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Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

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Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby Bluewater » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:29 pm

Many thanks to the HST community for posting inspirational trip reports and detailed route plans. A three day weekend opened up this week and I am working on a cross country loop out of Onion Valley.

My 'stats',

Level 3.5- Comfortable with trail and/or x-country travel

Comfortable with Class II x/c passes but little Class III experience.

My main interest for this trip is to get some training for the cross country passes on the SHR later this summer. Big scenery, lakes, climbing, photography, no fishing or a dog this time.

I have three full days (this Fri/Sat/Sun). I'm good with 16 trail miles/day, more like half that for cross country depending on the terrain. I don't mind being on the trail all day.

I have experience hiking cross country solo and will be bringing a Spot II.

Here's my potential plan:

Day 1: Onion Valley over Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake, over Gardiner Pass into Gardiner Basin to camp. According to the map this is about 12 trail miles (if there really is a trail).

Day 2: Gardiner Basin, over 60 Lakes Col then camp in 60 Lakes Basin. About 10 miles, mostly on trail (again, if there really is a trail) with the last few miles cross country.

Day 3: 60 Lakes Basin, over Rae Col, over Glenn Pass, over Kearsarge and out. About 13 miles, about 4 miles offtrail.

There is a trail on the Nat Geo software from Charlotte Lake to Gardiner Pass that says "Location Approximate", which is vague at best.

I'm not sure about the trail from Charlotte Lake into Gardiner Pass and the trail in Gardiner Basin. The HST map says 60 Lakes Col and Rae Col are both Class II.

If anyone has some experience or words of wisdom it would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Andy.

Here's an overview map:

cross county gardiner basin loop.JPG
map



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Re: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:59 pm

Hi Andy,

Since these TR's have good descriptions, and photo's I won't describe the route, all
the info you need is contained in these TR's:
https://www.sites.google.com/site/bryan ... rbasin2008 + additional photo's
from this trip: http://www.bryanlallen.smugmug.com/Natu ... 52&k=hrsgH

http://www.chayden.net/Sierra96/Sierra96.html

Have a great trip, and if you can please submit a write up with photo's of the passes
besides the TR it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby Bluewater » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:10 pm

Thank you Maverick! This may be a little much for me to do in three days, but I'm going to try. I think reversing my route may leave more options just in case. I can't wait to get out there! I will do a TR with photos when I get back (in one piece hopefully).
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Re: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:25 pm

Hi Andy,

Since you want to do some crosscountry passes to warm up for your upcoming SHR.
How about the alternative route that will be shorter with two class 2 passes, one
class 1, will fit better in you schedule and will be easier to bale out of if needed.
Use Gould Pass to get to Dragon Lake, then head down the JMT towards Lake 10292
from will your ascend up and into Sixty Lakes Basin via Basin Notch, head south
through Sixty Lakes basin to Rae Col, over and hook up with the trail go over Glen
and back out to the trailhead.
Gould Route: HSTMAP
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: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby Bluewater » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:16 pm

Thanks Maverick. The route you outlined on the HST map really helps w/ the approach to Gould Pass. That looks like a much better route for the amount of time I have. From what I've read so far Gardiner Basin seems like it would take several days to really enjoy.

I'm a little unsure about the location of Lake 10292 and Basin Notch. The best I could tell from NatGeo it looks like Lake 10292 is between Dollar and Arrowhead lakes. From there I think Basin Notch travels southwest up toward 60 Lakes Basin.

Does that seem about right? I tried making a map. Thanks again, your experience is very much appreciated!

Dragon Lake JCT to 60 Lakes Basin.JPG
possible location of Lake 10292 & Basin Notch
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Re: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:03 pm

Yeap that is almost it, except you have to shoot for that Notch which located a little
lower than what you outlined on your map. It's located right above the left upper
corner of the letter N in Canyon and then proceed south towards that small lake.
Lake 10292 is Arrowhead Lake.
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Re: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby Bluewater » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Great! Thanks for the description. I found some good stuff on Google Earth, too. One more day and I'm on the trail (or off trail).
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Re: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby cgundersen » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:36 am

Andy,
Good luck on Gould pass; I'll be curious to see your photos and hear comments. It's one of those routes I've looked at on day hikes but have not done with a pack. It looks like it may have its moments!
cg
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Re: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby Bluewater » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:23 pm

CG, I'll be sure to post some photos and comments when I get back. I'll be traveling light (w/ a 'UL bear canister') which should help on the climb to Gould Pass and Rae Pass. Thanks, Andy.
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Re: Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby fishmonger » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:27 pm

did you do this hike? I'm curious about the part from the top of the basin back to the JMT below Glen Pass - thinking of doing this as an alternate later this fall southbound
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Trip Advice: Gardiner Basin / 60 Lakes Basin Cross Country

Postby Bluewater » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:53 pm

I ended up following most of the plan suggested by Maverick except that I didn't make it into 60 Lakes Basin. The area from Gould Pass down to Dragon Lake and Rae Lakes was beautiful. I will probably use it again now that the route is familiar. I did a TR after and it's under the backpacking/hiking forum. Those lakes were crystal clear.
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