place to camp most difficult

-Did I say I am tired?

-I think I could eat everything in my bear canister.

Top of Whitebark Pass
Top of Unnamed Pass
Top of Glacier Lake Pass


I thought I would start featuring  a piece of gear, tip, or food on the trail that I particularly think is fantastic. Here is the first one:


Snowline Light Microspikes
I have used these every day on soft snow, hard icy snow, and hiking on rock between snow patches. We  could not have done this route early season without them. We call them our magic feet when we have them on.

They are a few ounces lighter than Katoola microspikes (the rubber and spikes are a bit thinner) and performance and fit wise I can’t tell a difference. I am a big fan!


  1. Hi,
    What an adventure! My husband and I met you all at the top of Whitebark pass. I vaguely remember taking a photo of all of you. Is that the one posted? It’s hard to remember because I was still full of alarm at having to cross the snowfield coming up the North side. You guys just dove down the chute…I couldn’t even watch I was so scared! I’m glad I came up it and not down. You gave us a heads up about a tricky snowfield on the way down to Iceberg/Minarette lakes, so we avoided it, thank you, and absolutely loved the trip down Nydiver lakes. It’s been great reading your trip report, thanks for sharing. I’m going to overcome my fear, and go back to the Sierras this summer and try another off trail route.

  2. kristen campbell

    as for gear tips, thank you for the echo hoody tip off- i did a quick overnight on the Divide in colorado and it was perfectly sunny and hot for 2 days and i have no sunburn and didn’t need any sunscreen- awesome shirt – i’m loving following you all- when wired announced ages, it was serious motivation for me to get up to the high country more- thanks for making hard core look so good!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      It is fun to have clothes that work in the field and as a bonus you feel great wearing them. I am always seeking out that balance. All great to hear.

  3. Oh but the views! Spectacular and thank you so much for sharing your journey. Makes my work day a bit brighter!

  4. Wow, the beauty….and perfectly captured on film!
    And the miracle of the human body to get you 3 up there in its midst. Safe and wild.
    Thanks for sharing it all

  5. What a gift of grace to have such amazing views on those extremely challenging of days when you are the most tired, cold, and hungry. I’m sure that is what keeps you going : )

    Thank you for capturing the unfathomable beauty of the High Sierra Route with us. Today’s photos are by far my favorite!

  6. Lynn Duncan

    Super photography on display today!

    Hot weather may be ahead.. big dome of heat over much of the U.S.

    May you escape most of it.. hoping I will as well down here at sea level close to the coast.

  7. Love the shadow pic! What makes those spikes so much lighter as their construction looks very similar?

  8. Rich Baker

    Love, love, love those Tres Amigas’ shadows crossing the lakeside!

  9. Rich Baker

    I’ve found microspikes to be a god-sent gift as well.

    One tip: Take care to keep shoelaces tucked inside your gaiters. Catching a shoelace in a microspike means an instant face-plant, or worse.

  10. That opening photo is just amazing. I do love water and water features. I’ll be in the Central Sierras finally on Friday. Can’t wait to get up there.

    Particularly proud of Wired climbing the Class 3 chimney. If that was me, I’d be going the other way. Way to go Erin.

    This is truly an epic adventure and I’m glad that the three of you are together and it is a very cool thing to see your three points of view through your blogs. There’s something very special going on here. Like WhyNot quoted, live everyday as if it is your last, and by the grace of God, do just that.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      You are so right! That is such a good reminder. Both Why Not and Wired have been shimmying up class 3 stuff without batting an eye. So fun to watch.

  11. Jean Ella

    These are fabulous photos of an extraordinary landscape, Rockin’. They really depicted the type of exposure and climbing that you face. I am so impressed. Thanks for sharing.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Jean Ella! I am lucky that Wired shared some of your homemade treats. I especially love the watermelon and roasted pecans! They are delicious. Thank you so much for following along on our adventure.

  12. Lucy Grittman

    You guys rock (pun intended) Beautiful pictures and what a challenging trail!! Amazing!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      This is so appropriate. Rock after rock after rock after rock. That is the Sierra High Route in a nutshell!

  13. BeeKeeper

    My super heroes! Oh my that photo with Wired climbing the chimney, impressive for someone who started this journey with exposure anxiety. She’s looking pretty comfortable. Love the colors and reflection in the first photo, and the shadow dancing photo. You three are just amazing, showing the world anything is possible.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Ah my friend! Impressive is right. Those ladies are taking those scary places on. So much fun.

      Thank you for commenting and always following along. You are the one who rocks.

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