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Getting to Dumbell Lakes

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Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:36 am

I have been planning some summer trips and checked out (using TOPO) different ways to get to Dumbell Lakes. Here is what I have estimated.

1) Taboose Creek - Taboose Pass- x-country angle down to PCT, up PCT 2 miles, x-country to Frozen Lake Pass, traverse to Dumbell Pass, down to Dumbell Lake. 15 miles, 8,500 elevation gain. Best route if you do not mind going over Frozen Lake Pass. I have done this one. Not bad - 2 very long days or 2.5 days.

2) Taboose Creek - Taboose Pass - stay on trail to Middle Fork - old Cartridge Pass Trail to Lakes Basin- Dumbell pass to Dumbell Lake. 17 miles, 9,000 elevation. Easiest route with more trail miles. I have done this one- not bad -- 2.5 days coming out - probably 3 days going in.

3) South Lake - Bishop Pass - Thunderbolt pass - Potluck pass- Cirque Pass- x-country via Doe Lake to Amphitheater Lake, Catarac Pass - Dumbell basin. This assumes there is a feasible x-country route from Palisade Lake to Amphitheater Lake (I have not done this). 17 miles, 7100 feet gain. Difficult x-country route nearly all the way. I have done the route as far as Palisade Lake. (2 days to Palisade Lake).

4) Roper's High Route from Roads End in Kings Canyon to Lakes Basin, then over Dumbell Pass to Dumbell Lake. 23 miles, 11,000 feet gain. Off-trail route, but easier than from South Lake. I have done this one - 3 long days.

Other routes I did not consider:

5) Bishop Pass, drop to LeConte Canyon- take PCT to old Amphitheater Lake trail and then over Catarack Pass.

6) You could also go up to Paradise Valley from Roads End in Kings Canyon- then up Muro Blanco to Cartridge TRail-not sure why anyone would want to do this though.

7) Roads End, Paradise Valley- Woods Creek - PCT to Bench Lake, drop to old Cartrige Trail then same as #2.

Combinations of these would offer some really nice loops.



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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:52 pm

Hi WD

I have been or done each variation except the Doe Lake to Amph Lake which
may be doable by traversing over the shoulder west of Doe Lake, but that is about
it, and even this looks iffy.
I would add another variation to get to DLB which I did a few year back by heading
x-country up towards Mt Shakspere, and then around into Observation Lakes Basin
where there is a pass which will get you into the western edge DLB.
OLB is very pretty with outstanding views of Devils Craig, and the Black Divide
and beyond.
Here are 2 shots of the lakes in OLB:
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s5/v ... 2543-4.jpg
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s7/v ... 3577-6.jpg
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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:11 pm

I'll add the most direct route which is South L.-Bishop Pass-Knapsack Pass-Barrett Creek descent-Cataract Creek-Amphitheater L.-Catraract Pass-Dumbbells. My wife and I took this route in 1993 and on our last day went from Amphitheater L. to the South Lake trailhead (a long day). The caveat here is that a fire that occurred after 1993 may have made this route brushier--MK and his wife did this route some years later and legend has it that their cursing while on the route nearly carried to my ears in the Bay Area. A key, I believe is to descend the Barrett slot canyon on the west side of the creek staying very close to the creek until the final waterfall (one then detours a bit further west to avoid a cliff)--MK descended on the east side of the creek. I am sure enough about this route that I would do it again when the kids get strong enough. If the conditions are anything like what my wife and I encountered, this route is very nice indeed. Our biggest obstacles in late July 1993 (1993 was a heavy winter) were: (1) crossing Palisade Creek (uncrossable were it not for a really big log) and (2) figuring out a way to get past the multiple cornices blocking Cataract Pass (we were able to squeeze between one and the rock (this was a smaller cornice north of the main pass which was totally blocked). The sloping deadfall steeplechase at the lower part of the ascent up Cataract Creek (above Palisade Creek) is a bit of a grind, too.

The next time I go I will probably enter this way and leave via the easy pass to Lakes Basin (as part of a Bishop Pass-Taboose Pass shuttle).
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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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby Cross Country » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:17 pm

I went to OLB in about '86 looking for fish. There were lots of frogs. Because of this I hiked in from Amp. L. and hiked out the same day from OLB to Palisade Creek. From OLB to the creek is a serious talas route and I wouldn't recommend it to any one. Nevertheless when I got to the creek I still had time to catch a bunch of fish, enough for dinner just before dark.
Last edited by Cross Country on Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby Cross Country » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:25 pm

GB put his entry while I was writing mine. My two sons (11 & 16) and I went to DB the same year (1993) as GB, 3 or 4 weeks later. There was a giant log jam on the creek making the crossing easy. We followed the route described in the Secor book over Cataract Pass and avoided the snow cornice (but it was 3 or 4 weeks later).
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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:58 pm

Hi JT

You are right, there are frogs, as a matter of fact I met a NPS Biologist who was just
coming out from the area before I ascended Barrett Creek to Barrett Lakes.
There is a lot of talus, but the views, and lakes easily compensated my effort as
photographer.
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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:08 pm

Has anyone gone up Cartridge Creek (from the Middle Fork) directly to Dumbell Lakes?
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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby mokelumnekid » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:36 pm

As Giantbrookie says, we went the Bishop Pass way, but crossed over to the east side of Barrett Ck. and had a hell of a time. Just recently Laura and Bob Burd used that same route, but stay on the west side, to do Observation Pk. *in a day* from the car and you might find a good description there. Or ping them for more info.

In the end I would prefer the route up the old Cartridge Pass trail (via Taboose) because the scenery and route finding is deluxe even if it is a tad longer. Downside is that it eats up a lot of days.
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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:34 am

I think a lot of people are adverse to Taboose Pass. I personally LIKE Taboose Pass! With an early start (say 5AM) you can beat the heat and just chug up one step at a time. If you do not know how to do the rest-step, you will by the time you get to the top! There is plenty of water along the way once you get up the first part. You can camp many places along the way, however, I have never found it too difficult to drop to the PCT in a day from the trailhead. I think with a full pack, most people would make better time via Taboose Pass than from South Lake. I guess a lot depends on what other scenery you want to see on the way in. You get to see Dusy Basin, Barrett Basin and Amp Lake from South Lake, and you get to see Lakes Basin from Taboose. And you can loop back via Frozen Lake Pass so you do not repeat the same miles. Also, Catarac Pass is a lot more difficult than Dumbell Pass.
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Re: Getting to Dumbell Lakes

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:28 pm

WD wrote "Has anyone gone up Cartridge Creek (from the Middle Fork) directly
to Dumbell Lakes?
Mike M. has a TR he posted a little while back from the 70's on this route with
some pictures.
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