Here are some pictures and video I took when Mike, Olaf, Alex and I went up to the Upper Gothic Basin...  Following our very successful (great pictures!) excursion to Mt. Dickerman, Alex picked Mike and I up the next day to hike back into Gothic Basin.

The Weeden Creek trail branches off of the road that goes to the abandoned town of Monte Cristo.  There are two ways to get to the trail, the old way is to walk the Monte Cristo road until it intersects the trail.  This requires you to cross the Sauk River.  A newer trail just before the road crosses the Sauk allows you to avoid the river crossing - a good thing.  We took the latter, and though it is a bit up and down, it's a very pleasant lowland trail which is heavily forested.  Towards the top, due to good snow, we avoided the trail to the lower basin, and went directly to the upper basin at Foggy Lake.  We left the trailhead at 10:15, and arrived at the very top a little after 1:30.  Click this link to view a 3D rendering of the trail on a topographic map.

Our plan was to set camp, and consider scrambling Del Campo.  However, a haze restricted the sun's ability to soften the snow adequately to kick steps above the lake, and we left our crampons at home.  So, nothing left to do but relax, and wait for sunset and pictures.  Sunset was disappointing, but we were well rewarded with a nice sunrise.  I've also included some video that both Mike and I shot, but please excuse my narration as I frequently referred to the area as Gotham Basin!  Mike and I did make the scramble up Del Campo in August, 2002 though...

The hike up... - The hike in follows the Weeden Creek trail, named after O. N. Weeden, one of the original homesteaders of the area.  I took this picture of Olaf and Alex as the trail breaks out to expose some of the surrounding views.

Olaf and Alex on the Weeden Trail...

A nice slot canyon... About two thirds of the way, we hit a couple stream crossings - this one having a nice slot canyon.  I took this shot of Mike as he broke off to explore a bit.  This canyon would be very inviting itself for a scramble in warmer weather...

Mike explores a slot canyon off the Weeden trail...

Setting camp... - Mike scores again by finding a magnificent perch on which to set camp.  The view outside our vestibule was directly at Monte Cristo and the Wilmans with Sloan Peak (video 1.5 meg) off to the left a bit.  I took this shot shortly after everything was settled, and we set about exploring the area.   Mike also took some video (2.9 meg)...

The view towards Monte Cristo from our camp site...

Sunrise... - After some debate between Mike and myself, I set the sunrise alarm for 6:20 AM.  When it goes off the next morning, Mike peeks out and freaks!  The color had just started, and he wanted to make a small rise next door for the photographic advantage.  He maniacally gets dressed, and when I get in the way (I want out also...), I get a head butt for my troubles!  Never get in the way of a photographer that's late for a sunrise!

Mike gets to his vantage, I decide to get my shots from our front door.  Normally, I would list these pictures as links off of bullets, but I think the colors warrant the thumbnails!  They appear in order as the sun came over a ridge to the east...  As always, click the thumbnails to see the full size images.

In between print shots, I also took some striking video:

This taken during the first colors (2.6 meg)...
This taken a bit later, showing some of the surrounding peaks (3.3 meg)...

Overall this sunrise turned out to be pretty impressive, and surprising.  I expected haze to obscure the good colors, but it was clear enough to shine through.

First sunrise...

Second sunrise...

Third sunrise...

Fourth Sunrise...

Fifth sunrise...

Sixth sunrise...

Seventh sunrise...

Tom at sunrise... - As the sun started cresting the neighboring ridges, Alex and Olaf started to stir.  Alex took this shot of me as first light shone on our camp site....

Tom in first sunlight at camp in Gothic Basin...

Gothic Peak & Foggy Pass... - Once the sun crested the ridge, it was time to look behind, and check out the back lit slopes.  I took this shot of Gothic Peak and the pass as the colors peaked.

First light on Gothic Peak and Foggy Pass...

Del Campo... - This interesting peak was literally at our doorstep! We had planned to scramble it some time during the weekend, but conditions were too icy, and we didn't bring crampons.  So all we could do was sit back, and look...  Also, here is some good video of morning colors of Del Campo and other sites (5.2 meg)...

First light on Del Campo...

Mike and Alex wait for Olaf... - On the way out, I took this shot of Mike and Alex as they encourage Olaf to attempt a standing glissade down a slope.  I capture Mike and Olaf as they attempt standing glissades down one of the slopes (2.5 meg)...  Will they make it successfully?

Awaiting Olaf's standing glissade...

More Videos... - Mike and I also took more video scenes during the trip:
Gothic Peak and Foggy Lake after we've set up camp, and start to look around (2.7 meg)...
Mike catches us in community as the rest of us pump water (3 meg)...
While sunset was pretty much a bust, I did get some colors, and then some footage near Foggy Lake at dusk (4.4 meg)...
Mike and Olaf scrambled the saddle heading up to Gothic Peak.  I catch them on video on top of the ridge (1.9 meg)...
 

Back to Tom in the mountains...

 

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