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Conditions in Dusy/Palisades Basin or Mineral King Sawtooth

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Conditions in Dusy/Palisades Basin or Mineral King Sawtooth

Postby amaxoxo » Sat May 26, 2012 1:44 pm

Hello,
I'm planning a 6 day trip from June 12-17 and would like to do a loop of 20-30 miles so we can do a couple days of layover in addition to trail hiking. I've been thinking of going over Bishop Pass to Dusy Basin and then over Knapsack Pass to Palisade Basin, OR doing one of the loops out of Mineral King that go over Sawtooth Pass, OR a shorter loop out of Mineral King to Mosquito Lakes Basin and Eagle Lake. Has anyone been into these areas yet this year and have an idea of snow conditions? Or a good recommendation for another 20-30 mile loop?

We are: two backpackers, relatively good shape, ample trail experience, some XC experience, would like to hike 5-8 miles a day and have a couple days base camp to day hike. I like lots of granite, lakes, higher alpine areas--9,500 to 11,500, okay with a higher pass if it's relatively accessible.

Thanks for input.
diane



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Re: Conditions in Dusy/Palisades Basin or Mineral King Sawtooth

Postby cgundersen » Sun May 27, 2012 11:42 am

Hi Diane,
My wife & I went over Bishop Pass in mid-June last year, when it was essentially winter camping in summer. The first patches of open ground only poked through in lower Dusy Basin. In this low snow year, I'm sure there will be abundant open areas to camp in Dusy Basin and that area and Barrett Lakes are so spectacular, I'd recommend that route. Mineral King is fine, but Sawtooth Pass is a weirdo for the sandy soil. You slide back a half step for every step you take. You cannot go wrong doing a Knapsack trip!
cg
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Re: Conditions in Dusy/Palisades Basin or Mineral King Sawtooth

Postby ndwoods » Sun May 27, 2012 10:12 pm

I've been to Mineral King and done Mosquito Lakes Memorial weekend 1994....solid snow, now you just gotta figure out what kind of snow year 94 was....:) Sawtooth Pass is a BLAST coming from the East to the West....:)
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Re: Conditions in Dusy/Palisades Basin or Mineral King Sawtooth

Postby amaxoxo » Sun May 27, 2012 11:10 pm

CG,
My traveling companion just told me he doesn't want to do any cross country with packs on, but is open to dayhiking. Is it a reasonable dayhike up and over Knapsack Pass and back in a day?

Thanks much!
Diane
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Re: Conditions in Dusy/Palisades Basin or Mineral King Sawtooth

Postby maverick » Mon May 28, 2012 1:05 pm

Diana wrote:
Is it a reasonable dayhike up and over Knapsack Pass and back in a day?


Sure can, just stay at one of the pretty lakes underneath the pass, get an early start
and check out Barrett Lakes.
Since you will have at least 3 nights or maybe more depending how fast you want
to hike in from South Lake and over Bishop Pass, check out Lake 11393 and Lake
11388 area, also the lakes and small meadows leading up to Knapsack Pass are
worth exploring. Also descending down the trail towards LeConte Canyon to about
10200 ft will give you some outstanding views up toward the Goddard Divide.
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: Conditions in Dusy/Palisades Basin or Mineral King Sawtooth

Postby cgundersen » Mon May 28, 2012 1:47 pm

Hi Diane,
I'll second Maverick. There are great places to camp within easy distance to Knapsack, and if you're feeling adventurous, you could do a loop up over Knapsack and back via Thunderbolt col. The latter involves lots of boulder hopping, so be forewarned. But, it is a cool loop. I think Sierra Maclure logged some great photos of that area from last year (or the year before), so if you want more visuals, try the search for her trip report.
cg
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