Taboose to Dumbbell: Kings Canyon NP | High Sierra Topix  

Taboose to Dumbbell: Kings Canyon NP

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Postby peninsula » Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:46 pm

Thanks Snow Nymph and KathyW,

TS Eliot has some really good stuff. I'm not big on poetry, but I think his stuff hits the nail on the head with abrupt eloquence.

And hikerduane, you will do well paying attention to both regular snacks (I think Power Bars are the best) as well as plenty of water. That along with picking a pace that is natural for you. I take plenty of breathers and can still manage to cover lots of ground. My breathers are short with my pack on my back and standing up. I rarely take my pack off during the course of a day when going from one camp to the next. And I keep my water, water purifier, camera, and food handy so my pack can stay put. I find resting with my pack off is not good for me. I get stiff and find it hard to get back into a rhythm. But to each his own as goes taking breaks. You got to do what works for you.

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Postby quentinc » Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:40 pm

KathyW wrote:peninsula - great report and beautiful pictures. I'd really like to get into that area eventually. It must have been hell coming down from Dumbbell Pass.

I see you have a TS Eliot quote as your signature - I love TS Eliot. I really like this section from "The Wasteland":

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

and most of all I love his poem "The Hollow Men" http://www.cs.umbc.edu/~evans/hollow.html

oops, i've gone off-topic - this is a backpacking thread


One should never apologize for invoking T.S. Eliot! My favorite lines from The Wasteland:

And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

But, then, I always have had a weakness for angst. ;)
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Postby hikerduane » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:52 am

peninsula, I'm like you, I take a break on my feet and only take my pack off for lunch or to change clothes or at the end of the day. Gotta stay ahead of the young people. But then my pack weight is only half yours, those disposable cameras don't weigh much. :nod:
Piece of cake.
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Postby KathyW » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:21 am

No, I suppose there should be no apologies for quoting Eliot - he was a extraordinary poet whose work will live on forever.
Last edited by KathyW on Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:00 am

If any of you are interested in Taboose Pass, Cartridge Pass, Lake Basin, Dumbbell Pass and Dumbbell Lakes Basin

How could anyone not be interested?

Really enjoyed the report and pictures. Dumbbell Lakes basin has been on my wish list for a long time.

As for Eliot quotes, there's a line from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock that goes through my head over and over whenever I'm off-trail and picking out a route: "In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."
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Postby maverick » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:33 pm

I saw no one in Dumbbell Basin either and I visited every lake in the
basin.
I saw some foot prints at the small lake north of 11108 but that was it.
Saw some bear and mountain lion tracks at the pass between
Observation Basin and Dumbbell Basin and some bear scat at
Observation Lakes and Dumbbell Basin.
Lakes Basin has become popular and the masses can have at it
Dumbbell and Amph is prettier anyways.
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Postby peninsula » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:28 am

I saw what looked to be cat prints on the Lake Basin side of Dumbbell Pass.

I'm going to have to check out Amph for sure. So many places on my list and only so much cartilage in my knees. I saw a guy that looked like he was about 70 making his way over Taboose. I can only hope my legs will hold out as well as his!

For beauty and relative solitude, another favorite of mine is Miter Basin. Even though it is not all that remote, it seems to get relatively less traffic. I imagine the solitude is aided by the fact Miter Basin is located south of the traffic-generating JMT. Another trip on my ever-growing list is Lower Soldier Lake, Miter Basin, Crabtree Pass into Crabtree Basin and then loop back out via New Army or Army.
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Postby maverick » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:14 pm

Sky Blue and Iridescent Lakes are my favorites in Miter.
Your right, with everyone concentrating on finishing the JMT and
hiking Whitney, Miter is all but ignored
If you want another beautiful area go to Kaweah Basin and Red Spur
Lakes.
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Postby peninsula » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:47 pm

