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TR: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

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TR: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

Postby ksenn » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:09 pm

I’m moving to Virginia in a few weeks and had been aching to squeeze one last high country trip in before it’s 3,000 miles away. Luckily, I found myself with four free days and hastily threw together a few options to play the walk-up permit game. A couple places I had done before: Rae Lakes and Cottonwood Lakes. A couple I had not: Bishop Pass and Pioneer Basin. I rolled into the Lone Pine ranger station a little after 1pm and was able to get my first choice, Bishop Pass.

After fueling up my car with gas and my insides with Taco Bell, I continued on to South Lake. My plan was to hike up to Bishop Lake that night, follow Roper’s High Route along the Palisades, then along the JMT through LeConte Canyon, back up to Dusy Basin and out to the car. I changed my clothes, took pictures of the appropriate pages from Roper’s book and Secor’s book on my phone, then off I went.

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I figured the mosquitoes would be bad, but still only brought my bivy/tarp instead of my Lunar Solo just to see how miserable I’d actually be. A headnet helped and I now have a new tolerance for those flying, blood thirsty insects… it really wasn’t too bad and I’d do it again.

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I lingered on top of Knapsack Pass for a while watching another party continue on toward Barret Lakes and eyeing the route down the stream draining those lakes. As I thought about the talus on the other side of Potluck Pass, the probable route-finding puzzle coming off of Cirque Pass, and the long day to be had from Palisade Lakes all the way back to Dusy Basin the next day, a feeling of reluctance and laziness grew inside of me. After a few more minutes of internal cheerleading to go for it… my laziness won out. Down and down I went.

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Secor says to stay on the west side of the stream and there’s many tedious class 2/3 cliffs down this way. Staying on the east was actually easier until it started to get steep and the cliffs weren’t bad. I got down a few class 3 sections that probably could have been avoided had I backtracked and found a better way.

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Once at the bottom it was all easy walking until I ran out of juice and found a spot to sleep near the Dusy Branch trail.
The next morning I slept in, took forever getting my stuff packed, and listened to an entire Tom Petty album sitting on a small dome above my campsite. Around 11 I finally got moving and hiked up into Little Pete Meadow. I spent time taking pictures and enjoying the meadows for a while before going up to Dusy Basin a little after 1. It felt good to spend a day enjoying the scenery and not killing myself climbing through boulders or pumping out miles.

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I found a nice spot to myself on the far side of one of the upper lakes. However, I was disheartened to see a party with a fire across the lake. Maybe they hauled the wood up from the canyon…

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I got up early the next morning to beat traffic around Riverside and was back to the car in 3 hours or so. It was a great last Sierra trip. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make it back before too long and have some adventures on the east coast in the meantime.

More pictures if anyone's interested: https://flic.kr/s/aHskAncW5G



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Re: TR: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

Postby maverick » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:57 am

Thanks for the fun TR and pretty pictures. Goodluck on your move.
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: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

Postby gary c. » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:41 pm

Nice trip and some beautiful pictures. Thanks for taking the time to write it up and post.
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Re: TR: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

Postby justm » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:45 pm

Great pics !!! I'm sure it's going to be tough, to be so far away from the Sierras. Thanks for sharing !!
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Re: TR: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:45 pm

Wonderful photos! Thank you.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: TR: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:11 am

ksenn >>>I found a nice spot to myself on the far side of one of the upper lakes. However, I was disheartened to see a party with a fire across the lake. Maybe they hauled the wood up from the canyon…

Maybe? Hah! If they cared that much they would not make an illegal fire period. Inconsiderate careless visitors that make fires at illegal elevations never lug wood up from far below elevation limits. Instead they collect it from as close to their camp spots as is lazily possible, the very limited wood in timberline areas. Even if that means ripping dead branches off snags and live trees. Then burn up those nutrients up into smoke wasted into the atmosphere that living things in that harsh environment depend on.

Sierra National Forest that I just packed into last week now has a good number of new paid backcountry rangers roaming the trails and lakes. And according to the Prather office person I spoke with at length they are nailing quite a number of people with expensive several hundred buck citations for making illegal fires especially thru hikers along the PCT. Also numbers of those without permits, camping too close to lakes, and improper bear food storage.
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Re: TR: Bishop Pass 7/15-18

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:54 am

SSSdave wrote:Sierra National Forest that I just packed into last week now has a good number of new paid backcountry rangers roaming the trails and lakes. And according to the Prather office person I spoke with at length they are nailing quite a number of people with expensive several hundred buck citations for making illegal fires especially thru hikers along the PCT. Also numbers of those without permits, camping too close to lakes, and improper bear food storage.


Now that's good to hear.
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