Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright | High Sierra Topix  

Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

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

Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby calipidder » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:25 pm

Hi fellow sierra-enthusiasts!

I haven't spent much time off trail between Kearsarge and Whitney so I think I'm going to spend my annual Sierra week in August exploring that area. As I browse the maps I have a couple of potential itineraries, but since I haven't really stepped off the JMT through here I thought I'd defer to some more experienced folks for suggestions and information.

The standard info:
Backpacking experience = 4.
On this trip I'm looking for Class 2-ish terrain, but can be pushed for daytrips to peaks. (just don't want to be hauling my pack over sketchy passes).
I'm looking to get into some off-trail basins that I haven't seen yet and climb some peaks while at it. Priority peak is Tyndall.

I'll be starting on a Saturday over Kearsarge Pass. We have through the following weekend, either coming out on the Saturday to accommodate my long drive home on sunday, or a short distance left on the sunday is okay.

There's a lot I'd love to see back there but I just have a week. :( I had an initial itinerary shaping up, but then I started looking at Wright Lakes basin and ....well, that looks awesome too. I haven't done a ton of research yet, deciding to get some input from you guys before digging into planning too deep.

So, what would you do? Pick one of these itineraries, a modified version, or something else entirely that I'm missing? I'm also specifically interested in Tyndall via the south slopes from Wrights Lakes basin. What's the route like from there?

Itinerary 1: (either direction)

Sat. Over Kearsarge Pass to Vidette Meadow
Sun. Over Forester Pass and over to 3490.
Mon. Dayhike Lake South America/Gregory's Monument and/or Caltech peak
Tues. Up to Williamson Bowl/Shepherd Pass area
Wed. Tyndall
Thurs. Over to Center Basin via Junction Pass
Fri. Center Peak, Mt Keith, or University Peak
Sat. Hike out
Sun. Drive home (can use this as extra day if we want to spend more time anywhere)

Itinerary 2:

Sat. Over Kearsarge Pass to Vidette Meadow
Sun. Over Forester Pass and over to 3490.
Mon. Dayhike Lake South America/Gregory's Monument and/or Caltech peak
Tues. Over to Wright Lakes Basin
Wed. Mt Tyndall - south slopes? How is this approach?
Thurs. Climb Barnard or dayhike over to Wallace and Wales Lake
Fri-Sun:
Not sure exactly, but back over forester to Charlotte or Kearsarge Lakes, with potential climb of Mt Bago, Rixford, or Gould

I think I have a hunch about the answer based on searches but I'm looking forward to some specific feedback. Thanks!



User avatar
calipidder
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Above 10k
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:13 pm

I have descended the south face of Tyndall. It is a lot of unpleasant talus and scree. Nothing hard but nothing really inspiring either. I went up the classic Class 3 on the north side- now that was a great climb. From the top I dropped into Wright Lakes because I wanted to see them. The upper lakes just below Tyndall are absolutely spectacular, worth the trip even if you do not climb Tyndall. There is a notch half-way down the drainage that is easy to go over so you do not have to go all the way back to the trail to get over to Shepherd Pass area. I really liked Wright Lakes Basin. I think there also is good fishing up there. And Wallace/Wales lakes are really worth getting into. There is a use-trail from the PCT. I camped at the outlet of Wales Lake once- bivy sack on a sandy ledge - and the sunset was fantastic. Great location - view of Russell and view down valley.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby SSSdave » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:40 pm

Hi calipidder,

Sounds like that time of late winter when some of us start looking at topos and that includes this person too. Last weekend I completed an 18 week summer plan that includes at least 4 backpacking trips including one 9-day trip over Shepherd pass into upper Kern areas, a zone I've never visited. We ought to exchange PM's after dates have been set just in case will be up in those areas at the same time. Had actually wanted to do a trip I've planned over Taboose but with the droughty conditions prefer to do that trip after at least a normal snow winter.

Am guessing you two may have been over Kearsarge before and into Rae Lakes? I've been over Kearsarge twice and have also come up to Vidette from the west, and gone up both the East Creek and Bubbs Creek. My own itinerary is to obscure areas I don't expect to see footprints. Although it is a notorious 6250 to the pass, one does not have to buy into the usual mindset of doing it in one whack. Carrying a heavy pack, my strategy is to start maybe 5pm when shadows on the eastside are growing down at the usually hot trailhead then leisurely knock off maybe 2000 feet into early evening, then up at dawn begin a slow effort with several long breaks climbing up at least 2,500 (maybe over 3k if am up to it) the first full day, then the second full day 1750 to get over the pass mid morning and by midday will have rambled west down several miles beyond.
Last edited by SSSdave on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby calipidder » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:45 pm

Thanks for the tips, wanderingdaisy! I'm assuming the notch you're talking about is the informally named Rockwell pass? If so, I was planning on using that to shortcut in and out of the basin.

