|May 21, 2000 (Sun.)
|Elevations: 4827 feet, 4515 feet; Order of Height: 9, 17
|Participants: Brian Connell, Markus Wandel, Andrew Lavigne
After an earlier aborted attempt to do both Basin and Saddleback (did manage to do Saddleback in that attempt, though), this was the encore. Also, this was part of my and Brian's 2000 Mt. Rainier training regimen. And, Basin has always looked pretty interesting from afar.
We decided to rent one of the rentable cabins near Johns Brook Lodge: Grace Camp. Very nice facilities. Luke and Sophie also came along but did not end up doing the peaks with us.
We hiked in on the Phelps trail from the Garden to the Cabin the night before, and in the morning continued up the trail to the 'Shorey short cut' cutoff trail. We took that and shortly intersected the range trail. The weather was mostly overcast, with a cloud deck around 4000 to 4500 feet... but as we neared the summit there were many breaks in the clouds, which was definitely promising. Didn't want yet another socked-in summit experience! I recall climbing at least one fairly long ladder on the way up the backside of Basin. The summit of Basin is quite neat: a small, pointy and open knob. Much more summit-y feeling than many! And, there were more than enough large breaks in the clouds to get good views of Marcy and some of the other peaks.
After a short break we continued east along the range trail. Not far below the summit of Basin is some really neat trail that traverses along some ledges with steep dropoffs. On the ascent up Saddleback, we encountered some really steep sections of what was fairly difficult rock scrambling. Fun, though! At the very top of one of these steep sections is the summit, which is mostly treed but has a good view west. Unfortunately the clouds had rolled back in completely and we had no view whatsoever... but Basin's summit more than made up for it. We returned via the Orebed trail and then on the Phelps trail back to the Garden.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: May 2000 Basin and Saddleback Climbs