14,018' Tyndall is super long. Ups and downs a couple times. There is no access up the Williamson Creek drainage, so you have to follow the Shepards Pass Trailhead. Moynier's guide book says 7500' gain, but we count at least 9000' to actually do the tour with the "Superbowl" descent. I don't think the superbowl pictured in the guide book is correctly shown.
This ski is above the town of Independence as well. Bring a big cooler, not much going on there for eats.
getting psyched for an early start. Ended up taking a little over 8 hours to get to the summit, and 4 hours to get back to the car from there. I got lost for a short time on the way back, but we didn't waste much time being only 2 people. Don't do this tour in a day if you have a big group. Williamson is the peak on the left, and Tyndall is in the center...with Superbowl just to the right. Both are 14'ers, so this shot shows how Tyndall is set back quite a bit. John's done Williamson, and says it's just as long however. The hiking trail to the summit is 30 miles roundtrip. Usually skiing is considerably less, but I bet this tour is well over 20 on skis.
You can see the peak from the town of Independence. It's well back of "Superbowl", the 4000' bowl/gully network shown with arrows here. Shepards Pass actually has you going around the bowl. Longer miles, but not as steep. A beautiful loop tour. Totally worthy even if you only ski the bowl.
Hiked on dirt starting at the trailhead of 6400'. After a few miles on dirt, we skinned up snow in the Symmes Creek Drainage to 9100'. You're traversing across 2 drainages bascially along the Shepards Pass summer trail.
At 9100', you get a great view of Superbowl (right), and the north side of 14,375' Mt. Williamson (left)
The trail descends 500', and then traverses up the right side of the canyon in this photo. Shepards Pass is the low spot on the skyline in the center.
12,000' Shepards Pass. The trail hugs high on the side of the drainage.
John is a spec in the bowl somewhere, climbing up to the pass. I'm fighting to get my sun screen and gu to really start working at this point.
I'm beat by the time I reach the pass, and of course John is again a small spec way out in the path I'm still heading. I was expecting the peak to be somewhat near the pass. It took me an hour to get to the base, which is another 2000' up.
John on the summit boulder, a totally overhanging rock that doesn't seem like it should be attached. I didn't look too closely at how it's attached. Anyway, many top climbers work a lot harder to get on top of this thing. Mt Williamson's northwest side on the background.
Looking south from the summit. Mt. Whitney is the big guy out there.
Snow was excellent on this north facing slope. Not quite powder, but close. Light jump turns made it feel like powder, as the wind had just gotten to it a bit. A great pitch.
To reach the entrance for the Superbowl descent, we had a long, low angle 600' climb to a highpoint for optimal launch down Superbowl. John standing at the edge.
Awsome corn snow. Not another track anywhere all day long. This is only the top 3rd of this section. It wrapped around to the left, and then left us with fun narrow gullies down to Williamson Creek.
Excellent corn even at the bottom of Superbowl, at about 8500'. Next is the hot climb on trail back over to the Symmes Drainage.
starting to wonder what's for dinner, more than where I'm going at this point.
popping over the last ridge late in the day with very high wet slide danger. Snow crystals totally let go, and you could drop the basket of your pole straight to the ground - like there wasn't even snow there. Still a long descent back, so we skied an old avy debris sliver right to the dirt trail. Very close to our hiking shoes actually. John went and got those, as I clawed my way up to the trail, happy to finally be off snow.