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TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby bluefintu » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:10 pm

Thank You WD, for the fish report and your trail report !! With a 35 lb pack for ten days and carrying a bear can with fishing gear is something I need to do some research on. A couple weeks ago, I had 65 lbs and my son had maybe 40 lbs. We ate our food out of his can and he carried the fuel for the stoves, so my pack still weigh the same after a few days. I came home with a full bear can because my son caught fish for us to eat for lunch and dinner. I was struggling going down hill and my son took some weight off me. My Shurpa. Thanks again WD, 35 lb 10 days, I'm going to mention this to my Boy Scout troop.

Don



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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:27 am

My problem with the 35 pounds was that my pack is only comfortable to about 30 pounds. Whatever weight, when you exceed the weight capacity for your pack suspension system, you suffer! I am always debating whether to take the better suspension pack, be comfortable the first few days and carry the extra weight the last days, or, take the lighter pack, suffer the first days and carry less the last days. I have previously hiked up Taboose Pass with a 3-day very light pack. It is a grunt of a hike regardless of pack weight! Great place to practice your "rest step"! If you do not pace yourself properly you really burn out.

All my fishing gear weighs less than a pound. Since I really do not need to cast very far to catch fish, I have one light weight reel that I have cut off all but a third of the line. I pack the rod in a foam case made of cheap foam pipe insulation from Lowes. I only carry rod, reel, one film can of flies, a small nail clipper, a small stringer and one OP plastic bag to haul fish. I guess you would say my reading glasses are fishing gear since I need them to see to tie on flies! I wrap my glasses in bubble wrap, instead of using a regular glasses case. I use a 1 oz kitchen paring knife to clean the fish. When I fish, I reduce my food to 1.2 pounds per day (2200 calories). If I do not catch fish, I loose more weight (not that I need to). I figure if I catch the equivalent weight of my gear in fish, I am at a break-even point. As for cooking fish, I take no extra- just cook them in my 1L titanium pot. No crispy fried fish, but it works. When my husband and I do a fishing trip we add a frying pan- with two to share the weight we feel we can handle this. In my opinion, if you have food left over when returning from a trip, you are taking too much. My aim is to walk out the last few hours with no food left in my pack.

I am far from a UL backpacker. My base weight ranges from 18-20 pounds. The UL people get their base weight down to 10-15 pounds. As for your scouts, it is hard for them to afford the high tech light gear, but anyone can reduce weight by simply not taking any more than you really need. Think of "be prepared" to mean being prepared for survival, not comfort. When you pare down weight, there will be times when you are inconvienced or slightly uncomfortable, but still safe. I took rain pants this trip. Not needed, but it did allow me to fish in the rain. In retrospect I wish I had not taken them. One cook pot and spoon are all that is needed for cooking. I add a little titanium cup because I like to drink coffee while eating oatmeal. I use an old vinegar bottle instead of a heavy Nalgene bottle. Etc... find a lighter substitute for each item you take. The Nalgene bottle is bombproof and lasts forever, but what the heck, the recycled vinegar or pop bottle is free and you can just use a new one each trip!

SSSDave- I have yet to get a good photo in Taboose Canyon. You are a great photographer so probably know how to do this. It is a tight canyon, everything so close and lighting is difficult. There is a "feel" within this canyon that is unique - somehow if I only could capture that feel in a photo. The standard campsite at the little vegetated flat spot at 10,000 feet (3150) looks like a good place to get photos.
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby LMBSGV » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:47 am

A wonderful read and beautiful photos of what I think is one of the best classic trip routes in the Sierra. Thank you!
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby Kelbaker » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:28 pm

Thank you for sharing your trip and beautiful photos, which brought back a lot of memories of Lake Basin and the Dumbbells. I remember the first time going up Taboose and stopping at the second river crossing for the night we put some of the overflow food and trash that did not fit into a Bearikade into a brand new Ursack. As we were getting ready for bed not even dark yet a young bear came down trough the willows and grabbed it and tried to run, but per the instructions we had it tied to a tree and after a few good yanks we successfully chased him off. Needless to say all of our food was Ok except a little bear slobber on our gorp and some bite marks on the Ursack. I agree that this is a great area.
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby SSSdave » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:43 pm

WD >>>"..It is a tight canyon, everything so close and lighting is difficult. There is a "feel" within this canyon that is unique - somehow if I only could capture that feel in a photo. The standard campsite at the little vegetated flat spot at 10,000 feet (3150) looks like a good place to get photos."

