|2016-06-12||Route: East Side
Posted On: 2016-06-13, By: emgordon
Info: No photos due to clouds, but the bowls/faces along the divide are still holding a lot of snow north and south of Isolation. Seen from Hwy 7.
|2015-10-19||Route: Bluebird Lake
Posted On: 2015-10-21, By: emgordon
Info: Great fall day, damp and overcast, and rain made slabs in the final climb up to Bluebird Lake a little tricky. The cloud level stayed around 12,500 all morning, snow was coming in as we left, expect a fresh coat this week. Contrary to some signs, the bridge at Ouzel Falls is not out, the wood is fresh and new. Trail is in great condition and easy to follow, though we did not continue past Bluebird Lake. Some time estimates (with breaks): Trailhead to Ouzel Falls 1 hour Ouzel Falls to Chickadee Pond 1.5 hours Chickadee Pond to Bluebird Lake 1.5 hours Return to Trailhead 2 hours
|2014-06-15||Route: Wild Basin
Posted On: 2014-06-19, By: Brian Thomas
Info: We packed in to the Ouzel Lake campsite on Saturday night and did not encounter any snow until just before the spur trail to the campsite. Sunday we headed directly north from camp, across the swamp (there is a log "bridge" through the swamp ~100 feet west of the pond (not Ouzel Lake itself) and we were able to gain the ridge of Mahana, summit Mahana, drop to the saddle and hike up Isolation without any need for snowshoes or microspikes. Descending back into Wild Basin by Isolation Lake, Bluebird Lake, and into the trees, there are steep snow slopes with some nasty runouts that are unavoidable. If you do this route soon, bring an axe. Once in the trees, there is a lot of snow and we were unable to locate the standard trail from Bluebird Lake. Cool, overcast weather on Saturday and a mild freeze on Saturday night are probably the only reasons the descent back to camp wasn‘t a postholing hell. If attempting this route anytime soon, I would suggest returning over Mahana, the snow in the trees is going to be miserable for at least a few more weeks. I told the rangers at the trailhead our exact itinerary before we packed in, and they were adamant that snowshoes would be needed, but said nothing about needing an axe (GRRR!). If you return over Mahana, you can leave the snowshoes at home and do the entire hike in trailrunners. Also note that the bridge at Ouzel Falls is washed out from last year‘s flooding, to get into upper Wild Basin you have to detour right from the Calypso Cascades / Ouzel Falls trail toward Thunder Lake then rejoin the trail above Ouzel Falls. No idea on when the bridge will be replaced. Sorry, no pics, my phone battery died.