Friday, August 28, 2015

Cuberant Basin, Uinta Mountains- August 2015

This is one of my usual trips in the Uintas every year. After the monster weekend on the north slope, I was really just looking for a nice walk in the woods. I arrived at the parking lot to a total of four cars. I was pretty happy to have so few people when I showed up. I got it together and headed on in. The temps were perfect, and I made a quick pace up to the junction. I ran into a couple of people who were completing the Lofty Lake Loop, and chatted for a few minutes before moving on. I pushed for the pass as I wanted to get in and get things set since I was solo for the night. I ran into a couple on horseback, and they said the basin was pretty empty. I was happy as this side of the Uintas can be crazy busy at times. I climbed the pass, and took a short break at the top for a few photos and a snack. I then made a quick pace to move on down to my camp for the evening. I was rather impressed with myself, 1 hr and 20 min with stops from the car to camp. The new pack really is helping me make distance really fast. I set up shop for the weekend and gathered all the down fall I could for my fire that evening. I will also mention, there was a lot of garbage that was left in camp from the last group there, and it was hauled out and the paper was burned to clean the place up. I tossed out a line and caught a couple of nice brookies before sunset. I settled in with a nice fire for the evening as the stars were out and it was beautiful. I unfortunately was not able to get star trails this trip. My interval timer broke last weekend, so I could only do single shots. Still got some nice moonlight on the rocks and the lake. A few hours of the fire and a beverage, and it was time to turn in.

I awoke after a very quiet and good nights sleep to the sound of solitude. Being solo in the wilderness is a unique experience I have learned to love. My first day out here was a solo adventure, and a good one at that. I was from talks had back in Salt Lake, that my good friend Chris was going to come in on Saturday. He had stuff to do on Friday so could not leave then. I made coffee and breakfast and was just changing things over from the night gear to day gear when I heard the bells on the dog and knew he was coming in. It was great to see him and his two wonder dogs Martini and Bear. He got settled in then we both decided to just do some fishing, and some clean up of surrounding camps from people who were not very respectful during their stay out there. We did a nice job getting the basin back to how it is supposed to look. We then moved on to trying to catch some fish. I had a few bites, but nothing landed. Eventually, I decided to move up to the next lake, and I was going to give it a shot. I fished for a bit, then started landing some small ones. I got a large hit and set the hook and landed a nice Cutthroat. I knew it was getting late and I started my way back down to camp with my dinner caught. I got things ready for the evening including our fire as Chris was burning the daylight to dusk fishing at our lake. Evening set in and we had a feast to say the least. I don't remember the last time I was that full from a meal backpacking. Eventually the cooler air on this night put us in to slumber for I think both of us wanted our tents and sleeping bags.

We awoke to a really quiet and peaceful morning with blue skies and warmer temps. We made breakfast again and then packed it up slowly. I do not think either of us were in a hurry, and we spent some time just lounging around our area taking in the nice weather. We eventually had it all packed up and made our way out. The hike up to the pass was really nice, taking in a view of Mt Marsell and its massive chute we could only imagine must be a great line on the splitboard. Reaching the pass, we had a view of the monsoon that was building from the south and how beautiful all the clouds were. We made our way off the pass and down into the meadow. A roll of thunder passed over us about less than a mile from the car. Nothing alarming, but you could tell the air mass was changing. What seemed like in no time we were at the car with a weekend ending beverage to celebrate being out in the wilderness once more. This was a great weekend and very relaxing. I am a bit disappointed at the behavior of other campers that we cleaned up out there. If you pack it in, pack it out. Please take all of your garbage and human stuff out with you. And learn to properly do your human business while you are out there. No one wants to see your toilet paper tulips. The good, bad, and the ugly, as Chris mentioned, we saw all three. Respect the wilderness, and leave it better than you found it. I know we did. Enjoy the pics and slide show. More adventures to come.

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