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Old 06-06-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
motorman
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Saddleback and Basin

I'll be in hiking Saddleback and Basin in a few weeks. We'll be hiking in and staying in the JBL lodge area and then doing the trip the next day. Any recommendations on wether to do a round trip, and if so, in which direction? Or...is it better to do Basin, then Saddleback and then retrace your steps. Fron looking at the map, I'm inclined to go counter clockwise and do it as a circuit instead of retracing steps.... (I hate giving back and retaking any high ground.)
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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I just did this trip a few weeks ago. Me and a buddy stayed at the Howard Memorial lean to just before Johns Brook Lodge. We went up Basin first using the Phelps trail which leads you towards Marcy and Haystack. However, take the Shorey Short Cut which leads you to Basin. We went up Basin and then Saddleback and came down the Orebed Brook trail and back to the lean to. Great trip! I'd rather go up the cliffs on Saddleback then down, but that's just me. Have fun!
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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thanks for the feedback.. It's amazing how different your perspective can be, after a trip, vs. before the trip, just looking at a topo....

Motorman...
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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We did the same route as Adkdremn last fall, west to east. The cliff up Saddleback is very steep. We used a 25' line to haul up packs and dog. It was a very strenuous hike with a 35 lb pack, so go lite! Otherwise should be a nice, full day trip from the JBL.

If you haven't stayed there before, and if you want an early start, ask them to leave out some cereal for breakfast. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m., so you need to try to be back by then.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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I second the Shorey Short Cut-Basin-Saddleback-Orebed Loop and itinerary.

That way you get to gaze upon the ominous cliffs of Saddleback from Basin as well as from the trail as it descends to the B - SB col and stress out increasingly as each step brings you closer to your doom.

Actually, you will be surprised at how straightforward Saddleback will be.

Addionally, you will have enough time to go up (and come back down) the cable route on Gothics and enjoy the deepening shadows of early evening from atop.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:15 PM   #6
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I second the Shorey Short Cut-Basin-Saddleback-Orebed Loop and itinerary.

That way you get to gaze upon the ominous cliffs of Saddleback from Basin as well as from the trail as it descends to the B - SB col and stress out increasingly as each step brings you closer to your doom.
Yeah, Neil, so many people have told me how useful that porta-potty is in the col between Basin and Saddleback.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:04 AM   #7
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We are staying at John's Brook July 1st and 2nd and hope to get a decent day to do these 2 mountains.

Definitely want to travel light. Do you think gators are necessary on this route?
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:52 AM   #8
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I agree with other recommendations of taking the Phelps trail via Bushnell Falls and Slant Rock up the mountains and returning the Ore Brook trail.

I would suggest that you plan to take the slight detour (0.1 miles) to Bushnell Falls for a good view. The trail split is about 2 miles after JBL. The split to the falls is a little steep, but a short distance and well worth it.

Also, if you get to the split of for Shorey's Short Cut and are feeling good and making good time, I would recommend going up Haystack (about 1.5 miles round trip from the trail split at Shorey's Short Cut) before taking on Basin and Saddleback. They views of Marcy from Haystack are awesome; it is often rated as the best view in the whole 46.

Hope you have an excellent trip!!!
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:56 AM   #9
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Definitely want to travel light. Do you think gators are necessary on this route?
Not at all. But, it's question of personal choice. Ankle gators keep stuff out of your footwear.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:58 AM   #10
Cory D
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I'll give another vote for doing Basin then Saddleback.

I don't think gaitors are neccesary for it at all. Especially the knee high type since they are so hot during summer.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:54 AM   #11
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Not at all. But, it's question of personal choice. Ankle gators keep stuff out of your footwear.
I'll second that. Heck, I can't even keep stuff out of my shoes when I'm walking around in my house. Hmmm, maybe it's time to sweep the floor.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:46 PM   #12
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We are game for the Basin/Saddleback option, but just wondering... how steep is Saddleback from this approach???

Is it comparable to Colden (we went up the steep side of Colden from Avalanche Lake side a couple of years back).
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:26 AM   #13
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Can't say as I liked the look of the cliffs on Saddleback. After encountering a young couple that had turned around after looking at them, I was a little nervous. However, a little tidbit of info on bushwhacking off to the right seems to work. One good move and a pack tossed up and you are at the summit. Not sure if this was kosher, but as I was solo it seemed safer.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:08 AM   #14
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Just did this as part of a 3 day trip a few weeks ago. I echo everyone else about doing the loop counterclockwise and going up the Saddleback cliffs instead of down. For what it's worth, here's how we did Basin and Saddleback in our first two days:

Day 1 we hiked up the Phelps trail and camped at the Snobird campsite. We actually went much faster than we thought we would and made a slight detour to hit Marcy first on our way to camp. I highly recommend Snobird, it's a great high altitude site, nice layout and a remote feeling to it compared to being down in the valley with tons of people going by.

Day 2 we woke up at dawn and hiked up Haystack. I highly recommend this! Haystack is such a cool mountain and dawn hikes are the best. We spent the rest of the day doing Saddleback and Basin then down orebed brook trail and camped by JBL at night. If you skipped Haystack (or don't mind adding the 3 miles out to your day to get to the garden) you could do the above as a 2 day trip.

The trails up and down Basin and Saddleback on both sides are steep to super steep, but relatively short, mile or less, hr-ish hikes for each up or down leg. I found the Saddleback cliffs to be kindof scary at the time to be honest, especially with a 30lb pack swinging around but in retrospect it doesn't seem so bad. It's 10-15 foot stretches of climbing with flat ledges to stop and regroup in between them. Everything has handholds and blazes clearly marked.

have fun!
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