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#977862 - 09/16/10 01:13 PM [TR] Mount Agassiz & Columbine Peak - Bishop Pass & Dusy Basin 9/12/2010
off_the_hook Offline

Registered: 05/15/03
Posts: 186
TRs: 90 Photos: 13445
Loc: San Carlos, CA
Trip: Mount Agassiz & Columbine Peak - Bishop Pass & Dusy Basin

Date: 9/12/2010

Trip Report:

I have been to the Palisades twice before but never via South Lake so I figured this would be a great opportunity to see Bishop Pass and Dusy Basin. I started at around 6:30 am and headed up the nice trail, coming across spectacular reflections in the tarns near Long Lake. I continued up through more lakes and then the final switchbacks up to the pass. From the pass, I headed up the talus slopes to the summit of 13,891 ft Mount Agassiz. The talus was not very loose helping to make relatively fast time up the slope, arriving at the top 2:40 after beginning at South Lake. I spent nearly an hour on the summit snapping photos and chatting with a couple from Bishop who arrived at the summit 30 minutes after me. The views in the morning sunlight were amazing! Eventually, I got going again and made quick time back to Bishop Pass and then into Dusy Basin. Part of the appeal of climbing Columbine Peak is the traverse across Dusy Basin, famous for its alpine lakes with views of the sheer walls of Mount Winchell, Thunderbolt Peak, and North Palisade towering above. I picked a route across the Basin and took many photographs of the lakes near Isosceles Peak which is aptly named. I continued on through boulders and slabs to Knapsack Pass where I began the climb up Columbine Peak. I went up the arete directly from Knapsack Pass which proved to be more difficult than the advertised class 2/3 climbing for a sustained period (almost until the summit). I found out on the descent that the easier route is on the south side of the ridge, but some class three climbing is still unavoidable. To get to the easier route, follow a use path around the base of cliffs towards Barrett Lakes/Palisade Basin from Knapsack Pass. At the point where a gully is crossed begin heading up and the easier route is apparent (gravel and talus). Taking this route on the way down saved some time and energy and I was happy to not have to down climb some of the sections I had done on the ascent. Columbine Peak features the best view of the west side of the Palisades subrange and great views of other surrounding peaks, Palisade Basin, and Dusy Basin. The return trip through Dusy Basin was just as spectacular and I stopped to take many photos. Once atop Bishop Pass I jogged the remainder of the way back to the trailhead at South Lake, arriving 9:26 after beginning. This is a fantastic area and I hope to return soon for more photography, climbs, and adventure runs.

Mount Goode reflecting in tarn

Mount Goode and Long Lake

View Northeast from Mount Agassiz

View Northwest from Mount Agassiz

View Northwest

Mount Sill (left), North Palisade/Thunderbolt (center), and Mount Winchell (right)

Summit shot

Tarn near Bishop Pass

Tarn near Bishop Pass

Descending into Dusy Basin

Spectacular setting in Dusy Basin

View of Dusy Basin from Columbine Peak


Thunderbolt and North Palisade

Norman Clyde Peak and Middle Palisade

Palisade Basin and Barett Lakes

Palisades from Columbine Peak

Isosceles Peak (left) and Columbine Peak (right)

Towering Palisades above Dusy Basin

Mount Agassiz

Long Lake

Long Lake and Mount Goode


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#977971 - 09/16/10 05:31 PM Re: [TR] Mount Agassiz & Columbine Peak - Bishop Pass & Dusy Basin 9/12/2010 [Re: off_the_hook]
ivan Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 16493
TRs: 115 Photos: 1742
Loc: Oceania
so...did you take any pictures? smile

you're not allowed to have the tr crown if'n you don't insert some absurd prose in w/ all the mountain-pRon now n' again! grin
Ignorance is Strength
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery


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