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Dusy Basin

 
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JeffH



Joined: 28 Nov 2010
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Location: Claremont

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:51 pm    Post subject: Dusy Basin  Reply with quote

August 29 - September 1

I haven't written in a while but I'm trying to keep up with everyone else's adventures.
After canceling my earlier planned backpack trip in the Sierras due to the new job (out of shape now) and concern about how the knee would respond (maybe not well) to five consecutive days of hiking, a test was in order. I drove up towards Lone Pine on Friday night after work, which including a couple of stops took me nearly five hours. I camped out as usual in the Alabama Hills, and enjoyed watching out for shooting stars before a blissful night of sleep in the back of the Ranger. In the morning I made my way to the Inter-Agency Visitor Center before 8:00, but did not score anything good in the permit lottery. I had number 40, which probably meant that my first and second choices would be gone by the time I got up to the counter. So after a couple of hours wandering around, I just asked what was available instead of listing some choices. When the friendly agent mentioned she had one permit left for Bishop Pass, I quickly took it. I've been to Long Lake a couple times before, but never all the way to the pass and obviously not to Dusy Basin. I had heard good things about the area so I was pretty excited.
First, I had to drive to Bishop, and after getting fuel, lunch and backpack food I finally reached South Lake around 2:00. I stopped at the trailhead and took my time setting up my backpack, and lucked out when someone else drove out and left me a parking space. Sweet! Saved me another 1.2 miles of walking up a paved road…
I stepped onto the familiar trail and pretty soon I was sweating in the afternoon sun. It was nice to turn into the woods for some shade, and faster than I expected I saw the outlet pond of Long Lake. That signaled time for a break, which I took high on some rocks overlooking the lake. That is definitely the good life! Soon it was time to push on, and I walked up and up, past a number of lakes - each time remarking how amazing this area is to visit. Finally, I hit the end of the canyon and the steep final mile was ahead of me. By the time I headed down the other side it was getting late, there was full sun for about an hour and then it disappeared behind the high mountains to the west. I planned to stop at the first significant water near the trail, and found the spot at the unnamed lake a couple miles below BP. Not surprisingly, I was pretty tired so I crawled into the tent right after downing some food and warm tea.
In the morning I laid around, basking in the warmth of a down sleeping bag while the outside temperature was probably in the 40s. Finally, I got up to watch another sierra sunrise and this did not disappoint as I was surrounded by high peaks glowing pink and orange as the sun crept upward. With nothing on my agenda, I spent a lot of time exploring around the lake - I went wading and sat around reading. I even managed to get a little sunburn too.
Walking back out was interesting, I crossed paths with some folks that had been in the mountains for a long period of time and got to chat a while about the different places to visit and explore. Seems like each new place I visit in the Sierras just whets my appetite for more, and I am constantly inspired by talking to others on the trails. I hung out at Bishop Pass for a while, and picked up some hiking karma by donating some water to a thirsty traveler also on his way back down. After hanging out for 45 minutes it was time to go down myself. I took a side trail to Ruwau Lake, which on the map was listed as just a half-mile. Umm, it seemed quite a bit longer and wow it was steep. Once I got there, I walked around the edge for a while and enjoyed the peace and quiet of this large alpine area. Finally, after a granite staircase, I arrived back at the trailhead and a hint of civilization. On the drive home, I stopped in Lone Pine at the Frosty Chalet, which re-opened this year.
One more place notched on my hiking shoes, and yet even more to see out there just waiting for me to take the time.
Total about 19 miles and 3200 feet of elevation gain/loss.



Campsite in the Alabama Hills.



On the trail out of South Lake. I like this guy.



Break time at Long Lake.



Mt Agassiz ahead, Bishop Pass behind the ridge.



Bishop Pass. Not inspirational, no great views - more like lunar landscape.



Getting late so I had to find a place to sleep, I wanted to be near water.



Setting up camp as the alpenglow hits the peaks behind.



Morning at the lake. I stood out on some granite waiting for the sun to warm things up a little.



My campsite while the water was cooking for breakfast.



On the way back, view of Bishop and Saddlerock Lakes.



Ruwau Lake. Not very many camping spots here but definitely no crowds.
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RichardK



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Location: Florida East Coast

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:40 am    Post subject: Re: Dusy Basin Reply with quote

The Bishop Pass is a bucket list hike - world class scenery at every turn. That sunrise picture is beautiful. Thanks for the report.
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JerryN



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Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: memories Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics.  It looks like a great trip and brings back good memories from a trip I took years ago.

Jerry
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Uncle Rico



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Location: Pleasantville

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent Jeff. Glad to see you back in the saddle.

How does that ridge ascending from Bishop Pass to the summit of Agassiz look? "Oh hell no" or just "brutal but doable?"
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tekewin



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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pictures, especially the reflection in the lake.

Looks like nearly a perfect trip with perfect weather.
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atomicoyote



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Location: on the road to Purgatory

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice.   Haven't been back there since a few friends and I did North Palisade from the west side a few . . uh . . decades ago.  Its amazing how few people you see out there once you get across Bishop Pass.

That prominant peak in the background just left of center of your camsite photos - I'm pretty sure that's Mt. Darwin.  And the jagged peak just to the right of center (and in the background) of your 'Getting late . . .' picture appers to be Mt. Goode (an easy walk-up summit hike from the other side).
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Taco
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Location: Who knows

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes indeed. Looks like a cool place to go on a spirit quest and (climb some things eh)?
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JeffH



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Location: Claremont

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Rico wrote:
How does that ridge ascending from Bishop Pass to the summit of Agassiz look? "Oh hell no" or just "brutal but doable?"


I've read trip reports about it but looking up close I think the route finding would be the hardest part. Seems like you could plan out a way to scramble up the rocks. I bet it would be a hot day hike, lots of sun exposure there.
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atomicoyote



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Location: on the road to Purgatory

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JeffH wrote:
Uncle Rico wrote:
How does that ridge ascending from Bishop Pass to the summit of Agassiz look? "Oh hell no" or just "brutal but doable?"


I've read trip reports about it but looking up close I think the route finding would be the hardest part. Seems like you could plan out a way to scramble up the rocks. I bet it would be a hot day hike, lots of sun exposure there.


Agassiz is a very do-able rock scramble from the Bishop Pass area, no real technical difficulties involved.  You should be able to pick out a route (there are a few) as you walk up to the pass.
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Augie
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Location: South Pasadena, CA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done trips out of South Lake many times. As someone said, beauty at every turn. When I had two of my kids with me, we took a dip in Ruwau Lake. BRRR! Excellent TR. Sounds like the leisurely pace really enhanced the enjoyment. Great photo of the lake at sunrise.
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Sean
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Location: Monterey Park, CA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the report. I recently did the Chocolate Lakes Loop and went skinny dipping in the freezing water of Ruwau Lake. A nice place for some solitude.
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