Taboose 2018 chart

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SSSdave
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Taboose 2018 chart

Post by SSSdave » Mon May 28, 2018 11:31 am

Just completed an update to my 2012 backpacking trip Excel chart for a 10 day trip over Taboose Pass that am tentatively going to fit in mid August a week or so after my Humphreys Basin backpack. Am posting a jpg of that chart below as an example of how detailed my trips can be in order to most efficiently make clock like rounds sequencing photography subjects I've sized up. For this trip have captured 36 pseudo images off Google Earth that I work out times to efficiently visit in optimal light. Have been trying to get this trip in for years as there is much colorful metamorphic rock geology on its peaks while the 4 drought years would have been wasted efforts.

The trailhead is at 5430 feet and pass at 11400 at 7.75 miles, with little me carrying at least 65 pounds. Since am now a free retired person, am able to adjust previous itineraries for less stressful efforts and more convenient starts. With Taboose I can ease off the 3k a day effort the first 2 days by fudging a late afternoon start in after picking up a mid week walk up permit. Thus after a fat late lunch in Bishop now will just do 2.2k and 3.2 miles late afternoon start when usual temperatures have eased off then camp at 7640 feet. Second morning will just do 2.8 miles and 2.5k unless I feel like more. That will leaves just 1.5k to reach the pass the third morning, that will be in no hurry to reach, after which may reach the east end of Bench Lake at 5 miles about noon giving me the afternoon to explore where the best following morning tripod spots are.

Will be spending a day in the east Arrow Peak creek basin in order to investigate the unusual minerals and water colors we kicked around on a thread maybe last year? Also will camp near the top of Pinchot Pass for sunset and sunrise shots and then a day down in the south Pinchot Pass basin. The below is an example GE image from the top of the Pinchot divide looking SE by S across the NF of Woods Creek basin towards Colosseum Mtn, Mt Cedric Wright, and Woods Lake basin, that I would be shooting at maybe 6pm.
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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by DaveDill » Mon May 28, 2018 4:23 pm

Tough pass but as you say, very beautiful and "wild". I hiked it last year and plan to do it again, starting August 4th roundtrip to Bench Lake. Normally I try to start hiking before sunrise with a headlamp to get out of the Owens before the valley heats up too much. While not as methodical as you am also targeting some good camp locations for landscape photography. Enjoy...

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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by freestone » Mon May 28, 2018 6:18 pm

Always lots of good advise about the before dawn start times but I always start when I show up, usually just before noon. Its hot for sure but the trail gains elevation quickly and cools off accordingly. By the first crossing, all is good.
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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon May 28, 2018 7:50 pm

My tastes may not be "professional" but I really liked the lakes in the basin northwest of Striped Mountain. Very colorful. Early morning and sunset lighting was very good. These are not great photos but an example.
IMG_7129_StripedMtnL_sunset_edited-1.jpg
IMG_6771_StripedMtnLk_edited-1.jpg
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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by freestone » Mon May 28, 2018 8:16 pm

Similar view with an I Phone 6 during a monsoon outbreak at dusk.

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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by SSSdave » Mon May 28, 2018 11:17 pm

Thanks Daisy. On my 8th day by early afternoon I planned to be camped at lake 3280+ a mile away to the SW that has potential for some mid morning shots northward. But did not have anything particularly interesting to do about that zone in the afternoon. So you've given me an option to at least take a look at the outlet area of that lake. I look at peak images on summitpost, google, or yahoo Images. Yours is a more aesthetic landscape than anything on those sites. Could be related geology to what I call "The Wizard's Castle" behind Pine Lake. Freestone's telephoto shows there is also interesting formations on the other side of that craggy headwall. I would not have any interest shooting anything in that area after about 7pm as that orange light at sunset (~8pm) is a good example of how late warm light makes some metamorphic geologies worse.

On day 3 I expect to reach that trail junction north of 3280+ by mid morning. So could drop my pack and vector off to work the couple images northward on the other side of that lake I'd otherwise planned to shoot mid morning of day 9 before leaving towards Taboose Pass. I have no reason to hurry on towards Bench Lake as anything there is much earlier morning. Accordingly on day 8 am now thinking of going an extra mile to instead site at camp above the trail where the stream out of the lake in your image comes off the bedrock at 3400 meters. That way I'd be 0.3 miles and 220 feet below and make working the basin above in the afternoon much less complicated as sunset nears.

