|Mar. 13, 2007 (Tue.)
|Elevations: 4827 feet, 4515 feet; Order of Height: 9, 17
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Alex, Linda, Mark
This report is an account of a most excellent winter off-trail ascent route up to Basin and Saddleback : the Chicken Coop Brook approach. We would never have thought to do this route had it not been for the generous invitation of our newest hiking companions: Bill and Linda.
I wanted Basin for one of my winter 46er peaks, and Jenn wanted Basin and Saddleback for both her regular and winter 46ers.
We met at the Garden trailhead at 6am sharp on Tuesday morning. The weather forecast was unsettled, trending towards the cloudy and rainy. It was very warm, with temps above freezing at the Garden.
Mark, Linda, and Alex (another hiker Mark and Linda had invited along) set a breakneck pace, and we were up the start of the route, at the Bushnell Falls Lean-to, in no time. The route itself had been well-broken out a few days previously, and the ascent was perfect. Mostly in the bed of the brook, with a good track. At the top, the route emerges onto a steep slide coming down from Saddleback. A quick bit of bushwacking at the top of that brings us to the Range Trail.
The weather continued to hold (and in fact improve), and we had a great time over a good track over to Basin. Then it was back to the col and up the cliffs on Saddleback. I brought a little climbing gear to give a safety belay in a few places. From Saddleback, we had good glissading conditions down the Orebed Brook Trail.
We chose the southside route on the way out as a change of pace and a slightly shorter return route. Unfortunately very warm temps made the snow super soft and I was postholing even with snowshoes. Even so, we got back at a reasonably early 4pm. Fantastic route with lots of variety.
See the image gallery link below for a more detailed writeup and the set of pictures.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: March 2007 Basin and Saddleback via Chicken Coop Brook