Observation,Ladder,Dumbell,Amphitheater,Barrett,Dusy BasinTR | High Sierra Topix  

Observation,Ladder,Dumbell,Amphitheater,Barrett,Dusy BasinTR

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!

Observation,Ladder,Dumbell,Amphitheater,Barrett,Dusy BasinTR

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:40 pm

What a trip!!! Solitude and Sierra views you wont believe.
The fires did make photography during the day challenging, but the
fire red sunsets made up for that.
While at Barrett Lakes there were SAR helos flying in the area for hours
looking for a climber/backpacker who they found the next day(his remains), and helod him out from where I spent my last night in Dusy.
Ladder Lake and the area up to Lake at 11000ft is very pretty. The
views are spectacular.
The hike up is steep and there is some bush to push your way through
especially if you ascend or descend near the creek but it is the most
direct way.
The ascent up the first creek from Palisades Creek after the JMT/Simpson
Meadow Junction starts out steep and then gets very rocky as you get
higher in elevation.
I climbed over the ridge to two small lakes instead of following up the stream to the lake under Mt Shakspere.
Lots and lots of medium talus and big boulders made the going slow up
the ridge that had to be climbed to get to the lakes.
Once over I made my way over to the Observation Peak Basin which
was better than expected.
The upper lake that kinda looks like a bone at one end is the prettiest
of all of them, I could have spent days here.
The next day I climbed the ridge that put me to the lowest lakes of
Dumbbell Basin.
Both the route up to Observation Lakes Basin and to Dumbbell Basin
were class 3 or at least 2-3.
Its been a while since I last visited this basin.
The lake under the pass with the islands is still a favorite as are the upper lakes.
Amphitheater Pass still had a small cornice on it but most of it has melted
This basin with its many pretty lakes still rates as on of the better ones
of the Sierra.
The next day I ascended Barrett Creek right up the drainage maybe
getting out twice because of downed trees.
Very little water.
Barrett Lakes were pretty, with trout jumping around like crazy.
The constent helicopter noise took away some what from the experience.
The next day was over Isosceles Pass and into Dusy to my favorite lake
in Dusy, one that isnt frequented much but has some killer views!
On the way out I checked out Ruwau and Bull Lakes, both are beautiful
lakes and better than the rest(Chocolate Lake) or any of the lakes
east of Bishop Pass, seriously check them out the next time you go up
and use them as a place to stay if you do not want to go over the pass
the same day.
Met some cool guys the last night who come to this very specific
lake in Dusy each years(I can understand why) to spend 4-5 days.
It was a great trip with lots of climbing and lots of outstanding scenery
that lives up to the SEKI rep and probably raises the level even more.
No skeetrz what so ever. Temps in the mid 70-90s, mornings in the
lower 40's upper 30's at higher windier elevations.
Some photos here.
Last edited by maverick on Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:46 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 9531
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:42 pm

Wow! Sounds like an awesome trip. Loved the pictures--those shots of Devil's Crags are amazing.
User avatar
Founding Member
Posts: 849
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:00 pm

Thanks TT. Yeah the views of the Craigs are the best angle
I have seen.
User avatar
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 9531
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Postby cgundersen » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:23 pm

Hi Maverick,
Wow, I thought from an earlier post that you'd needed to cancel this trip; obviously, at least most of it was a "go"! So, even with the photos and descriptions, I'm not sure I followed exactly where you went at some points: up and down the creek to Ladder lake or did you traverse to the south from Ladder (and, if so, how was it?)? And, it looked/sounded like you approached the Observation/Dumbbell area from the west (that was the stretch of 3 or 2-3 climbing)? Regardless, I agree with Tom that your shot of Devil's Crags is memorable. And Amphitheater is as gorgeous as ever, reminding me that it's been way too long since I got up there. Also, as you may have noted from Peninsula's earlier post, you guys nearly, but not quite overlapped.....but, at the rate it sounds like you guys move, it would have just been a blur.
Great trip!
User avatar
Topix Expert
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:35 pm

I went up from the Middle Fork ascending the the creek that runs
from Ladder Lake.
The route from Palisade Creek up to the ridge that I passed over to
the 2 small lakes southwest of Mt Shakspere and the ridge from the
lake south of 10565(with islands) that looks like a bone on the southern
end of it were the class 2-3 sections.
The Observation to Dumbbell and Barrett to Dusy though class 3
were short days kinda lay-off and Dumbell to Amphitheater was the
easiest day.
I went to visit just about every lake in each basin. The highest one in
Amph has a class 3 section block but when I came down I found an
easier section than what I used to ascend it.
User avatar
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 9531
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:48 pm

Lakes Basin is one of my favorite trips! Your Crags picture is awesome! Some day I'll get back there and explore more. :)
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison

User avatar
Snow Nymph
Founding Member
Posts: 2041
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:43 pm
Location: Santa Barbara & Mammoth Lakes, CA
Experience: N/A

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:03 pm

Thanks for the report. That's a highlight reel off trail backpack trip if ever there was one.
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
User avatar
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Posts: 2733
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

Postby peninsula » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:47 am

Great trip, Maverick. I've always liked Dusy Basin. And you already know what I think about Dumbbell. I read all about the lost hiker. I guess they found him at the bottom of Isosceles, having fallen 700 feet. Very sad.

Another sweet spot east of Bishop Pass is the upper Treasure Lake. It was the first trip I took my son on 7 years ago when he was only 10 years old. The fishing in that upper lake back then was exceptional, which surprised me given its location. And considering the location, we had the lake to ourselves the three nights we stayed. It is a fairly easy cross-country effort to get back down to the main trail from the upper Treasure Lake, making for a great spot to acclimate before continuing deeper into the Sierra.

Thank you for the trip report.
User avatar
Topix Regular
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Southern California
Experience: N/A

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:25 pm

Treasure is nice and I have used the pass above the lake to hook up with the Bishop Pass trail as an alternative sometimes.
Isosceles Pass does require some route finding especially at the top on the northern side, the southern side is easy.
When descending, climb east a little on the ridge to bypass the class 5
cliff section which should not be attempted, only by experience climbers and only after lowering pack with rope, which I did not have in my case.
There looked like there was another easier route starting higher up
on the ridge but I dont know whether it was accessable from my postion.
User avatar
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 9531
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Postby copeg » Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:45 pm

Sounds and looks like a sweet trip Maverick. Great report and photos!
User avatar
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Posts: 2009
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: austex, Gazelle, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], venturefar, wreynier, zacjust32 and 7 guests