20-23 June 2014
Dusy Basin Trail
Partially this trail is part of Famous John Moore Trail. This is in Kings Canyon National Park.
Friday - 20th June 2014
We traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles in the evening reaching LAX at 10:30pm. Avishek, Ashwin, Abhay already reached waiting for my call having Car booked for further travel. They explored the LAX and area while on wait. After 1 hr Nalin reached and having him picked along with some munch we moved to nearest place close to Bishop. Reaching early morning to see the Mobius arch.
Saturday – 21st June 2014
Visit to Mobius Arch at Lone Pine : Lone Pine is located roughly 3 hours (driving time) north of the Los Angeles area.
The total trip distance to Lone Pine, from either downtown L. A. is just over 200 miles.
Lone Pine sits at the foot of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains and, when the sun begins to set, Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 states, casts its long shadow over the town. One of the you tube link those who are interested to visit this area: Link
At 7:30am we drove to Bishop visitor Center to pickup the camping permit along with must carry canister to save from Bear in the mountain.
We reached South Lake Wildflower Trail at 10:00am. We found our vehicle gas indicator was at E (nearly empty) at this time. Less worried at this time, we had change of trail cloths, packed our backpacks and ready to move at 10:30a. Most of our bag packs weighing close to 20kg.
We expected to reach in 4 hrs trail max 5 hrs. As we began it was perfect whether for such hikes. Only challenge left is altitude. We started at around 7200ft and target was close to 12000ft passing that is through Bishop Pass. After initial warm-up everyone felt comfortable and walking with the comfortable pace of individual. IT was expected that Abhay will be the last person and learned Ashwin/Nalin are having similar pace while I was rotating my pace among. Avishek was leading the trail with his own fastest pace among the team.
The Trail was very scenic for me passing through 3 visible lakes on the way, Longs, Saddlerock, Bishop. At this time we already crossed 11000 ft when we reach the crooks of the trail where steep scrambling required though the trail route was good enough to surpass this easily. Both Aswhin, Nalin already had some altitude symptoms at this point hence it was advisable to cross this pass and move to lower height to lessen the impact of altitude. While Ashwin did overcome his altitude sickness but Nalin had to boost him morally during the snow patched route cross which has exposed downhill view. We reached the Bishop Trail Pass at around 3pm.
Later they reached the campsite in next hour. It took overall 7 hrs to reach the campsite. Myself and Avishek explored the campsite area before fixing the tents. Though Avishek had interest in going down further close to Dusy Basin lakes but that was another 30 minutes trek downhill covering another 200 ft descent as against planned 11600ft Camp site. Abhay joined us after 2 hours.
We were eased out with some tea and food but most of us except Avishek had headache due to altitude hence decided to have early dinner and hit the bed. We closed our day at 8pm while Avishek was still exploring his sunset photography near the upper lake. He got some nice shots during this exploration.
Sunday – 22nd June 2014
Midnight to early Morning Temperature was around 30 Fahrenheit. We all woke up at 6:30am had usual morning course and get ready for the next exploration in the same area. Instead of Mt. Agassiz (13900ft) we decided to visit another pass close by around 2 miles of distance . The pass is between Dusy Basin and Palisade Basin which is at south side where Bishop pass is on east side. We visited two lakes lower and upper on the way which had given us beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. Lot of cairn helped us to track the route while Ashwin, Nalin decided to enjoy the sun near the lake while we three attempted the pass which is at 12400 ft.
We took total 2 and half hrs to reach the pass through moraine using left side rocky mountain. We had another beautiful view of the Palisade basin on south while Dusy basin on north. After quick photo session, we descent down to Base. While enjoying lunch Abhay found that the Marmot had tested his Teva sandal on one of the strap. In the evening we decided tomorrows return plan to start early to cover up the distance. Avishek had plans this night to capture the Milky way and like a dedicated monk he made it happen and got beautiful capture of the Milky way.
Monday - 23rd June 2014
We woke up at 4:30am, packed our bag packs and ready to move at 5:30am. While Avishek decided to join 1 hour later. Nalin had dreams of the same patch which he fearfully enjoyed while ascent that night. He made sure to convey the same to me and confirmed that we will get him through the same without any issues. Almost after 1 hr after passing the Bishop pass he and successfully passed the snow clad path which was bit hard in the morning. After 2 hrs of descend we took 1st break near the small wood bridge where other team caught us on the way coming from other trail route, they were surprised to see ahead of them. Immediately in next 30 minutes we saw Avishek covered up. We saw few new trails on the way mainly Ruwau lake. Also got little glimpse of a dam build on South Lake. Happily we all reach to the Parking lot where we parked our car near the south trail at 9:30a. We prayed to god that our rented car will not stop due to empty tank and Avishek manage to take advantage of the mountain descending road with less foot on gas. We took advantage of the early completion to fresh ourselves on the way and had lunch driving through highway 395 in the 100 degree Fahrenheit. Reached Los anageles airport around 5:30pm.
It was one of the tiring trail for me though I don’t do it regularly now days. But it was definitely coolest and beautiful venture we undertook these season. Love to go again and again. Thanks to Avishek for organizing this hike. Thanks to all wonderful company of Nalin, Ashwin, Abhay.