Haeckel, Wallace, Picture Peak, Powell Traverse - Sabrina BasinDate:
The Sabrina Basin outside the town of Bishop has a great mix of scenery and climbing objectives. The idea was to make it a loop trip going up through Sailor Lake and Echo Lake, traversing the ridge connecting the three Powell Points (John, Wesley, Powell), and then descending via Sunset Lake and Baboon Lakes. In order to enjoy sunset and sunrise and climb peaks off the main loop, we bivied at Sailor Lake.
After sleeping near the trailhead, we set out on the trail from Lake Sabrina to Blue Lake on Saturday morning at 6:30 am.
At Blue Lake, we began the loop, continuing up the basin to Sailor Lake, where we dropped the overnight gear.
I set out and climbed Mount Haeckel, Mount Wallace, Picture Peak, and Point 13,080 ft+ that afternoon, returning to Sailor Lake at 5 pm. This was a mini-loop as I approached Haeckel from the north, then crossed over to Wallace, and finally tagged Picture Peak on the way down to Echo Lake (essentially a circle around Picture Peak).
Hungry Packer Lake and Picture Peak.
Panorama from Point 13080 ft+.
Panorama from Mount Wallace.
The postholing in the late-afternoon was tiresome, but all four peaks were fun scrambles with great views.
Clyde Spires in the afternoon.
We enjoyed the spectacular views of Picture Peak (aptly named) from Sailor Lake at sunrise and the early morning light.
Evening light on Powell Ridge from Sailor Lake.
Picture Peak reflecting.
We set out at 6:45 am on Sunday on a carry-over traverse of Powell Ridge, ascending Point John (Mount Powell), Point Wesley, and Point Powell. Point John was the first summit, which involved ascending a long snow slope from Echo Lake to near the summit. We reached the summit at around 9:30 am.
Clyde Spires above Echo Lake.
The four summits I had climbed the previous day.
View from the summit of Point John (Mount Powell). Mount Darwin is the high point in the distance with Mount Haeckel to the left.
The ridge traverse between Point John (Mount Powell) and Point Wesley involved some 4th class scrambling, at times exposed, which was even more fun with overnight gear in the packs! This was the most time consuming part of the traverse, but we reached Point Wesley just after noon.
View of ridge from Point John (Mount Powell) to Point Wesley.
Navigating the 4th class rock.
A quick ridge walk brought us to Point Powell, which appears to be the highest of the "Powell Points." After grabbing some lunch and lounging in the pleasant conditions, we descended down the other side of the mountain via the NE couloir to Sunset Lake and Baboon Lakes. The view of Point Powell from above Sunset Lake was sweet!
After some rest at Baboon Lakes, we continued down the valley to Blue Lake, where the loop was completed.
From Blue Lake, we retraced our steps back down to Lake Sabrina, arriving at the trailhead just before 5 pm.
What a fabulous weekend in the mountains with some great partners! Gear Notes:
ice axe, cramponsApproach Notes:
Patchy snow after Blue Lake to either Hungry Packer Lake or Babooon Lakes. Consistent snow above these lakes, but melting fast.