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60 Lakes Basin from north to south

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60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby fishmonger » Tue May 10, 2016 2:37 pm

I'm working on the route planning for our summer hike, looking for some experiences and opinions. One segment we always wanted to do as a JMT alternate route is to leave the JMT early on the climb from Woods Creek to Glen Pass, heading south west just before the little marsh. From there, we plan to climb up into 60 Lakes Basin, then later pick up the trail in the basin and follow it to below Fin Dome, then continue cross country to the south end of the basin, all the way to Rae Col and then cross country to the base of the switchbacks of Glen Pass.

I saw a use trail on Rae Col viewing satellite images for the area, so that's probably all quite easy to navigate. What I have not found any information or trip reports on is the climb up into the north end of the basin. See my hand drawn GMAP plan for that area:



It looks like a straightforward scramble up from the JMT to the northernmost lakes, contour lines not too tight and the terrain appears like a mix of broken up slabs mixed with some small talus. Any additional info on this is appreciated. Probably nothing serious compared to University Peak Pass, a route we also plan to do later on (resupply at Onion Valley, then back up over University to Center Basin and Junction Pass, etc).



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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby maverick » Tue May 10, 2016 3:18 pm

Hi Fish,

Basin Notch, shown here on the HST Map, is the easiest way to enter 60 Lakes Basin, have added a thread below it, that contains some info about the route you are talking about, which advises against it.
Pass is located in the cross hairs.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11625&p=87764&hilit=basin+notch#p87687
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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby fishmonger » Tue May 10, 2016 5:44 pm

I saw that thread earlier today. I think there are several "gaps" described in these anecdotes, and I am not sure that the "rough" route is the actually one I am considering. It's maybe a 50% chance that they actually took that route. Perhaps they followed the creek down (I looked up that valley and didn't like it - far too much brush there).

There are several places one could drop down between the "easy" route to Dollar Lake and the one I drew in my map. And "rough" is relative - compared to the easy gap, probably. But compared to other places we are visiting (e.g. University Peak Pass and Junction Pass) it may just be normal class 2 terrain and quite enjoyable, plus we'd definitely have those first lakes all to ourselves..

That said, it's quite possible we'll have a lazy moment, or are behind schedule, which is when we'll take the easy route for sure. We''d also get to see Fin Dome one more time, which is always a highlight of a trip through that region. It's back side isn't quite as impressive as the well known east view.
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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby maverick » Tue May 10, 2016 5:50 pm

Have done the Notch, very easy, but if you feel adventurous and not tight on time, the alternate route could be fun, though it may depend on how much weight you are carrying at the time.
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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby Bluewater » Tue May 10, 2016 7:12 pm

I have been looking at a similar route through 60 Lakes Basin for a trip this summer, but going the opposite direction (northbound).

I reviewed the previous thread about the alternate to Basin Notch that was used, and it looks like they may have just used the next creek drainage to the north, which looks steeper and choked with brush.

There is a route at the north end of 60 Lakes Basin that looks good from what I can tell on Google Earth. It's slightly different from what Fish has outlined on the topo, but close. It completely avoids the steep chute choked with brush and follows the ridge up to a small lake, then up another less steep slope to the northern-most end of 60 Lakes Basin.

Any thoughts?

60 lakes xc route north.jpg


Here's an overview:

60 lakes xc route overview.jpg


60 lakes xc route overview2.jpg


Also, I also noticed the use trail that Fish saw on Google Earth. It looks like it is in a slightly different location than where Rae Col is located on the HST map. Does anyone have experience regarding which one of these might be "best"?

Here's the use trail at the south end of 60 Lakes Basin:

use trail at the south end of 60 lakes basin.jpg


Another overview:

rae col and use trail.jpg


rae col and use trail alternate angle.jpg


On the HST map the cross-hairs are on the approximate location of the use trail:



Rae Col in the cross here:

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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 10, 2016 9:04 pm

The lakes one mile ESE of Mt Clarence King, at timberline, about 11,000 feet, and 0.4 mile off the 60 Lakes Trail, going in from the SE (about at the "C" in CANOYON) are very pretty and worth going to if you have time.

Image

Image

Image
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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby fishmonger » Wed May 11, 2016 8:31 am

Bluewater wrote:I have been looking at a similar route through 60 Lakes Basin for a trip this summer, but going the opposite direction (northbound).

I reviewed the previous thread about the alternate to Basin Notch that was used, and it looks like they may have just used the next creek drainage to the north, which looks steeper and choked with brush.

There is a route at the north end of 60 Lakes Basin that looks good from what I can tell on Google Earth. It's slightly different from what Fish has outlined on the topo, but close. It completely avoids the steep chute choked with brush and follows the ridge up to a small lake, then up another less steep slope to the northern-most end of 60 Lakes Basin.

Any thoughts?

Also, I also noticed the use trail that Fish saw on Google Earth. It looks like it is in a slightly different location than where Rae Col is located on the HST map. Does anyone have experience regarding which one of these might be "best"?

Here's the use trail at the south end of 60 Lakes Basin:


My route was pretty much a guess, based on top down satellite view and contour lines on the topo map. Your Google Earth views are about equal to what I have in mind, with the exact route more or less developing based on the terrain in front of us, but keeping that general direction, leaving the JMT/PCT pretty much at the same spot.

The other chutes are of no interest. I checked out the creek drainage just north of my tentative route 2 years ago, and what I saw was solid brush and steep rock on each side, so not really inviting at all.

Rae Col is either mislabeled on the HST map, or it applies to the entire ridge up there. I definitely would follow the use trail (zooming in on my route in sat view shows that that is what my line is based on in that area. The way down to the Glen Pass trail is still not so clear to me, as there are various options, and none of them are obvious winners. Either lots of talus to navigate, or rock barriers facing our general direction of travel. It probably will sort itself out when we get there.

Our packs will be pretty light, as our next resupply is Onion Valley, just following this little detour from the main Sierra highway.
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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby fishmonger » Wed May 11, 2016 8:38 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:The lakes one mile ESE of Mt Clarence King, at timberline, about 11,000 feet, and 0.4 mile off the 60 Lakes Trail, going in from the SE (about at the "C" in CANOYON) are very pretty and worth going to if you have time.


I hope to spend extra time in places like this basin, and generally anywhere along our route where I haven't been before. We'll be making up for it with big miles on the main trail connecting those segments on our hike.

Visiting those lakes, which do look very appealing, will depend partially on where we spent the night before and how early in the day we arrive in the basin. If what I have on my itinerary right now shapes up to be our timing in that area, we will come down from somewhere south of Pinchot Pass that day, leaving ample time to head into the basin and explore and find a great location to spend the night there.
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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby Bluewater » Thu May 12, 2016 10:16 pm

Many thanks to Fish for pointing out the use trail at Rae Col. . .and WD for recommending those lakes. I have hiked past 60 Lakes Basin a few times and am really looking forward to exploring there this summer (July 15/16).
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Re: 60 Lakes Basin from north to south

Postby The hermit » Sat May 14, 2016 2:36 pm

I did the route northbound rae col to basin notch. Camped at the northern most lake. East of the north end of the lake was a steep rocky chute no good. I traverse south a ways not wanting to drop down to the lake. The next notch was pretty loose and sketch abouthalf down. I traverse south now on the east side of the ridge and found the use trail coming down from basin notch.lesson, take time to find the right route
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