@SSSDave, you caught me, I've been living in my topo maps for the past few days. I've pretty much played out the 'trailed' area around there, having done the JMT north out of Kearsarge as well as the Kearsarge to Whitney jaunt (multiple times). I've always loved the area, but I need to get off trail a bit if I'm going to go back! I'll PM you once the dates are solidified, pending a potential conference I will be attending in August as well as scheduling a trip to do Mt Sill.
User avatar
calipidder
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Above 10k
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:57 pm

Hi Cali,

Let me start by saying that IMO having two cars one parked at Onion Valley and the
other parked for either Shepherd Pass or Whitney Portal exit would make your
trip much less stressful and more enjoyable.
Tyndall from the south is a pretty easy, straight forward talus climb to the summit
nothing technical about it, WD is referring to the North Rib route since Rockwell Pass
is used for getting quick access into the Wright Lakes area from Shepherd Pass, and not
a route to be used for ascending Tyndall.
If visiting the Upper Kern area would recommend checking out the lakes west of
South America towards Milestone Basin very pretty place. Also Mt. Barnard is an easy
ascent from the Wallace Lakes area. If exiting the Portal than Mt. Russell should be
on, and at the top of your list of climbs.
Kathy W has some good TR's to some of the peaks your interested in climbing and
well worth checking out: http://www.kathywing.smugmug.com/Califo ... ada-Hiking
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: 8050
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby Mike M. » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:50 pm

Cali, another option would be to enter at Kearsarge, hike down to Vidette, then up into Center Basin and over Junction Pass, then over Shepherd Pass. That sets you up for an easy climb up Tyndall and then down into Wright Lakes Basin. Then motor over to the JMT and out via Forester Pass and either University Pass or over Kearsarge again. The trail into Center Basin and up to the pass is actually in pretty good shape. The route down to the Shepherd Pass trail is washed out and easy to lose; just pretend it's cross country and it's easy.

I don't have the climbing chops you do, but back in the day, I soloed Tyndall from the north rib, then descended into Wright's Lakes Basin and looped back to my camp at the high lake just below Williamson Bowl. As Maverick said, you can also easily hike up to Mt. Barnard and Trojan Peak from this area if you're in a peak bagging mode.

By the way, I looked at your Bear Lakes Basin/Seven Gables photos today -- they bring back great memories. We were there at the same time and ran into all three of you at Vee Lake -- you were out scouting for the next day's climb. We were swimming. It was a very hot day, just two days removed from a freaky weather event that brought high winds to Royce Lakes. Your photos are a lot better than mine!

Mike
User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby SSSdave » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:48 pm

This might be amusing. Be sure to click the image to enlarge.

http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.p ... 272#467272
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby Mike M. » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:33 pm

SSSDave, impressive aerial view! Junction Pass is misplaced -- the trail heads high up the right (west) shoulder of the ridge that separates Center Basin from the Forester Pass Basin. The old trail is clearly visible from the lakes in Center Basin in late afternoon light. It tops out on a sandy plateau. The old sign marking the location of the pass is still there. Descend the sandy slope, toward the drainage below Junction Peak. Here the trail peters out, but the route to the Shepherd Pass trail is obvious. There is good camping at a large flat area, with trees and a stream (and one really big horse camp).

Mike
User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby calipidder » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:00 pm

Great feedback, thanks. You've given me a lot to think about. I'll probably come up with a few different itineraries and see what the group (okay, might just be me and my husband) is feeling. The shuttle is an interesting plan as well. I've never in or out from Symme's Creek TH - how is the road?

@Mike M I sure remember you guys! I think you were the only others we saw in Bear Lakes until we crossed Feather Pass the next day and met mokolumnekid. I thought you were a little crazy for the swimming, but we're all crazy in our own ways. :) It was nice to have such beautiful days after that weird cold and windy night. I remember it finally clearing out as we summited Julius Caesar. It's not often that you climb higher and it gets warmer and less windy!
User avatar
calipidder
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Above 10k
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Center Basin loop or Wrights Basin? Tyndall beta from Wright

Postby SSSdave » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:55 pm

calipidder wrote:... I've never in or out from Symme's Creek TH - how is the road?...


Somewhat of a minor maze but apparently well used. Look at this:

http://www.climber.org/driving/shepherd.html
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1967
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: No registered users and 9 guests