Dusy and Palisade Basins, July 6th - 8th, 2012 | High Sierra Topix  

Dusy and Palisade Basins, July 6th - 8th, 2012

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Dusy and Palisade Basins, July 6th - 8th, 2012

Postby David and Karen » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:52 pm

*** David Here - this is a cross post of a report my wife just submitted to nwhikers.net - this forum was a great help to us when we were doing research. ****

I’m going to make a bold statement here and say that the area we visited on this report was my favorite area of all during our 16 day trip to the Sierras. That is pretty high praise because I REALLY like the Thousand Island Lake area as well.

Once we stepped off the trail on the far side of Bishop Pass we only saw one party walk past us in the distance during the 3 whole days, we had complete solitude.

The trailhead leaves from the scenic South Lake, west of Bishop California. Did I mention it is at 9750 ft? Bring your extra lung! This trail passes by many scenic lakes that will keep your attention and cool you off on a hot day.

Image

First up is Long Lake.

Image
Image

Then a turnoff to Ruwau Lake, Spearhead Lake, Timberline Tarns, Saddlerock Lake (home to the largest cloud of squeeters I’ve ever seen on trail) and finally Bishop Lake.

Then the fun begins, the ascent to the pass. By this time in the trip our bodies had acclimatized fairly well, however we were consistently noticing the elevation at around 11,500 ft.

Image
Image
Image

We attained the pass at 11,972ft.

Image

Surprisingly the view towards Dusy Basin was not that great. You couldn’t see any lakes and the pass itself was quite long and flat.

We dropped just over the pass and with a quick check of the map and altimeter, our boots left the trail and we headed cross-country towards our camp for the night, Lake 11,393.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

This is the largest lake in Dusy Basin and the one I decided was the best place for a photographer to spend the night based on internet forum discussions, the topo map and Google Earth (my favourite tool for trip planning – see my video under my Limestone Lakes trip report from last summer if you don’t believe me!).

Image

We sidehilled our way across in attempt to stay above the lake. What surprised me the most was looking at the map, everything seems relatively flat. I could not believe we could not see the lake until we were almost on top of it.

Image
Image
Image

What a glorious place this is! If you ever want to feel small and insignificant, this is a good place to be!

Image

So we setup camp for the night and I went for a VERY short and frigid dip.

Image

We did the usual wander around camp and engaged in some dancing for my 2012 Hiking Year in Review video. We didn’t do much, as after busting out a couple moves we felt drunk from the lack of oxygen.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Sunset proved to be fairly boring with little drama in a clear blue sky.

Image

The next morning after playing with the friendly marmots we packed up and headed towards Knapsack Pass.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

We had also considered Thunderbolt Pass however we knew it was more difficult and with a full pack opted for the easier route. While there are portions of boot beaten path through the boulders and ankle twisting rocks, we lost and found it many times. The route was not as easy as I had thought it would be, it took a lot of concentration and was tiring with the full pack.

Image

Once we got to the pass we refueled and debated our best route down as the far side was pretty steep.

Image

Here is where we made the mistake. The boot beaten path appeared to be going up and we wanted to go down. So down we went and it was challenging and awkward. On the way back out the next day we picked up the climbers path and indeed we should have followed the tread upwards.


Image

Again I surprised that from the high vantage of the pass, we could not see our destination of lake 11,523. Once on more level ground we made quick work of the basin and arrived at our destination for the night.

Image
Image

It was still early, but man it was flipping hot! There was a little rock formation built up, obviously made as a stove shelter, but it was large enough that we used it as “our fridge”. There was literally no shade whatsoever in this place and we crammed all our food and water into the fridge to try to keep it at least lukewarm instead of boiling.

Image
Image

We wandered around a bit, but once again I was the party pooper and elected not to travel over to Potluck Pass because the heat was killing me and we still had many hard days ahead of us.


Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

After a comfortable night we got up, packed up and headed back up Knapsack Pass. Traveling from the pass back to the trail by the first Dusy Basin Lake seemed to take forever.

Image


We were relieved to be out of the crummy rock and back onto dusty trail.

Image
Image
Image
Image

The hike out was long and very hot, we were melting. By the time we got back to the car and down into Owen’s Valley the car thermometer said it was 104 dF. Yikes! I think I consumed my smoothie from Schats Bakery (best yummys in Bishop!) in one gulp!
Last edited by David and Karen on Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



User avatar
David and Karen
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Dusy and Palisade Basins

Postby Vaca Russ » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:02 pm

David and Karen,

Great TR! How did you post all of those pictures? I can only post 10 at a time.

Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing. :)

Thanks,

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
User avatar
Vaca Russ
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, Ill
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Dusy and Palisade Basins

Postby rlown » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:04 pm

if you host your pictures off this site, you can post as many as you want. That's not a slam on this site, just the way it works.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5328
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Dusy and Palisade Basins

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:26 am

Thanks for sharing another great set! That large lake in Dusy Basin can be magical
if all the right conditions fall into place but as photographers we know that rarely
happens.
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Dusy and Palisade Basins

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:22 pm

Hi David, nicely crafted report Karen. Looks like early to mid August maybe? Many would rate Ritter Range and Dusy Basin at the top of a list of the Sierra for aesthetic quality. Of course timing is everything. Have visited a number of times. Prefer back further from the peaks than at 11393 where the overall upper basin is more easily framed and its a bit more green. Now you know the other side of Knapsack is just as sterile looking as 11393.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests