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HaBaSa Feb. 1, 2020

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  • HaBaSa Feb. 1, 2020

    A Perfect Winter HaBaSa


    Joe Bogardus decided that trail conditions trumped weather conditions and so we found ourselves signing out for HaBaSa at the Garden at 7:00 am on Saturday. And indeed the trail was in perfect shape as we spiked to JBL. We switched to MSR snowshoes when we began making divots in a softer trail and started losing energy.

    We moved at a steady pace and took our first pause for water at the Phelps-Range connector junction. I put 6 ju-jubes into my mouth and we continued moving. The infamous wall was as easy as I’ve ever seen it with a perfectly smooth and packed trail. Our next pause was on top of Haystack, which we did all the way in snowshoes with no difficulties. We were 4h 30 minutes into our hike.

    For me there are three potential difficulties on this hike: Little Hay, Basin’s ladder to 250 feet above it and finally the Saddleback wall. Little Hay was a piece of cake and upon returning to the Range Trail we kept moving and took our next food and water break at the Shoreys junction. The descent to the low point was incredibly quick and easy with us snowshoe telemark skiing whenever we could.

    Going up Basin felt like we now had slower legs but there were no issues with ice – anywhere. Hay-Basin took 90 minutes. We didn’t stop on top, just kept shuffling along until the base of the Wall where we encountered a bottleneck. A group had come up Chicken Coop Brook and were headed back to JBL via Saddleback. Plastic mountaineering boots and full crampons probably made the going a lot tougher and the group seemed to be stuck at the first obstacle where you have to do a stem move. Regular winter boots and K10 trail crampons felt like the perfect gear and the group kindly allowed us to hike through. A few minutes later we were on top. Basin-SB had taken 58 minutes.

    We changed back into our MSRs, which we wore to the Orebed Lean-to and for the rest of the trip out via the Southside Trail we wore spikes. We had zero views all day but it was still a great trip with nothing special to say about it. Total time with no hurrying but steady moving was 10 hours. Now is obviously the time to do this hike but how long will that last?

  • #2
    Check out this HaBaSa hike from 2011 that took 10 strong hikers 14 1/2 hrs to do.


    • #3
      You made me look ... for our Dec 2014 trip to HaBaSa, ... to check the time. It was 13 hours but, like I wrote in the thread, the conversation made the time slip by smoothly.

      Your Dec 2014 trip report is well worth reading for audiences in 2020. The theme was about "glycogen stores", "proprioceptive training", "kinemtaic chain", etc.

      Although not technically winter (Dec 4), winter weather came early that year and it was face-mask time atop Haystack ... but the views were worth the stinging wind.

      Behold! Haystack! December 2014.

      Little Haystack's southern face. December 2014.

      Neil and Tom ascending Haystack's summit. December 2014.

      Neil ascends Basin. December 2014.

      Gothics. December 2014.

      More photos.

      Good times!
      Looking for Views!