In over Taboose Pass, Aug. 1-9?

Would anyone like to go in for about 7 nights over Taboose Pass to the Upper Basin, Lake Basin, Woods Lake area the first week of August? It's a stony but quick way in to a great, remote part of the Sierra strewn with meadows and lakes. I've slowed down a bit but still love cross-country travel and scrambling up peaks. A permit will not be a problem to get, since not many go in this way. Please send me an email at [masked].

Here is a tentative itinerary:

Travel to roadhead. Peter will drive from Berkeley on August 1 with space for four (two in front and two in back of pickup with shell; share money for gas). Should leave Berkeley by 9 am to arrive before 5 pm at Mono Basin Visitor Center to get permit. Camp at roadhead for Taboose Pass Trail, camp overnight at roadhead (5,400’ elevation, water in creek, no facilities, only night likely to have mosquitoes). Total driving time about 10 hours. Dirt road from 395 to roadhead requires good clearance but not four-wheel drive.

Day 1 (August 2). Move up Taboose Pass Trail to about 10,500’. About 5,100’ elevation gain, 7 miles. Start at first light to avoid some of the heat. It may be possible to find a campsite and stop at about 9,200’ if necessary, but most of the canyon is very stony and steep. A very demanding first day.

Day 2. Move over Taboose Pass to John Muir Trail, then south over Pinchot Pass to a lake off trail in the upper basin of Woods Creek, such as the lake below Mt. Perkins at about 10,500’. About 2,300’ elevation gain, 8 miles.

Day 3. Layover in upper Woods Creek. Dayhike options include Colosseum Mtn., Mt. Cedric Wright, Twin Lakes, Woods Lake, and the White Fork of Woods Creek.

Day 4. Move back over Pinchot Pass, down cutoff trail to the South Fork of the Kings, down the Kings a ways and then south over Cartridge Pass on unmaintained trails, and cross-country down into Lakes Basin to lake at about 10,500’. About 4,000’ elevation gain, 12 miles. Likely another demanding day, especially if there's not much of a trail down the Kings.

Day 5. Layover in Lakes Basin. Dayhike options include Dumbbell Lakes, Upper Basin, maybe Mt. Ruskin, maybe Vennacher Needle, Marion Lake, and down Cartridge Creek. These are all cross-country.

Day 6. Layover in Lakes Basin.

Day 7, option 1. Move back over Cartridge Pass to the South Fork, ford the river, and continue cross-country up to Bench Lake. About 2,300’ elevation gain, 7 miles.

Day 7, option 2. Move cross-country over Frozen Lake Pass (likely somewhat difficult class 2, should be scouted first for snow on the other side) to Upper Basin. Camp by streams at about 10,700’. About 1,900 elevation gain, 5 miles.

Day 8 Move out over Taboose Pass and drive home. From Upper Basin, about 1,400’ elevation gain, 11 miles. From Bench Lake, about 1,000’ elevation gain and 12 miles. Should start the hike out at first light to avoid driving all night.

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  • Peter

    In response to Mike's comment about ice axes, I'm not planning on bringing an ice axe and I doubt that Stefan is. I can always scout Frozen Lake Pass and see if it's something we all want to do. If not, we can go out via Bench Lake instead of Upper Basin -- either is pretty nice.

    July 23

    • A former member
      A former member

      I don't have an ice axe. Are trekking poles good enough?

      July 23

    • frank

      @Peter Look up the GPS coordinates for Frozen Lake Pass. It is located in a large Cirque with many 'windows'. Only ONE 'window' works and that is the Pass

      July 26

  • kimberly

    FYI. ... i came out of that trailhead friday morning. it's HOT and .... ummmm. just warning, tough. you won't have mosquitoes. we didn't even have mosquitoes in upper basin. ... it's crazy dry this year. i'm guessing most/all of the season creek will be completely dry in 2 weeks. there's no snow. ... we went in a week earlier through dusy basin and didn't even get bugs that night. it looks like late august already up there.

    have fun! and i'd want at least 2 qts. of water when you leave the car.

    and if you're watering your lawn, please don't! :)

    July 26

  • Peter

    I download topo maps from the USGS at http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/maps/TopoView/. Zoom in until you can see the individual map names. The files are big, so the download can take a while if your connection is slow. The key map is Mt. Pinchot, the Taboose Pass Trail is partly on Aberdeen and Fish Springs, and we're likely to wander onto Marion Peak, North Palisade, and Split Mtn. I've made four copies of the parts of maps I think we may get to. The copies are just black and white.

    July 25

  • Peter

    I've printed copies of the likely topo maps. Vennacher Col, south of Vennacher Needle, looks like an interesting bet for the Lake Basin-Upper Basin move option.

    July 24

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hello Peter, are the maps found online? Can you give me a link to them?

      July 25

  • jack b.

    The trip description needs updating now that the time has changed.
    Years ago, we started the trail at 7 AM to beat the heat.

    July 24

  • Peter

    In response to Stefan's question about axe and poles, it's fine not to bring an ice axe on this trip. We won't do any moves that require one. Just so you know, trekking poles don't substitute for an ice axe.

    July 24

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello, I am really excited to joining this trip. I'm new to backpacking, I did my first trip a month ago for 2 nights to Pear Lake (10k feet elevation) and Moose Lake (Sequoia National Park). I'm young and fit which hopefully make up for the lack of experience, but I do need some guidance and advice along the way. Thanks!

    July 15

  • Peter

    Peter, I would like to join the trip, but have not done more than a 2 day backpacking trip. Any advice as to difficulty, what to bring, need for a bear vault, etc. is much appreciated.

    July 10

  • jack b.

    If you've been up there before, you know the last place to camp is some pine trees at least a mile before the top. On the top, you may notice many
    obsidian chips from ages ago.

    June 27

  • Keio O.

    I still think about our great trip together a few years back! I'll be in Peru trekking in the Andes. Have a great time. I highly recommend Lake Basin! And I highly recommend Peter.

    June 27

  • June 27

  • Peter­ changed the date and time to Friday, August 01, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    June 27

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