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Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

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Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby freestone » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:51 pm

It's hard to go over Taboose Pass and not have some sort of memorable experience. Of course, that can be said for backpacking in general, the traveler can expect "the unexpected" and play it according to ability and luck. This trip was no exception. Oh sure, it had all the inspirational views that we come to expect, but this year mother nature combined all her furies to make sure I would remember this trip for all the weather and clouds, instead of the endless sun-drenched days and 14 inch Rainbows that we can expect in September.

Looking east from the unnamed lakes below Venacher Needle area.

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I will start with the weather report for my week, beginning on Tuesday, the first day of my planned 6 day trip to include visiting the unnamed lakes below Venacher Col. The NWS chalk board report at the Visitors Center called for monsoon conditions ending Wednesday.

Thursday dawned cloudy, windless and ominous. The clouds and sky roiled all day, culminating in a late afternoon storm that went well into the evening. Each day, the clouds played the same scenario.

Camped at the unnamed lakes.

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My well being? I felt great the first two days, full of optimism to visit nameless lakes in the Kings river drainage and catch trout. Those were the best days of the whole trip. Thereafter I my body felt like the boiling sky, unpleasant intestinal feelings washing in and out in varying degrees of intensity, but always there to remind me that I was not feeling at the top of my game, and a long way from home.

Patiently waiting for a break in the weather and intestinal rumblings to fish.
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Looking back on the lower lake

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The upper lake below Venacher Col. These lakes are fishless.
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My wilderness skills? I survived all the rain in a new tent setup dry enough, but made the mistake of leaving camp in an excited state to go fishing for Goldens, and not covering my gear for the rain. Before I knew it, I was in the Upper Basin, no windbreaker, sky boiling, and me with thoughts of a downpour onto my sleeping bag and clothes airing on the rocks at camp. Fortunately, I made it back just in time, gathered my stuff back into the tent to wait out the shower.

The evening sky reloading for the finale.

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Stripped Mountain reflecting the red sky sunset.
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Wandering the Upper Basin
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Best tree of the trip, every trip has it's standout. This one was in the Upper Basin on the JMT.
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The weather never really let up and the fishing was mostly 6" Goldens (not complaining!), but the rain really settled the dust cleared up the air, and I actually enjoyed the windless Monsoon conditions and stillness. Not pictured is how the foliage really perked up from the rains. The native grasses were at their best, with stalks of seed-heads shooting up and shimmering in the breeze. For me, this area is one huge and unending Zen Garden.

A High Sierra Topix member siting! On my last day, I met Tomba, lithely bounding up the eastern side of Taboose, on his way to the Upper Crossing and points beyond. The weather had a few surprise nuggets for him as well!

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Re: Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby tomba » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Nice meeting you there.

These nameless lakes look interesting.

While climbing Taboose Pass, clouds provided welcome shade but later they briefly poured rain.

I went to Cardinal Lake, Upper Basin, Upper Basin Crossing, Aphitheater Lake basin, Cataract Creek Pass, Observation Peak, Dumbbell Lakes basin, Dumbbell Lakes Pass, Lake Basin, Cartridge Pass, Bench Lake, Lake Morjorie, and out.

Weather was quite good all the time (not cloudy, no rain, but a bit cool and sometimes windy), until the last day. Very windy and cloudy, weather looked unpredictable. Shortly before sunset I found a sheltered spot near the meadow just west from Taboose Pass and I was about to set camp. A few snowflakes fell. I looked west and saw that mountains were obscured by what I realized was a snow storm that was about to reach me. In horizontally blowing snow I hiked up the pass. Events from last October were on my mind. I saw some clear sky on the east side. Over the pass and down, but the storm now extended beyond the east side. I passed campsites one by one thinking I could rest there but wind and snow continued intermittently. I reached trailhead after midnight and slept in the car. Out one day early.
-- Found trash? Please pack it out. Thank you.
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Re: Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby rlown » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:30 am

a very nice report. why didn't you fish in the rain rather than stand under an umbrella?
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Re: Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby freestone » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:58 pm

why didn't you fish in the rain rather than stand under an umbrella?


Because my mother taught me to never fish in the rain. ;)

I was on the south fork or the Kings river here, for some reason as soon as the rain drops started to hit on the pools, the bite was off. When the rain ended, the bite was back on. I think this area sees plenty fishermen, each pool was good for 2 or 3 strikes, then it was time to move on. All small Goldens, fun, but so was holding the umbrella in the rain and staying dry. 14" Goldens? I'm fishing in the rain, sorry mom!
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Re: Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby maverick » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:53 pm

Thanks Freestone for the enjoyable TR and pictures.

Tomba wrote:
In horizontally blowing snow I hiked up the pass. Events from last October were on my mind.


That must have been quite eerie Tomba, reading the first few words of your sentence I
thought of Larry's situation too. Was glad to read that you continued on which is what
I thought Larry would have done, but we will never know what made him stop just east
of Taboose Pass.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby cgundersen » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:07 pm

freestone,
For having made the climb up Taboose I'm not surprised that there was a bit of subsequent discomfort. Nevertheless, thanks for the photos and commentary.......you will find those goldens another time!
cg
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Re: Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby justm » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:53 pm

Thanks for that excellent TR complete with some great photos ( except you didn't get any fish photos ) you look pretty miserable under that umbrella. That's another area to check out on my list !
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Re: Another Taboose Tale of Nameless Lakes

Postby freestone » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Thank you cgunderson and Justm. Sometimes I need to do a reality check on myself and realize that not every trip will be the epic one of big fish and perfect conditions. The older I get, the bigger and higher those mountains become.

Justm, I did catch fish, but sorry, not pictures. I find it difficult to get a good picture going solo and not put undue stress on the fish. Many of the locations I fished involved loose, slippery, wet rocks, and various body contortions to get down to, and my hand on the fish for the release. I was actually glad when a fish would "auto release" after the initial strike and hook-up.

On this trip I used the Spot Gen 3. I consider it my best equipment investment of the season. I think my wife actually enjoyed getting the updates, then seeing my progress on the map.
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