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The First TR of 2014

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The First TR of 2014

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:44 am

I know John Dittli posted a report on conditions, but that is his job! :D This is the first leisure report. :)

The weather forecast was for spring like weather. We wanted to get out and play with some new gear. So we drove up to one of our favorite quick getaways in the Crystal Basin.

The gate to Loon Lake campground is closed and locked adding about another half mile to our hike to the back of the lake.

1 Sport.JPG


Most of the trail was covered with snow. We brought our snowshoes but the snow was very well consolidated. This was probably because of the heavy rains two weeks ago.

2 Snow Trail.JPG


3 Snow Lake.JPG


4 Snow Shorts.JPG


5 Snow Trail.JPG


The only part of the lake with ice was the part once known as Pleasant Lake.

6 Icy Lake.JPG


I brought a rod and tackle but we didn’t do any fishing. We had other things to do. :unibrow: Like find the camera some bonehead dropped! Good thing his great girlfriend has eagle eyes or you wouldn’t be seeing these pictures!

The lake level was depressingly low.

7 Lake Level.JPG


That tree stump is almost four feet tall. Tamara Berg says we have a “highway of storms” on the way!

We played around with our snowshoes, but like I said, they were not really needed if you had good boots.

8 Sport Snowshoe.JPG


Did I mention how fun it is to sleep in the snow?

9 Tent.JPG


I know I had a great time mostly because of the company (my number one girl) I brought along. :D

10 Sport Trail.JPG


Thanks for reading my TR.

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway



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Re: The First TR of 2014

Postby FeetFirst » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:32 pm

Thanks for the info, Russ. I've been wanting to head up there soon, so the beta is appreciated. I'm probably going to do a night or two along the Bassi Fork (just a bit south of Loon) soon.

Anyways, looks like you two had a great time. :thumbsup: Did you happen to see any ski tracks?
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: The First TR of 2014

Postby Tom_H » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Thanks for the TR.

For those wanting to get out early season, this is the way to do it.

-Altitude is not too high.

-Trip is short enough that a weather forecast with nothing on the radar (literally) gives you enough time to go out and back before a system could possibly develop and move in.

-They have the right clothing and gear.

-They is plural, i.e. not solo.

-They are experienced.
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Re: The First TR of 2014

Postby Vaca Russ » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:49 am

FF,

No, we didn’t see any ski tracks. The area we hiked is a very popular cross country ski area, but there really wasn’t enough snow. This current storm will probably change the “lack of snow” situation. :)

If you plan on hiking the Bassi Fork be aware that the going above the falls gets real thick real fast. The vegetation is almost impenetrable.

We are normally use to about 6 – 10 feet of snow in this area at this time of the year. I hope we can come close to that before the rain ends.

Tom, thank you for your kind words. You give very good advice. I would also like to add some advice to newbies who are thinking of hiking at this time of year.

Go to a place you know like your own back yard. We have hiked this area many times in all season conditions.

Get a girl. :)

002.JPG


I mean that for equipment reasons. If you get a really smart girl she will read all of the information and about all of different type of gear. She will read every review out there. Based on this information, she will search the internet looking for the best deal on the best equipment. That brings me to another point…if you are a starving student be prepared to drop some big coin for good equipment.

Finally I would like to remind everybody of Petaluma Russ’ advice, “use common sense”!

Two years ago we got caught out there during a freakishly heavy storm. The local ranger, Tom, even said he had never seen anything like that storm. We chose to stay put until the storm cleared. Tom met us near the trail head on our way out and the first things he said was that we did “exactly the right thing by staying put until the storm cleared.”

We will be out there this weekend playing in the snow again.

Good luck to all! :D

Thanks,

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: The First TR of 2014

Postby FeetFirst » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:55 am

Vaca Russ wrote:FF,

No, we didn’t see any ski tracks. The area we hiked is a very popular cross country ski area, but there really wasn’t enough snow. This current storm will probably change the “lack of snow” situation. :)

If you plan on hiking the Bassi Fork be aware that the going above the falls gets real thick real fast. The vegetation is almost impenetrable.


Thanks, Russ. I've been through that area a few times now and have actually followed the Bassi Fork all the way up to the source. There are definitely some thick areas down low, but as you get higher it thins out quite a bit. There's also a use trail most of the way.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: The First TR of 2014

Postby Tom_H » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:33 pm

Vaca Russ wrote:Tom, thank you for your kind words. You give very good advice. I would also like to add some advice to newbies who are thinking of hiking at this time of year.

Go to a place you know like your own back yard. We have hiked this area many times in all season conditions.…


I thought this was the case. That is also good advice for first timers to winter backpacking. You should always have a good bit of summer experience first. When you do venture into serious snow camping for the first time, it is best done in a location that you have already hiked in summer. That way, even though it will be very different, you at least have a sense of the topography. It's also best if trailheads into this location are accessible and not remote.
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Re: The First TR of 2014

Postby rlown » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:26 pm

Nice TR. I love that area, somewhat because it has a reservoir, It gets plowed. Was at the back end of Loon one winter and we had a 4.3 earthquake. Added to the ambiance.. :) rocks were rolling all night after the quake.

Thanks
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Re: The First TR of 2014

Postby ndwoods » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:31 am

Lovely!
Made me want to do some winter backpacking...haven't done any in several years and I think it's time!:)
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