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20 lakes basin-secret lake

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20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby cxcliff » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:29 pm

I'm heading to the 20 lakes basin in a couple of weeks. Has anyone on the forum camped at Secret Lake before? I was wondering if it was a better day hike, as I know it is on the route to Shepherd's Crest. I am looking for a bit of solitude. Thanks for any advice!



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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:07 pm

Hi Cxcliff,

Welcome to HST!
The lake is on the route to McCabe Pass, but may offer more solitude than the lower lakes.
Did not camp since I was heading over the pass, but one could camp there.
Here is someones picture of the lake from which you can judge the topography around the
lake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28426883@N ... otostream/
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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:34 pm

I have camped at McCabe Lake in early July and the mosquitoes were horrible. We circumnavigated Shepherd Crest and upon return to camp, we packing up to the ridge (between McCabe and Secret Lake) and camping on the top the second night! You have to haul water up here but it was much nicer without skeets.

I walked by Secret Lake two years ago and it has flat ground for camping and a few "bivy sites" where someone has made a flat sand spot. It is windy (may be good for keeping mosquitoes down). If you drop down just a little you follow a nice creek with flat grassy spots - probably mosquitoes. I went down to Cascade Lake where mosquitoes there were horrible, even in early August and spent the evening in the tent. I suspect that in 2 weeks time you will be in the thick of mosquitoes. You may want to camp away from the shoreline of any of the lakes and stay away from grass and meadows. PS- There is nothing above Secret Lake heading towards Sky Pilot Col (nothing but rock).
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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby cxcliff » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:06 am

Thanks for the advice, especially regarding the mosquitos! Great pid, Maverick. Are bear canisters required in the 20 lakes Basin?
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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby cxcliff » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:11 am

I meant nice pic, but then realized you mentioned it was someone else's! Still, beautiful up there.
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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby oldranger » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:27 am

First time I went by secret lake there were several tents but no people around. It is on the route to McCabe lakes that many people do as a day trip out of saddlebag or 20 lakes basin so not as private as you might expect. By the way if you do go to McCabe there is a ducked route heading from the sw corner of Secret lake. If you take the correct route it is a walk in the park--don't need to use hands. When you top the ridge head n. to the saddle and the route toward McCabe becomes obvious. If you miss the route from Secret there are other routes of varying difficulty. I have seen descriptions where people took off their packs and raised them up to others. I also watched people drop down to McCabe from way s of the saddle and it took them over an hour to get down to upper McCabe.

I believe Markskor is up there now or has just returned. If he gets access to a computer he might post a report.

Mike
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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:29 am

Mike wrote:
I have seen descriptions where people took off their packs and raised them up to others.
I also watched people drop down to McCabe from way s of the saddle and it took them
over an hour to get down to upper McCabe.


Funny you mentioned that Mike. The last time visiting Upper McCabe from 20 Lakes
Basin I had arrived in the afternoon and later that day a group of 3 people tried to
come across but they were trying to descend the middle of the ridge, got stuck, and
had to spend the night up there. The next morning the backcountry climbing ranger
came by and I had mentioned some folks got stuck half way up on the ridge the night
before and his answer was that people are taking the wrong route and getting stuck
on that ridge all the time.
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: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby phenocryst » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:42 pm

What happens is that people see a nice ramp going up and left from Secret Lake to the low point at the south end of the ridge and assume it's the way to go. This is a great day hike to a view but NOT the best way to cross the divide.

This happened to me.. again.. last week. I have been over the correct pass at the north end of the ridge but my (less experienced) companion was adament that we should take the pretty ramp. Since I had also been that way years ago and survived, I acquiesced. Near the top you can see where people leave the ramp and go straight up and over. The view down didn't look pretty but I went down for a look without the pack and found it steep but doable class 2. There are some ducks.. obviously lots of people have gone this way. We passed the packs a couple times and got down in under an hour.

Even tho it turned out ok, I wish I had spent more time looking around for the correct route. This experience has me thinking about interpersonal dynamics and safety in the backcountry. I know I can't win an argument with this guy, so I went against my better judgement. This is a topic for another thread, but it's the type of situation where a trip can really go south and that I intend to handle differently next time, starting with some serious conversation before going into the backcountry or even deciding to go.
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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby oldranger » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:12 pm

I'm one of those bullheaded people that tend to "my way or the highway" when travelling off trail but I have mellowed some in my old age. When hiking with my son I tend to let him lead (really have no choice because I can't keep up with him) . It does bother me when he gets out of sight and I would like to make a radical change in direction due to something I see that he might have missed but I have to keep going in the direction he chose. These generally aren't safety issues but sometimes it takes us longer to get to our destination. When hiking with markskor if I am the least bit unsure I consult with him and we almost always come to consensus as to the route. We both understand that off trail travel in tough terrain involves a constant set of adjustments. If a route involves some exposure I also defer to his expertise though once I balked at a route he had no problem with. (He does sometimes have a problem with easy, non technical terrain :D but that is another story.) In July, heading cross country to Lillian, markskor and rlown took one route, my son Matt took another, and I was far to the left (as usual). Poor tehipite tom, a well trained group leader, was trying to keep us all in sight. It was easy terrain but with the report of downed trees near the lake I was trying to cut over to the trail that had been logged. Turned out the trees were not so bad. And we all got there within 5 minutes of each other. Ever heard of herding chickens? Not particularly smart but we did ok.

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Re: 20 lakes basin-secret lake

Postby Jimr » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:44 pm

oldranger wrote:I believe Markskor is up there now or has just returned.


If Markskor has been there, I'd be very wary of following ducks. You may find yourself going in circles :D
What?!
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