10000 feet is the 3050 meter area. My first reaction is that is so close to the north slope cliffs and chutes that a wide angle lens would need to be used that would then also contain a lot of boring foreground rusty talus below the steeps.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.98901,-118.38871&z=15&t=T

I doubt if any serious photographer has ever captured a strong image from that headwaters area of Taboose Creek though I would expect there is something waiting to be found. The unusually interesting area appear to be above where the creek reaches 2600 meters, about the gnarly north canyon walls and chutes east of Cardinal Mtn. I also own most of the maps for the geological atlas for California and that shows metamorphic rocks about Cardinal Mountain that provide the rusty colors. Here is someone's image I see on Google Images that shows the canyon indeed has a similar kind of geology as one sees about Piute Crags on the NF of Bishop Creek:

http://cache.backpackinglight.com/backp ... _65227.jpg

It also shows the upper canyon directly below the gnarly areas has considerable boring bare rusty talus except right along the creek. Looking at the topo, one sees an east to west general canyon orientation. Hence the better light mid summer from a down canyon perspective looking up canyon is going to be about 8am to 10am after the morning sun has risen in altitude to better get into some of the chutes while not yet high enough to yet become harsh.

There are twists in the canyon at 2550 and 2750 meters. Like you noted, the canyon is narrow that makes for an awkward camera angle if shooting up towards the canyon sides. Below the lower twist one cannot see anything worthwhile about the upper canyon. At the upper twist the gradient increases until a knee is reached at 2900. Thus below that knee along the trail and creek, one is going to have somewhat obscured views up canyon with the gnarly areas inadequately poking above. And most hikers intent on doing the whole route to the pass in one day are not going to be there during those hours. If like you they started really early, by time they reach that point they are likely going to be too weary to have an interest doing anything like I suggest below. There could be some decent stream foreground perspectives right about that 2900 meter point.

Looking at 3D perspectives with Google Earth is a useful start. However small scale elements are quite distored with GE so one needs to consider those views with a large grain of salt while primarily noting basic perspective, vegetation areas, and graphic forms. Looking at the Google Images with "taboose pass" searched is this pic that shows the bend from about 2700 meters.

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~rlilly/High_ ... _Trail.jpg

Shows a bunch of willow and aspen which is good. Where one has those two seep species, there are also likely areas with wildflowers though that may not be just at the canyon bottom where the trail and creek are. There is a seasonal stream intersecting Taboose Creek at 2640 meters from the south that is likely more lush. One could climb up along that creek to as high as 2820 meters looking for something interesting and still have an unblocked view of the gnarly area. In fact by climbing up above the side stream, the view is likely better and will show more of the creek unblocked in the 2800 section especially with a telephoto. And the framing perspective would not be so awkward being further away lower down the canyon, than it would be directly below the gnarly area.
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby iamchappy » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:58 pm

EPIC TR!
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby bluefintu » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:19 pm

Hi WD,
Your trail reports are awesome!!! I can get my base weight down to maybe 20lbs if its just for me. I'll take my son and make it more, what's the word I'm looking for, easy, enjoyable, fun, explore new places, what's around the next mountain or curve? Right now I make him enjoy the mountain, with a light pack. He's going to learn what not to take on his own. I just want to make sure he has fun in the wilderness, so, I carry crazy weight. Time may change, when he carries extra stuff and I can use my UL backpack and I know about your over loading the pack, not comfortable.

Don


I'm sorry I don't respond earlier, I'm a BSA Leader and my Troop is growing and my time is busy.
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby cgundersen » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:31 pm

Daisy,
Yes, I'm still slowly catching up on last year's posts and this TR was a delight. Plus, after one horrible experience on Cartridge pass (well, really, it was only horrible when we hit mosquito hell when we bottomed out along the southfork), I always take a bit of heart from folks who have had an appreciably better experience. But, I fully commiserated with you on Dumbbell pass; I wound up on those same granite slabs the first time over and have studiously avoided that side of the pass ever since. And, the one thing I usually ask folks who've been up/down Cataract creek is whether they visited the mine: ample fools gold lurking there for the unwary.
cg
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby bbayley80 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:07 pm

Wandering Daisy-
great trip report and photos! sounds like an epic trip with great views and fish!
this is a great reference for me as i've been looking to tackle a similar trip for quite sometime.
too bad my 2014 is booked up..oh well, never too early for 2015 planning :)

thanks again!
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Re: TR: Lakes Basin, Dummbell, Amphitheater, Upper Baisn

Postby BSquared » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:54 am

Just getting around to this because I may have an opportunity to visit Amphitheater Basin (via a much more conventional route—Bishop Pass, Dusy Basin, Le Conte Canyon) this September, assuming that the entire state hasn't burned up and/or dried up and blown away by then. Thanks! Looks like a wonderful area!
—B²
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