Uintas: Amethyst to Middle Basin off-trail pass?

JoshuaDyal

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
186
I'm thinking from the topo that just to the north of Ostler Peak, in that "bight" in the mountain just south of Ostler Lake, that it would probably be pretty easy to crest that ridge and get to Middle Basin without having to go all the way around on the trail.

Has anyone done this, and if so, can you comment on the viability/easiness of that route?
 

andyjaggy

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
925
That would be an awesome route. I can't comment on the feasibility of it, but am curious myself.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
Looks doable in the sense that you should be able to get around the cliffs. There's a pretty good band there toward the bottom of the talus. Personally I'd rather go around the mountain on the trail than go up and then down 1000' of giant boulders at the angle of repose. That could be pretty unpleasant and dangerous. Here's a not great shot of the side you'd come down. Ostler to the right.

upload_2015-3-16_11-16-56.png
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
It might be better to go at it from Middle Basin into Amethyst if you try it. It would be easier going up that big ass slope than down, and the other side doesn't look quite as bad. Definitely leave the dog home on that trip!
 

uintahiker

Adventure Guru
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
719
Doable- probably, but why? If you want to get there fast, you'll probably be faster just sticking with the trail. By the time you factor in route finding, elevation change, and boulder hopping any gains you've made by cutting distance have evaporated.

Now if you're looking at tackling it "because it's there" then by all means go for it!
 

JoshuaDyal

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
186
Also because of great views from the top of the ridge. But yeah; the pictures of the slope I'd have to scramble over look less appealing than the lines on the topo did.
 

WasatchWill

Ready For More
.
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
1,547
Doable- probably, but why? If you want to get there fast, you'll probably be faster just sticking with the trail. By the time you factor in route finding, elevation change, and boulder hopping any gains you've made by cutting distance have evaporated.

Now if you're looking at tackling it "because it's there" then by all means go for it!
Agreed. When I was with a group that did Kings peak, they decided to jump off the trail to Andersen Pass and instead, head straight up the boulders to the ridge just below the summit. Yes, it saved about a mile and half to two miles, but in hind sight, I think I could have beaten them to the same point on the ridge with much less stress on my lungs by sticking to the more gradual trail up Andersen and then do the easier boulder hoping along the ridge.

Since then, if there is an established trail to the same destination, I will almost always take the trail, especially if it means only a couple extra miles because it will generally be safer, easier to move over, and thus require less energy and often less time in the long run.

However, if someone wants challenge themselves, get some views that wouldn't otherwise be obtained, or simply just just add to their adventure, then go for it.

Edited for some typos.
 

JoshuaDyal

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
186
If I were going for the view, I'd just assume bag Ostler.

I've heard the climb up Ostler is pretty rough. I'd be more inclined to do Spread Eagle from near Faxon Lake and get more or less the same view.
 

Mike K

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
823
The view from the Ostler's ridge and summit were great. I'd highly recommend bagging this peak if you're at Ostler Lake. The hike up wasn't a cake walk but I don't remember any scary scrambling or anything. I'll post a few shots from our route taken from Lane's Ostler/Amethyst trip page (which includes the GPS track of our route):


Looking up at our route and Ostler Peak from near Ostler Lake
Ostler from the bottom.jpg




A nice view of Lake BR24 (or whatever it's called)
Oslter looking down at the B lake.jpg




A view of the ridge line looking towards Ostler Peak
Ostler Ridge Line.jpg




Grinding through some boulders and rocks
Ostler Ridge Scrambling.jpg




One of the payoff views from the top. This is looking down at Amethyst Lake.
Ostler View of Amethyst.jpg
The
 
Last edited:

Mike K

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
823
I've heard the climb up Ostler is pretty rough. I'd be more inclined to do Spread Eagle from near Faxon Lake and get more or less the same view.

Spread Eagle Peak (via Faxon) was cool as well but I liked Ostler better.
 

JoshuaDyal

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
186
Nice pics! Thanks!

