TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

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frozenintime
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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by frozenintime » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:33 am

something i meant to add is that on our way up taboose we ran into 16 or 17 people headed the other way.
granted there was a group of 6 and a group of 4 in there, but either way, that's many more than i was expecting on this kind of pass.

(on our way down we only saw 4.)








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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by Turtleggjp » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:37 pm

Very nice report!

I took my mom into Lake Basin via your (planned) route 2 years ago, and it was an incredible trip. I agree that the big lake below Cartridge Pass is awesome. We just call it "Cartridge Lake" for reference. We had no trouble following the trail all the way up to the pass from Muro Blanco, but then again I had already done it twice, and had a good GPS track to follow. We spent 3 nights in Lake Basin on that trip, taking day trips up to Dumbbell Lakes Pass one day, and down to Marion Lake the other day. I don't remember having any trouble with Mosquitoes anywhere in Lake Basin (or Marion Lake), but this was a drought year in late August / early September. If you do ever get to Lake Basin, do plan to spend some time in there. I've been in there twice now, and both times I've spent 3 nights, and wanted more! The descent down from Cartridge Pass into Lake Basin is a little tricky, especially the lower half. The upper half is comparable to the worst of Taboose Pass, and the lower half is a class 2 boulder field with a use trail more or less cutting through it. I'm glad if the Taboose Pass trail was not as bad as you were expecting. It is tough, but with some good planning (like a very early start), it is quite manageable, and the reward on the other side is so worth it! It seems like you got to experience all the basics in the area, from Lake Marjorie to Upper Basin, as well as Bench Lake. Well done! Just gotta get Lake Basin now...

The one thing I can offer for future reference (at least this was the case 2 years ago) is to go ahead and cross the Kings River twice on your way downstream. The first time I did this in 2009, I found lots of downed trees and slow going on the south side, but in 2015 we found a very nice trail, and even several cut logs! I remember the upper section of the trail being rather slow going in 2009 as well, but it had also seen some maintenance when we did it in 2015. Of course, with the record snowfall this year, it's entirely possible that it is now full of downed trees again.

Matt

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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by frozenintime » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:25 am

hey matt

thanks for the note. i definitely plan to make it back someday.

are you referring to the kings between the JMT and the cartridge trail, or the kings in upper basin? i'm guessing the former, but i'm not entirely sure.

as i said, we found staying on the north side from cartridge to the JMT to be easy and actually quite fun. the most complicated bit is just getting to the first talus field - we were perhaps too close to the river and ended up needing to hop some tributaries and do some proper bushwacking. but the talus field itself was quite stable and the use trail starting just after it was very well defined. it's a gorgeous area, as well. but i'm sure the south side is too. :)

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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by Turtleggjp » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:49 am

Yes, I did mean the stretch between the JMT and the Cartridge Pass trail. I went through there twice in 2009 actually. Once with my mom, when we just climbed up to Cartridge Pass, much like you did, and then again less than a week later on my way out of Lake Basin. The first time, we fought our way down the south side over downed trees, then on the return I tried to make the north side work. My mom doesn't do too well on talus, so it seemed worse coming back up that way, so when I came through again a week later, I took us back over to the south side to fight the downed trees. I was anticipating this again when we returned in 2015, and was surprised by how easily we cruised down (and back again a few days later) the south side this time, thanks to the trail maintenance that had been done.

I may try and do a trip this year out to Marion Peak, so I should get to see this area again first hand.

Matt

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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by frozenintime » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:48 pm

hey matt

that's interesting how different your experience was in 2009 and 2015.
i would assume there is 0.0% maintenance being done on that trail these days since it doesn't even appear on newer maps. interesting!

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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by Turtleggjp » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:05 pm

Here's one of the cut logs along the trail from 2015:
cut log.jpg
The tree looks like it has been there for years, but the cut looks pretty fresh.

Matt
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frozenintime
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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by frozenintime » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:12 am

that does indeed look like a nice, new chop.
i wonder if anyone around here knows how these maintenance decisions are made.
i know the low budgets for such things have been small for decades, and i'm surprised they'd spend any time at all working off the beaten path like this.
Last edited by frozenintime on Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by robertseeburger » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:14 pm

I did the route last year. (published a TR) Interesting that where you had problems, I had no problems. But I had a problem you didn't. I had trouble locating the start of the Cartridge Pass trail. Once found, it was no problem, although like you said it is quite steep. I also talked with Ranger Bob. He was great. I also asked about the direct drop route down from Bench Lake. He told me it was doable but was easy to get in trouble. I chose to backtrack to the JMT and then go down the river..more than anything just because I wanted to walk the route down the Kings from the JMT. I crossed the river twice to avoid the talus fields..quite easy..no need for poles...but that was 2016, not 2017.

Enjoyed the writeup!

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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:38 pm

To each his own! I stayed on the north side after crossing at the PCT. I found a use-trail close to the river and the little bit of talus hopping was not bad. I hate crossings! I thought the lake just south of Cartrigdge Pass was wonderful- I camped there and caught nice fish. Going back to the PCT from Bench Lake and dropping was really fast. Not sure I would have saved much time going down directly from Bench Lake. I went late season and had no problem with mosquitoes. Fishing was great in the lakes! Nice big fish! Also caught fish in Dumbell Lakes.

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Re: TR: taboose, upper basin, and NOT lake basin, 8/23-8/29

Post by thegib » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:41 pm

If any of you happens to run in to a stuffed mouse, (name: 'mouse'), somewhere just to the west of the use trail leading up from the river to Cartridge lakes and pass, I hope you'll post about it it here.

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