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Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:27 pm
by donnymarcos
adornowest wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:17 pm
Wow. Thanks for the great report. I really want to see the Basin.
I'm glad I got to see it and I'll definitely be back. Compared to the wide-open Sierra alpine basins I've been to, Ionian felt really different. The mountains feel like they're right on top of you and dominate the scenery. Very isolating and really special in that way.

Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:41 pm
by Jimr
I came over Nietzsche Col in 1985 during a thunderstorm. We ran halfway down to the Muir hut 'cause......lightning strikes.

Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:17 am
by Gazelle
Good you didnt do Echo col it was VERY exciting on july 16. I was in Ionian basin from the 17th for a few days bagging some peaks. My friends probably made the path up Nietzche col for you they were going to meet us but had to change plans. Finding camping spots was very difficult, was glad we didn’t have to use our tents!

Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:09 pm
by cgundersen
Hi Donny,
Your report exemplified the beauty of early season trips when open ground becomes precious and fixed itineraries go out the window. Ionian basin is spectacular any time of year and the dark rock contrast with the snow coating pushes it toward sublime as your photos showed. I'm also thinking that your experience on Haeckel col may have been improved by the snow level, because there have been other reports on HST (particularly, Giant Brookie's) accentuating the difficulty of that route. And, I'll be curious what you think of Echo col when you get a chance to tackle it. I still have less than fond memories of that crossing and the huge talus field on the North side, but again, snow can cover up a lot of unpleasant obstacles!
Cameron

Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:51 pm
by donnymarcos
Gazelle wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:17 am
Good you didnt do Echo col it was VERY exciting on july 16. I was in Ionian basin from the 17th for a few days bagging some peaks. My friends probably made the path up Nietzche col for you they were going to meet us but had to change plans. Finding camping spots was very difficult, was glad we didn’t have to use our tents!
Awesome! Might have seen some of your tracks. Agree, the bivy was a huge help (and the nice weather that made it possible to just sleep in a bug bivy!)

Curious, what made Echo Col so exciting? Is it really steep snow (ice axes and crampons only)?

Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:18 pm
by Gazelle
steep soft snow that was not very deep. Basically with the pack on it was definitely a no fall zone! Ice axe would not be stopping you It is probably melted now! But yes ice axe and crampons only place I needed it the whole trip.

Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:36 pm
by donnymarcos
Gazelle wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:18 pm
steep soft snow that was not very deep. Basically with the pack on it was definitely a no fall zone! Ice axe would not be stopping you It is probably melted now! But yes ice axe and crampons only place I needed it the whole trip.
Ah, I see. Glad I took a flyer on it then!

Re: TR: Ionian Basin 7/19 - 7/22

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:43 pm
by donnymarcos
cgundersen wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:09 pm
Hi Donny,
Your report exemplified the beauty of early season trips when open ground becomes precious and fixed itineraries go out the window. Ionian basin is spectacular any time of year and the dark rock contrast with the snow coating pushes it toward sublime as your photos showed. I'm also thinking that your experience on Haeckel col may have been improved by the snow level, because there have been other reports on HST (particularly, Giant Brookie's) accentuating the difficulty of that route. And, I'll be curious what you think of Echo col when you get a chance to tackle it. I still have less than fond memories of that crossing and the huge talus field on the North side, but again, snow can cover up a lot of unpleasant obstacles!
Cameron
Yeah, the scenery and solitude more than make up for the increased difficulty in traveling. I also find it kind of fun to have to think on your feet a bit, makes it a bit more of an adventure. It was a great learning experience for me, too; definitely has turned me on to some of the perks of early-season hiking and I think next time I'll be better prepared.

The snow did make the north side of Haeckel a bit easier to manage -- the small class 3 pitch at the top was bare (and pretty easy), but the snow below that kept me from having to do a long, tedious talus walk all the way down to the lakes below.