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TR: Sabrina Basin July6-8 Blue, Midnight, Dingleberry, Fish

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TR: Sabrina Basin July6-8 Blue, Midnight, Dingleberry, Fish

Postby Eiprahs » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:55 am

A family visit to SoCal gave us the opportunity to visit the Sierra. We were out of shape and unacclimated, but undeterred by reality. No one was going in the Sunday of July 4th weekend, so a walk-in pass was easy and there were only 7 other hiker cars.

Day 1. Off like a herd of turtles.

Susan at the TH

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Enjoying Afternoon Sun Above Sabrina Lake

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I’ve Got Gummi Worms and a Lawn Chair, and You Don’t—First Mosquito and Black Fly Swattings

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CCC Trail Work

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Crossing Into Paradise—Well Blue Lake Anyway

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We were feeling the altitude, so we quickly grabbed a convenient campsite just before the marked Donkey Lake trail intersection. Good thing as the sun was already behind the ridge to the West. The mosquitos came out to welcome us, we being the only blood donors available. We didn’t feel like eating much, so dinner was a little trail kibble and we were off to bed before total dark.
While skies had appeared to be clearing, we enjoyed a rain serenade most of the night. The next morning we were perplexed, after all the spatter and drippy sounds, to find everything dry. The only hint we weren’t delusional was the water in the depressions in the granite. We both woke with bad headaches after a poor night’s rest.

Day 2. Exploring the Basin

California Sunshine All Day Long

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We took a day hike to Midnight Lake. The day brought occasional showers and no sun.

Trail to Topsy Turvy Lake—Bad Mozzies!

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Midnight Lake

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Chute to Lamarck Col

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I had identified this scree chute as a means of crossing from Sabrina Basin to Darwin Bench. It always struck me as odd, at best, for the SHR to exit at Bishop Pass, and then backtrack back over Bishop, down Dusy to the JMT to access the Darwin Bench. So much cleaner to cross Bishop, resupply at Parchers, and to get to the Darwin Bench via Tyee Lakes and Lamarck Col.

Two flies in the ointment—was it possible to cross the ridge over to Lamarck near Granite Lake? And could you avoid the descent to the Sabrina Lake Trail by going XC from Little George Lake to Blue Lake?

Returning to camp, we fixed a great dinner, and, with the afternoon free, I checked out the Little George Lake to Blue Lake route.

Outlet of Blue Lake

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Well, as luck would have it, the heaviest and longest rain shower of the day ensued, giving me a free bath and wet clothes to sleep in (I didn’t take a bag). But I did determine the route was feasible, especially if you like clambering on medium to large talus. Probably a toss up time and energy wise compared to the longer trail route.

Skies remained cloudy, but with no rain-on-the-tent noise I slept OK. Susan not so well-another restless night with headache for her.


Day 3. Fishgut Lakes and then Home

Susan decided to sleep in, so I made my move to the chute. My plan was to cross the ridge West of Dingleberry Lake, descend to the outlet of the largest Fishgut Lake, and cross the next ridge over to Granite Lake by following a line of trees, then up the scree slope which starts at Granite Lake’s outlet.

View Of Route to Fishgut Lakes—Dingleberry Lake at Left

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In brief, I crossed Bishop Creek above Dingleberry Lake, walked into the little meadow downstream of the ford, where I followed fresh deer tracks up a treed gully to a pond. From the pond I followed

Walkway From Pond

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ramps and benches, traversing the slope above a couple more small ponds. I then followed granite ramps up to the ridge crest, where I dropped down a gentle slope to:

Middle (and Largest) Fishgut Lake

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Well, my satellite photo route to Granite Lake, when seen on the ground, looked like another talus adventure, so I settled for walking around the largest Fishgut Lake, where I saw:

Waterfall West of Middle Fishgut Lake

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Colorful Snags Between Upper and Middle Fishgut Lakes

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Upper Fishgut Lake

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I crossed Upper Fishgut Lake’s outlet, regained the ridgetop, and started down. Right after I took the following photo I met 5 guys heading into the Fishgut Lakes for a little fishing.

View from Ridge Top to South, Topsy Turvy Lake in Center

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The return trip was uneventful and I arrived back at camp just before 11 AM. Our exploratory objectives met, we decided to pack up a half day early. Weather was sunny, dry, and warm which put the mozzies to sleep, but brought out some black flies.

Just as I approached the trail head I came upon the largest marmot I’ve ever seen. He was engrossed in eating lupines, and I was able to get within 10 feet or so before the big guy slipped away. Unfortunately my camera focuses on the nearest object in the frame, foliage, so I wasn’t able to get a clear shot.

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And so we concluded a great trip to a gorgeous destination. 14 hours later, as the sun rose, we rolled into our driveway, thankful the driving ordeal was over.
Dave



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Re: TR: Sabrina Basin July6-8 Blue, Midnight, Dingleberry, Fish

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:40 pm

Thank you for the pretty TR and pictures Eiprahs.
Your photo titled "Chute to Lamarck Col" is a photo of what area, obviously
not of Lamarck Col?
You wrote:
I had identified this scree chute as a means of crossing from Sabrina Basin
to Darwin Bench.

Where is this chute located? Col's from Sabrina Basin are to far south to put one
into Darwin Canyon. Haeckel, Wallace, and Echo all put you south of Mt.Spencer
and into the mid and southern end of Evolution Basin. Lamarck Lakes and the Col
are located in North Lake Basin.
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: TR: Sabrina Basin July6-8 Blue, Midnight, Dingleberry, Fish

Postby Eiprahs » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:41 pm

Hi Maverick:

Here's the coordinates for the center of the chute:

N 37.20000 W 118.64721

Since there are trees in the chute, I was hoping the scree would be stable. The sat photo seemed to show scree going to the ridge top. I have seen photos of the opposite side which didn't show anything too serious to down climb. So I was hoping this could be a relatively direct route connecting off-trail segments of the SHR and by-passing the JMT segment over Muir Pass.

Here's a link to satellite view courtesy of Acme Mapper:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.20001,-118.64720&z=19&t=H

Roper talks about using Echo Col in his discussion of alternate routes. A recent TR about Haeckel Col shows it is a possibility, too. Both of these are not as direct, but my chute probably won't work at all.
Dave
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Re: TR: Sabrina Basin July6-8 Blue, Midnight, Dingleberry, Fish

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:45 pm

Hard to tell about the top portion of that chute, there looks to be another
possibility a little further east that looks a little more workable.
Did you by chance take a straight on shot of the ridge above Granite Lake?
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: TR: Sabrina Basin July6-8 Blue, Midnight, Dingleberry, Fish

Postby Eiprahs » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:09 pm

I don't have a face on shot of my chute. Here's a high resolution version of the photo in my TR. Zooming in close, there may be a class 3 way. Click image to access the high res version on Flickr.

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Before I dropped down to Middle Fishgut Lake's outlet, I took this photo of the col from Shober Lakes (Holes?) to Darwin Lakes. Doing a search on Shober, it turns out several folks have speculated this could work as a Sabrina/Darwin Bench passage, but no one reports actually doing it. I don't see anything in Secor, either. The satellite imagery suggests the west side is the more technical, although one post says there is a use trail from Lamarck to Shober col.

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This last photo, taken from the outlet of Middle Fishgut Lake, shows the "Batman's Ears" formation to the right of the chute, but not the chute itself. I needed to scale that ridge between Fishgut and Granite Lakes, and, sadly, I was out of both time and energy.

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Maybe someone viewing this has done either the Granite Lake col or the Shober col and could comment?

TIA
Dave
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