Y'all have convinced me; the pass from Amethyst to Middle isn't worth it. However, I know that folks have gone over the ridge from Allsop to Priord/Norice (in fact, I think I first saw that on a Google search that brought me here!). What about crossing some of the other north-side basins? Dead Horse to Allsop? Priord to Amethyst? There aren't any good ways to go on-trail from those without adding many miles of backtracking up fairly narrow canyons.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
Upper Red Castle > Oweep = doable
Dead Horse > Allsop = doable
Priord > Rock Creek = doable
Priord > Amethyst = haven't heard of it being done
Amethyst > Helen = doable
Middle Basin > Hwy 150 = doable
West Basin > Hwy 150 = doable
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
DrNed Uintas Amethyst & Middle Basins Backpacking 9
Nico Uintas - Toomset/Ostler/Amethyst Lakes Backpacking 6
Jackson First Uintas Trip - Amethyst Basin Backpacking 5
Nanda Invite Amethyst basin(or similar areas) couple nights in uintas Meet Up (Members Only) 3
Artemus Amethyst Pass route across the Uintas Divide Backpacking 8
Nick Uintas: Amethyst Basin Backpacking 5
WasatchWill The High Uintas 4-4-4: Four Basins, Four Passes, Four Days Backpacking 18
C High Uintas Wilderness - Last minute plans Trip Planning 4
Mountain Wanderer High Uintas Wilderness - Granddaddy Basin Backpacking 4
scatman Bourbon Lake, Uintas - July 11, 2020 Hiking & Camping 4
ridings82 Uintas Backpacking Loop Trip Reports 10
Eric O Uintas Conditions 2020 Trip Planning 69
B Uintas question Hiking & Camping 3
Tarp Boy Uintas in late June? Trip Planning 10
Born to Hike Mountain Solitude: Reconnaissance Lake, High Uintas, early Sept 2019 Backpacking 9
Ehouston24 Uintas Loop (Red Castle/Kings Peak) Trip Planning 14
DrNed Plan B to High Uintas Backpacking Trip Planning 20
J Uintas Conditions 2019 Trip Planning 209
DrNed Recommendation for 35-45 Mile Route in the Uintas Trip Planning 7
Yvonne A weekend in the Uintas Hiking & Camping 10
WasatchWill 5 Guys on a Trail: A Tour of the Southwestern Uintas Backpacking 12
wabenho Rainbow Lake, Uintas - September 2018 Backpacking 6
DesertRatShorty Solitude in the Uintas -- Gilbert Lake Loop Backpacking 14
jdfut66 Uintas - Priord Lake to Deadhorse Lake Loop Backpacking 4
Born to Hike Clements Lake and East Basin in the High Uintas, mid-July 2018 Backpacking 6
TrektheWorld Need help with Uintas trip - camping Trip Planning 8
Perry Missing hiker in Uintas - Ray Humpherys General Discussion 104
Mike K Uintas Three Nighter Backpacking 13
LarryBoy In Which I Forget Sunscreen (Uintas 2015) Backpacking 11
Brian Handsaker Uintas Backpacking (or Montana) Trip Planning 9
Dave Uintas Conditions 2018 General Discussion 210
Uncle_Dim October in the Uintas Trip Planning 2
Perry Late Season Uintas Day Hike Ideas. Bear River to WFBF and Back? Trip Planning 13
r3biker Backpacking trip to Clyde lake in Uintas Backpacking 8
WasatchWill An Intro to the Uintas Hiking & Camping 2
TClark Uintas - Erickson Basin Aug. 3-5 2017 Backpacking 4
Nick 3 Children Struck by Lightning in Uintas General Discussion 0
mathew Uintas this weekend Trip Planning 0
westy High Uintas - West Basin Backpacking 0
George_Washington_Hayduke High Uintas: Allen Lake and Thunderstorms Backpacking 0
westy High Uintas - Henry's, Painter, Yellowstone, Smith's Backpacking 5
westy High Uintas - Middle Basin Backpacking 5
jj Backpacking Uintas with Toddler Trip Planning 14
B Best Time of Year for Backpacking the Uintas in Utah Trip Planning 15
Perry Can You Guess Where The Uintas Are? General Discussion 5
N Which High Uintas overnight hike? Trip Planning 2
Dave Uintas Conditions 2017 General Discussion 128
S Uintas 2 Night trip Trip Planning 9
J ISO Tiger Trout in the Uintas Backpacking 8
Yvonne Cross-Country skiing North Fork Trail, Uintas Winter Sports 10

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top