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Conditions in Southern Deso

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Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed May 23, 2012 7:30 am

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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.

"Shred the gnar!"- Bobby Blaine

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Vaca Russ
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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby maverick » Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

Hi VR,

Thanks for a cool TR, though by the title thought it was a inquiry about conditions
in Deso.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination, and where the trail ends is where our adventures begin.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member:
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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu May 24, 2012 6:57 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.
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"
D. Gilmour, Pink Floyd
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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby TahoeJeff » Sat May 26, 2012 6:06 am

There is probably 2-3 inches of new snow up there, as it snowed all day yesterday....
Many of us have been so brainwashed over the years — by sheer repetition, rather than by either logic or empirical tests — that statistical disparities are automatically taken to mean discrimination, whether between races, sexes or whatever.
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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby windknot » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:40 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:
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Re: Conditions in Southern Deso

Postby neil d » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:01 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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