The mountains on the West Coast of the US in general will be hot and rugged, with much upheaval, during the shift. The Sierras have been created because of subduction of Pacific plates under the lighter land mass, and these matters are never a gentle process. Snapping, sudden jolts, and bouncing rock stratas reacting to a sudden release of pressure can be expected all along the Sierras. The mountains and valleys have been formed because of crumpling, horizontal pressure, and this will happen again during the forthcoming shift. What happens to rock when it is asked to compress, to fold? It breaks, and moves into the point of least resistance which is upward into the air. Thus, jutting peaks of sheer rock with the rock strata going almost vertical. It crumbles, with a jumble of rock rolling over each other as the mass is pushed upward. Thus, anyone or anything on top of that spot will be subject to being ground up in the tumbling process. Compressed rock can also drive horizontally, into nearby soil or space not occupied by anything as dense as itself. Thus, those in a valley can find rock shooting out of a hillside, or rock spear shooting under their feet, unexpectedly. Surviving the mountain building process while in the mountains is precarious, and not advised.
Regarding which part of the Sierras will be safe from mountain building during the hour of the pole shift - we do not have good news. This stretch of rigid rock snaps under compression from the Pacific, as the high sharp mountains show. Mountain building will occur throughout the Sierras. For those with homes in the Sierras, who wish to return to them after the pole shift, we have two suggestions. Travel into Nevada and ride out the pole shift on one of the former salt lake beds of Lake Lahontan, and then return to the Sierras, or drop down into the San Joaquin Valley, which is stable. The valley will flood with water pouring over the coastal mountains and rushing up along rivers that drain the valley. However, if timed right and prepared to travel quickly into the foot hills of the Sierras, it would be possible to avoid mountain building. The hour of the pole shift will involve the globe on the move, and at the end of that hour, plates crashing into one another. It is not until the end of the hour that mountain building in the Sierras and compression of the Pacific will start. Water on the move does not move instantly, but is paced. Thus those along the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley can wait until the hurricane force winds start to die down, shortly after the big jolts have occurred, and then trek into the foothills of the Sierras before the flooding of the valley begins to affect them. During travel through the Sierras one would encounter much destruction of roadways and bridges, and for this plan to work, one would have to be prepared to travel on foot through potentially hazardous terrain in the Sierras.
Note Aftershocks commentary.
Note Owens Valley Fault commentary.
Note Folsom Lake commentary.
Note N America Deserts commentary.