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Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

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Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby copeg » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:58 pm

At least my ice axe looked cool hanging on the outside of my pack - not like it would get much use. I had started at South Lake and over Bishop pass, hiking in the on and off rain. Had forgotten how long the hike was down the western side of Bishop Pass, and arrived at one of the lower lakes just in time to encounter mosquito rush hour. Before my tent was even set up I was out taking photos and listening to the buzz of the swarm. Finally got around to eating something at 9, before crashing by 10.

Dusy Basin Sunset
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The following morning, without much sleep, I was looking up towards Knapsack Pass. It's gullies were filled with snow, and the closer I got the less doable it seemed. I bushwhacked my way up steep slopes to the left, and like always things look worse than they are from a distance. A few backpackers descending assured me I was on the right course, and we passed each other discussing the backcountry. The last people I would see for days. After some scrambling through boulders I was on the top to enjoy the view north and south, watching the storm clouds brew and shadows move across the mountains. The descent down the pass was easy, and I was beside one of the higher lakes in the basin in time for lunch. A nice camp perched above one of the higher Barrett Lakes caught my eye, and while I wanted to climb to the further lake, my laziness was kicking in. The rain further encouraged me to set up camp quickly. I rested in camp watching the peaks to the south get repeatedly struck by lightning, but soon that lightning was overhead and I was driven into my tent when the storm rolled on top of me. By 4, the rain let up enough to let me explore a bit. Walking around the lake, I noticed the abundance of tadpoles and other unidentified water creatures. Near the outlet there was a sign attached to a rock noting the contraptions within the lake as research devices for the Yellow Legged Frog. I climbed around the lake, then hiked up to one of the other lakes, being glad I had chosen to camp where I did as that lake was still filled with ice cubes, its shoreline mostly covered with snow. I headed back to camp and gorged on some food before watching another colorful sunset.

Sunset in Palisade Basin
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Sunrise in Palisade Basin
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The following morning i was visited by two friendly marmots, and we all watched each other for hours. Never seen two marmots so closely together - perhaps that time of year. Seeing the clouds brew in the sky, I decided to pack up early and head back over Knapsack Pass - to beat the storm and get a head start for the trip out. Up the boulders and talus I went - backtracking once at a granite wall - but at the top by noon and down the other side by one. The mosquitos swarmed again as I slowly made my way through Dusy Basin. Arriving at one of the middle lakes, I stopped, threw my pack down, sat, and stared. One of those lakes to fall in love with. Small, A cascade poring in on one side. Towering peaks. No one else. Why I didn't camp there I don't know, but I continued on and chose a camp at one of the higher lakes at the base of the Palisades and Columbine Peak. As expected, the sky unloaded. 5 hours of rain and lightning. I emerged from my tent in the remaining sprinkles around 7pm. Not truly hungry, I decided to munch on snacks rather than fire up the stove for a full dinner. The sun began to set and the sky lit up - one of those sunsets that is a reminder of the name 'range of light'.

Fire and Ice
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I got an early start the next morning, judging by the sky I knew the rain was coming early. I made it to the top of Bishop Pass around 9, after passing a few other hikers and a coyote along the trail - the first people I had seen in two days. Down towards South Lake I was reminded of how much it rained the day before - every stream was swollen (a recipe for wet feet) and the trail skirting Long Lake was partly submerged in the lake. Got to the trailhead just in time, as the opening of my truck coincided with the opening of the sky as it unleashed once again.

Slowly but surely I'm working on more photos...if you made it this far, thanks for reading :)



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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby gary c. » Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:20 pm

Your pictures are great, looking forward to the rest.
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby orbweaver » Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:21 pm

Great photos! I'll be going North to South Lakes next week. Hopefully I won't have the rain you experienced but the clouds made for some great photos.
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:22 pm

Great photos! I look forward to seeing more.
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:10 pm

Amazing photos! Thank you.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby windknot » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:54 pm

Wonderful pictures, thanks for the report! I did two trips to Dusy Basin last summer (visited the Barrett lakes via Knapsack and Thunderbolt passes during the second one) and your story and pictures vividly recall fond memories.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:17 am

Nice to see you finally get out Copeg, and experience a little monsoonal hula-hula, it
was fun, especially Saturday, and Sunday it rained from 11:30 am to almost 5 pm with
a 5 minute break in between, that was a lot of rain.
Great TR and, photo's as allways.
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: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby STRETCHMAN » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:23 pm

Great images Greg! Looking forward to see more photo's of your trip. :)
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby Herm » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:21 pm

Love that last photo "Fire and Ice" - thanks for posting.
I am not in a hurry, so don't be hasty.
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby arundodonax » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:00 pm

Stunning!

Pictures like this make me excited for my upcoming trip, and jealous that I'm not bringing a DSLR! :)
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby Cloudy » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:29 pm

Beautiful photographs. They so remind me of Galen Rowell who's work I admired so much.
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Re: Dusy and Palisade Basin TR

Postby rrivera » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:42 pm

Absolutely beautiful. I hike up closed to Bishop Pass this past weekend and it reminded me of fond memories from a S Lake to N Lake hike a few years ago. What camera are using and how do you carry it?
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