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Conditions in Southern Deso

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Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed May 23, 2012 8:30 am

My girlfriend, Sport wanted to hike to above HT falls. Last Saturday we departed from Twin Bridges to investigate the conditions above the falls.

I would like to share a caveat to any person thinking of taking this route. “Take my advice… don’t listen to me.”

The following is quoted from Jeffrey P. Schaffer’s “The Tahoe Sierra”, page 208:
“Not only is the trail unofficial, it is, in places, essentially non-existent. It is also one of the most dangerous routes mentioned in this book. Supposedly a number of hikers have fallen to their deaths trying to follow it.

If you need a guidebook to stay on route, you shouldn’t be on this sketchy trail…Also, if you haven’t hiked this route, don’t hike it alone – you might have to be rescued.”

I would also like to thank HST poster Oleander for giving us some very good route finding tips in a PM.

Normally I post my TRs in the fishing hole but I really don’t have any fishing to report and I thought many people here could benefit from this report on conditions in Deso.
This picture gives you a good idea what the trail looks like. :)


Here is another good picture of the trail.

Log Ladder2.JPG

Here is a picture from above.
Down Crevise3.JPG

There is also a lot of steep boulder scrambling. Look at those all-terrain dogs!
Boulders and Dogs4.JPG

Eventually we made it to the top and then hiked along Pyramid creek. I tried to catch a little brookie whenever I came across a pool like this.
Girls at Pool5.JPG

It was a very beautiful and picturesque day. Once again, I have to give Sport most of the credit for these pictures. It is a good thing she does the photos. If it was me you would get a lot pictures with my fingers on the lens.
Big Girl at Pool6.JPG

We began to cross a lot of snow as we gained elevation.
Snow Cross7.JPG

Eventually we reached the lake. Ropi was about 80% frozen over. There were some open areas. I tried to catch a fish but had no luck. It was a waste of time. Everybody knows "They" have gillnetted all of the waters in Deso. The frog thing ya know. :)
This picture doesn’t do a very good job of showing how hard frozen the lake was on the north and west sides.
Better Ropi8.JPG

There is still a lot of snow on the north and west side of Ropi as well.
We had a great time. There was only one other group of campers and they were quiet in spite of being very young. There were only a few mosquitoes at dusk. The nighttime temps had to have been in the thirties.
We headed back the next day. We investigated an alternate route down the cliff. This is a picture of where the trail construction crew decided the trail needed a guard rail. :)
Guard Rail9.JPG

Our alternate path led us to a manzanita choked path nearer the falls.

We back tracked a little to the west and found ourselves on top of a 20 foot cliff. I was standing on the edge of the cliff, looking down, with my backpack off and a rope in my hand. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a gentleman appeared. He offered his help. He ended up catching both of our backpacks, finding the safest crevice to climb down and even provided a foot hold where there was none. I also had to climb half way up to grab each of my dogs by the scruff and pass them down to him.

We thanked him and he made a comment that could be the theme of HST. He said, “Up here, we have to rely on each other”.

Thanks for reading my TR.

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"...Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?"

Kahil Gibran.

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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby maverick » Wed May 23, 2012 10:10 am

Hi VR,

Thanks for a cool TR, though by the title thought it was a inquiry about conditions
in Deso.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu May 24, 2012 7:57 am

Great report and pics Russ, but I'm not gonna call it a TR, cuz IMO, that aint a trail :eek: . Its a mountain goat path someone followed and decided to call it a trail.
Once in a while you can get shown the light
In the strangest places if you look at it right.

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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby TahoeJeff » Sat May 26, 2012 7:06 am

There is probably 2-3 inches of new snow up there, as it snowed all day yesterday....
“Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary.”

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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby windknot » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:40 pm

Great report! I was wondering to myself why I haven't been up that route yet, and then I saw your pictures and remembered why.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby neil d » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:01 pm

Great report. That's a fun hike.

Except when there is an electrical storm. Lightning strikes + water sheeting off granite = no fun. :(
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