Additionally at sunrise day 9 there is a nice view from that lake's outlet area west northwest towards the Ruskin peaks that receive early warm light through the pass. However that outlet is unlikely to be calm at sunrise because it is directly in the path of cold air sumping night flows of that basin that likely don't calm up till mid morning. But it might work a bit above that lake up on its south slope as a medium telephoto with lake waters at frame bottom say 100 feet in the distance picking up some sky color and that does better emphasize the Ruskin peaks. In any case another wake at dawn headlamp hike haha.

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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by fishmonger » Tue May 29, 2018 12:21 pm

Taboose isn't as brutal as it is often described as long as you respect the high temperatures you can encounter at the lower elevations. The way to manage a full crossing of the pass is a very early start to get to the first stream crossing before 8am. If you mange that and hydrate well, it's no big deal. I've gone up and down the pass in a day several times ("warmup" hike, resupply friends), but not with 65 pounds, though... would need to get up extra early. For a late afternoon start, even if you only go half way up, this will turn into a dreadfully hot hike. If you get a late day walk-in permit, I recommend to start well after the sun goes behind the Sierra Crest and walk into the night for the first part of the climb. Camping is easy right after the creek crossing, maybe 50 yards up the trail.

I've been contemplating various routes for a trip later in August, one of them had me begin at Taboose. My plan was to get a shuttle ride to the trailhead in the late afternoon and start hiking with a full 8 day pack (55 pounds?) around 7pm, camp for the night after the crossing and then start for real the next morning. The cooler morning temps up above 9000 feet would make part two of the pass very manageable, even with a heavy pack and early in a hike before I am fully acclimated. Once you are over it, Bench Lake is just a stroll down the trail, nothing steep, just cruising.

I always liked Taboose for it's vey direct access to one of my favorite segments in the Sierra. It really is worth the slog through the desert, although I do like to minimize the heat and sun exposure.

I also use a spreadsheet for my planned hikes, but the most detail I have in there is where a day begins and where it ends. Given things never shake out as planned, I don't invest too much time in exact daily planning, plus I know the place well enough to have a good understanding of what I can do in a day if conditions are normal. I always plan in some slack, because the unexpected will happen on every trip. I certainly don't plan trips around good photo opportunities. It'll happen often enough that it doesn't really matter. My photo planning can be summarized with "surprise me."

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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by DaveDill » Tue May 29, 2018 12:58 pm

Here's an old chrome taken at the lakes below Striped Mountain. As you say, some very colorful rock with warm sunset light.
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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by SSSdave » Tue May 29, 2018 1:46 pm

Very nice Dave, a wisely chosen sunset subject because the shadowed areas with granite and snow that fill much of your frame can easily reflect skylight making for a good balance with the red on the peaks. That is likely one of two ponds on top of the hill in Daisy's image, shown on GE but not the topo.

Yeah Fishm agree with your assessment of hiking in heat. Learned my lesson long ago how impossible that can be. An earlier plan had been to get up at 4am and hit the trail early, but now that I'm retired and can choose whenever, decided better was to just add a day. Will then get a head start at day's end maybe with a 6pm start when weather is reasonable as in not a heat wave. Everything on the east side goes into shadows early that helps drop temperature. Also on days with afternoon thunderstorms it can be rather pleasant even mid afternoon. I couldn't do 6k in a day carrying nearly half my weight regardless of what the temperatures are with 3.5k mid summer about my upper limit. Just too painfully heavy. Also not in any hurry, as it is more important to reduce unpleasantness. What I do sometimes is hike about 2k then take a long lunch break and nap of 2 or 3 hours before a second leg.

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Re: Taboose 2018 chart

Post by maverick » Tue May 29, 2018 1:51 pm

The views in Stripped Mtn. Basin are great, even towards the west and north, which have a lot of potential, especially with some of the shallow, crystal clear waters of some of the smaller lakes as foregrounds. :)

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