Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Climbing the Saddle

Basin from Shorey's Shortcut
 Top of Basin
 Top of Saddleback
View of Basin from Saddleback

We had planned on going on a camping trip and grabbing Saddleback and Basin for a month before we finally set out on the anticipated trip. We were nervous because of the dreaded Saddleback cliffs. Our plan was to hike into Johnsbrook Lodge, set up camp at a near by campsite, then head up Shorey's Shortcut to Basin followed by Saddleback then head down the Orebed trail. Last Sunday we did just that. The walk in was a nice, gently walk. We had done this walk once before, two years ago when we did Haystack. We dropped our packs at a campsite just past JBL. We set up the tent and headed up to Slant Rock where we filled our water bottles and went up Shorey's Shortcut. It was a steep trail that was a bit rugged. It wasn't one of my favorite trails but it wasn't my least favorite either. The one thing that annoyed me the most about the trail was we had to climb over the top of the ridge to get to the range trail, causing us to lose a couple hundred feet of elevation. Once we got to the range trail we headed straight up to the summit. It was a very hard and steep climb. We got to the top of Basin at 1:00. The views were amazing. We had lunch and headed down the range trail to Saddleback. The trail between Basin and Saddleback wasn't difficult until we got to the cliffs. I wouldn't recommend descending Saddleback cliffs unless you have climbed them a few times before. The first part of the cliffs was the hardest. There were two possible ways to get up. One was if you looked to the left there would be a rock with multiple horizontal cracks in the rock. An option is to push yourself up using the crack or the second option, look to your left there would be another rock you could back yourself into, then pull yourself up onto the ledge. It would make more sense if you were there to see it.Once you got passed the first part it was mostly walking and pulling yourself along cracks in the rock. I personally thought climbing the cliffs was fun. Scary, but fun. We got to the top of Saddleback at 3:45. We took a quick break and headed down to the Orebed trail. The Orebed trail was very easy. A good amount was walking down stairs that were built into the slide. It was longer than Shorey's Shortcut and the walk to JBL felt like it took forever but we made it back eventually. We got back to our campsite at 7:00. The following morning we packed up and left the site at 9:00. The walk back was long but enjoyable. We got back to the car at 11:30. It was a great trip and we plan on doing it over again when we finish up.
-ADK Gurl


  1. Congratulations, not only for being almost there (one more to go, right?) but also for taking the time and effort to document your journey with this blog!

    This summer's weather has certainly made it challenging to be an aspiring 46er. Best of luck on your final hike, and may it represent the start of a new chapter as much as completion of your goal.