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Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby mokelumnekid » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:10 am

Not sure why Bench Lake gets mentioned here- to get into Lakes Basin via Cartridge, after topping out Taboose, one (usually) goes down the right fork trail, and once hitting the JMT at the river, crosses both and continues along the river on the old JMT which is well defined some of the way. They continue along crossing the three large rock avalanches before turning right up to the pass. No need to go to Bench Lk in fact it adds miles.

I have to hand it to you, shelpping in all that food AND climbing gear will be a grunt for sure at least for me. That's one reason we finally gave up on doing backcountry climbs, the long approaches left me wasted :retard:

On another note count me among the people who took mav's (and giantbrookies) Bartlett Lk. route AND went down the east side. Serious mistake. I've never seen my wife so pissed off. And climbing up out of piute ck through the burn was misery as until we got some ways up teh canyon, there was no 'route.'

I've been into Dumbbells both ways, Lake Basin is less demanding and camping at that lake that WD mentioned leaves one in a good position to finish the pass into Dumbbells the next day.

So my guess is say: Day 1 car to the start of Cartridge. Day two, over Cartridge to lake WD mentioned just below final climb to pass to Dumbbells, Day 3: into Dumbbells, and make camp by noon. If you manage to do it in two days I'd be might impressed.



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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby poorboy44 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Capture.PNG
OK I am confused. My impression that Cartridge Pass is just north of bench lake. My impression was that the other pass is called "Cataract Pass". Can you clarify the route you are describing?

Capture.PNG
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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby thegib » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:07 pm

Over Bishop pass and down to Leconte canyon (on trail) day one. To Cataract Ck and up, over Cataract pass and into Dumbbell day two. Do-able. My GF did not like the traversing/side-hilling talus of Cataract pass, at all. But she's no climber. OTOH, for scenery and 'feel' Lake Basin is one of my fave spots. I can't put Taboose pass and 'easiest' together in my mind.
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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:15 pm

MK wrote:
On another note count me among the people who took mav's (and giantbrookies) Bartlett
Lk. route AND went down the east side.

I ascended that route not descended MK.

Poorboy, you have Cartridge Pass correct. Cataract Pass is the pass west of Amphitheater
Lake on the map: HST Map
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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby mokelumnekid » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:50 pm

What that map doesn't show well is that Bench Lake is on the SOUTH side of the river, you want to be on the NORTH side. Below is a view looking east from Arrow Peak. Taboose Pass is the obvious low spot on the distant skyline. Bench Lake is obvious as well, the large lake on the right. You do not want to go there as it takes you *south* away from the start of Cartridge. The proper route is to be along the river, on the NORTH side obviously well below the elevation of Bench Lake, and crossing the three rock avalanches that are obvious in the photo. This is the route of the old John Muir trail.

Of course one can go to Bench Lake but there is no reason for it as it adds miles and then requires bush whacking down to the river, crossing teh river to get to the start of the pass. It is much simpler to follow the old John Muir trail.

So...as I said before when coming down from Taboose stay on a right branching trail to the northish that eventually drops to the river.
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Last edited by mokelumnekid on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby mokelumnekid » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:01 pm

And I know that some folks have day-hiked Observation Peak over Bishop-Knapsack- and back. I never considered going all the way down to LeConte then back east and up to Cataract but now that I think about it why not? Then again you could go over Knapsack and down the *west* side after Bartlett Lake as well then up as Mav suggests. When we went to Amphitheater Lk that way we easily could have continued up to Cataract if we had that in our plans I suppose. But that was one year where the snow cornice was especially devilish...

Nothing beats Lake Basin, and while Dumbbell Lake basin is interesting in part for it's remoteness (and cool geology) I much prefer Lake Basin and prob will not go back to Dumbbell as there are other places as interesting.
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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:26 am

Yes, Lake Basin is wonderful, but I am a rock climber and I camped right under that wall at Dumbbell Lakes, and it is awesome! Were I younger I would beg to tag along!
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Re: Best Route To Dumbbell Lakes?

Postby Xosob » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:48 pm

I'm hoping to pass through the Dumbbell Lakes basin on ~Aug 8, approaching from Lakes Basin via Cartridge Pass and exiting over Cataract Creek Pass. But you don't want to go in the way I am going: via Bishop Pass -> Palisade Basin -> Mather Pass via the SHR, simply because I have the time and want to go this way.
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