TR Taboose Pass Trail 4/21/13
Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:46 pm
Suitably inspired by Kathy W's TR from last weekend, Jim Means, John Shillings and I decided to dayhike up Taboose Pass trail . We arrived at the trail head around 0830.It's a relentless climb from a pretty dusty trail head, but you quickly enter the canyon and some spectacular scenery. The trail became hit or miss in the snow around 9500 ft. Nearing the top there was mostly snow but some bare patches. To the south side of the pass there was a pretty spectacular cornice. Near the top we came upon a pair of grouse. One was snow white and the other had some spots. I'm guessing their plumage changes in the summer as I've seen these same birds in grey spots during the typical hiking season. These birds were fearless and hardly moved as we walked by within 5-10 feet. At the summit you could see west to Bench Lake and Arrow Peak. I think it will be a while before I head down there to spend the night. On the way back down John convinced me to "ski" down the snow shoots. It was plenty of fun and I only made a few butt prints. It was also a quick way to lose 1500 ft. The view out to Owens Valley reminded me how lucky we were to be doing this hike in April vs August. It looked hot and dry down there even at this time of the year. We encountered lots of deer tracks all day long. I also saw what I believe to be mountain lion prints a couple times (I took pictures but they aren't very sharp). The only deer we actually saw though were near the trail head. All in all it was a nice day and a fun hike. We made it back to the trail head by about 1730 and then stopped for a burger at the Mt Whitney cafe. Maybe it was the miles and vertical but it was a really good burger. Oh, and the onion rings were pretty special too.