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Vidette Lakes

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Vidette Lakes

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:27 am

Looking for beta on the Vidette Lakes basin--basically, whether it's a worthwhile destination (photogenic, decent campsite potential, etc.) given that I have to be in the Kearsarge Pass area anyway. I know the general area is pretty crowded, and I'm resigned to that, but also looking for one night at least to get some solitude. Based on the map, Vidette Lakes look like the easiest way to achieve that. (Alternate possibility would be Center Basin, although that's further out of my way.)

Any thoughts from the folks who've been there?



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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby copeg » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:46 am

Was up there in 2004 - nice area, it was relatively easy to get to as far as cross country travel goes, and off the beaten track enough for some solitude. There is a nob about halfway up the canyon that is worth a visit to the top - I sat up there for hours checking out the view. I visited early in the season, so much of everything was snow covered. Crossing Bubbs was the biggest hurdle - a fallen tree made things much easier early in the season.

View north from the lowest lake
Image

Heading out early morning
Image
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:23 pm

Beautiful! Thanks, that's helpful.
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:47 pm

Hi Tom,

It is a pretty basin worth visiting and you will not have a lot of company.
I do not now your potential route but you can use Deerhorn Saddle to get
access into the East Creek drainage which is outstanding.
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:09 pm

Thanks. Deerhorn sounds good for a longer trip, but not really feasible for this one (unless I dayhike it). I'm cramming two trips into one week (the other is over Mono Pass); first day I doubt I'll get farther than Kearsarge Lakes, third night has to be at Charlotte Lake, so Vidette Lakes is the fill-in day between them.
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby sparky » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:47 pm

Tom, last year I went to the bench lake/matlock lake area, up to an unnamed pass directly above the tarn above bench lake. It was easy, i went up class 2 sand, but the ckass 3 rock to the right would have been better. Once at the pass, university peak, university shoulder & or center basin is well within reach. Also a nice view down the kearsage lakes basin. Large boulder talus for days, but its pretty solid. University shoulder is sandy/scree-y

The most important part is I saw no one after i left the kearsage lakes trail. It would be fairly easy to reach center basin in this way....just food for thought.

If you want more info or pics just pm me
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:41 am

Interesting route. I have to do Kearsarge Pass in at least one direction, but that could be an alternative worth considering.
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby sparky » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:27 pm

you can see the pass here, the low point on the north ridge of University Peak @ around 11,900 SW from the tarn shown on the map and NE of University Shoulder. I hit the trail after work on a Friday, and camped @ Bench Lake. The hike up to the pass from here was easy. Steep loose sandy scree for the last 60 feet or so. I hate that stuff. I wasn't in a position to get on the rock that was on my right (north) but checking it out before the descent might save a lot of energy. The rock looked solid.



HST Map

DSCN0467 (1024x768).jpg
east side

DSCN0475 (1024x768).jpg
east side


DSCN0488 (1024x768).jpg
West side

DSCN0494 (1024x768).jpg
west side


Once at the top of the pass, you will see your best bet to get to University Shoulder, which you should be descending into Center basin 30 min to an hour after topping out on the crest. Expect large bouldery talus from volkswagon size to trashcan size but it is stable. University shoulder proper is steep sandy scree.
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby Baffman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:11 pm

It's a steep but short climb up to the lakes from Bubbs Creek. It's well worth it.
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby John Dittli » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:41 pm

Pretty place. This is what it looks like in February, for grins-
1003_1661_D1A.jpg
above the lakes
1003_1663_D1A.jpg
Deerhorn
1003_1666_D1A.jpg
Deerhorn Pass
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby sekihiker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:07 pm

I visited the area last summer, Tom. See my trip report at:
http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html
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Re: Vidette Lakes

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:34 pm

Thanks all, that's helpful--especially Bill's trip report. Looks like it's well worth a visit.
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