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Ascent of Basin Mountain on 2017-04-29

Climber: Scott Larson

Date:Saturday, April 29, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Basin Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:13181 ft / 4017 m

Ascent Trip Report

Friends Isreal, Brandon, and I started just after sunrise, at around 7800 ft on Buttermilk Rd. Rather than ascending the wide chute where the summer hiking trail switchbacks up, we chose the narrow drainage to the south of it, and I actually took the ridge on climber's left. This was likely slower than taking the wide drainage, but they merge together around 10200 ft. From here, there are two options, stick to climber's left side near Basin's NE ridge (Izzy and Brandon took this route) or choose the slightly less steep option on the right side of the drainage, as I opted. This took me around the north side of the rock/moraine pile at 11500 ft, and my partners went around it from the south.

From here, I booted up the NE couloir to the saddle at 12800 ft, where I cached my skis and skins, and continued around the south side of the mountain and up the south chute to the saddle at 13100 ft. Mistakenly, I went to the western summit first, because that's where the USGS map implies the summit is (and I didn't research enough beforehand - doh!). The eastern pyramid is definitely the correct summit block, so I quickly scrambled up and found the register at the top. It took 7 hours to reach the saddle at the top of the couloir (with many breaks for food, rest, and airing out my socks/boot liners) and another 1h20m to attain the summit. It took only 30 minutes to reach my skis from the summit.

The ski down the top 2000 ft consisted of hard and crappy snow, but below that the corn was creamy! And there were no tracks in the narrow drainage we ascended - everyone else had taken the drainage to the north. We were able to ski all the way down to 8300 ft on a skinny snow ribbon and then walked the last 500 vertical feet back down to the car.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Skis, Ski Poles
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Scott Larson
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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