I once climbed over the Miter from Sky Blue to Iridescent. I broke all of the rules. I did this some 20 years ago when I had little knowledge of basic mountaineering fundamentals. I went over the Miter between the second and third peaks if counted going from south to north. Had I made this effort further North, I'd probably been fine. I instead scooted up a long chimney from Sky Blue. No ropes, all by myself, I ended up stuck on the Iridescent side as the opposite chimney on my descent became too wide and to steep. I made a jump that prohibited my turning back. It was a very foolish move. Soon thereafter, I could no longer safely descend. I was either going to start blowing my whistle and hope someone heard me (I was getting cold and without any additional clothing for protection) or climb out onto a face of vertical granite and try to find unseen hand and footholds to lower myself down. In my panic, I attempted the later, and I ended up taking a fall. Incredibly, I came out with only some bruises and deep abrasions. It was a the nearest I've come to thinking I was going to die! Anyway, I made it. I'll never forget going into the water on the shore of Iridescent and washing off the blood. I started crying. Then I went back to camp and went fishing.

And yes, those two lakes are beautiful. I have yet to make it over to Primrose of Erin Lakes.
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Postby quentinc » Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:50 pm

Peninsula, that story sounds eerily familiar (cf. Mt. Russell and the Wall of Death). Unlike you, I don't have the benefit of being able to say it happened 20 years ago. In my favor though, I waited until I got back to my car before I started crying. ;)
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Postby peninsula » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:31 am

quentinc wrote:Peninsula, that story sounds eerily familiar (cf. Mt. Russell and the Wall of Death). Unlike you, I don't have the benefit of being able to say it happened 20 years ago. In my favor though, I waited until I got back to my car before I started crying. ;)


Surviving to tell the story has made all of the rest of my trips far safer. I guess living and learning is still the universal school, but I'd done well to have learned and lived in the case of my experience on the Miter! I'd be interested in hearing more about your experience on the Wall of Death.
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Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:11 am

peninsula wrote:
quentinc wrote:Peninsula, that story sounds eerily familiar (cf. Mt. Russell and the Wall of Death). Unlike you, I don't have the benefit of being able to say it happened 20 years ago. In my favor though, I waited until I got back to my car before I started crying. ;)


Surviving to tell the story has made all of the rest of my trips far safer. I guess living and learning is still the universal school, but I'd done well to have learned and lived in the case of my experience on the Miter! I'd be interested in hearing more about your experience on the Wall of Death.

Quentin's superb story on the Wall of Death is in the climbing forum. Yeah I wish surviving to tell made things safer, but there is some extent to which some of us push the risk level a bit higher than we should. I had a double "do or fly" experience descending Mt. Abbot in 1977--a blind "let go" or controlled fall, if you will, to a narrow ledge (as the first one down I could then manually provide footholds for my partner--my partner actually thought I was a goner when I let go), followed a half hour later by a flying leap over a black ice chute that ended by crashing into boulders (used my body to cushion the impact for my partner who went second on that one, too). Unfortunately, as an 18-year old, I didn't ease up and make my trips safer. In early 1979 on a snow climb of Mt. Brewer I nearly got killed when I tried to glissade the east ridge headwall and found I couldn't self arrest on soft spring snow (eventually did after going 40% of the distance to the edge of a cliff). Things were pretty good until 1991, when I very nearly got crushed by a huge boulder traversing the toe of a rock glacier at Upper Horton Lake while hypnotized by 20 inch goldens (which I failed to catch)--that was easily the closest call, given that the boulder was so close I actually assumed I was about to die. I have been much more cautious since 1991, though, and even more so since 2002 when my first kid was born. All three incidents were the results of egregious errors in judgement on my part. On Abbot I did two moves that I knew would be trouble coming down (the two flying moves coming down). On Brewer I never should have tried to glissade on 45 degree spring snow, and at Upper Horton I should have not even bothered with that rock glacier toe.

Some folks, of course, never throttle back on the risk level however many close calls they've had (read the autobiography of most great mountaineers and one can see this). I would guess the late Henry Nguyen was one of those, based on what I've read about him. He always seemed to push the envelope, commonly doing class 4 and 5 routes unroped. Sadly it caught up to him a few weeks ago on Isoceles Peak.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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