Mono Recesses 2004

Upper Mills Creek Lake to Dade Lake

Friday, August 27, 2004

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Although Gabbot Pass was technically easy as expected, Cox Col was a bigger challenge than expected.† The high point of the entire trip at 13000 feet, Cox Col offers a crossing of the Sierra Crest.† The west side of the pass above Italy Lake is easy, mostly if not all class 1.† We found it fairly easy to traverse between Gabbot Pass and Cox Col high above Lake Italy without losing much elevation.† Upon reaching the col, there are numerous choices as to which route to take down the other side.† The east side is nearly vertical near the top, and is probably easier to ascend than descend.† We didnít have that choice though, and didnít really have any other option other than to descend from the col, other than probably running out of food following our route back over Gabbot Pass and Mono Pass.† Carefully descending the upper section proved a little scary but not horrible, and soon the worst part was behind us as the terrain became less steep.† In any case, the upper section was probably safer for us due to our intense concentration on what we were doing.† Itís all too easy on moderate terrain to let your attention drift and thatís when accidents happen.† We made it down to Dade Lake at 11500 feet, our highest camp of the trip, for the last night and nearly ending our off-trail hiking.



Upper Mills Creek Lake from above

Long day todayóup to Gabbot Pass (12200 ft.) and then across Italy Lake Basinís upper end to Cox Col.† Cox Col was easy on the uphill side (technically easyóit was still lots of work!)† The downhill side was challenging at the very top.† Very carefully moved through those sections!† This was the most difficult pass I have done.† Got to Dade Lake around 5:10.† Lots of campsites hereósome with rock walls although there is no wind now.† This is our highest camp at over 11500ft.† Tomorrow we have an easy downhill back to the car.


Didnít see anyone hiking today, but there are some climbers camped here at Dade Lake.



small pond above Upper Mills Creek Lake, Gabbot Pass looming above

Pipsqueak Spire, Cox Col, and Bear Creek Spire



Looking over Gabbot Pass, Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak

Toe Lake, Lake Italy from between Gabbot Pass and Cox Col



Little Lakes Valley from Cox Col

Looking back at Cox Col after coming part way down


Steve & Ron on Cox Col, Little Lakes Valley side

Ron & Steve on Cox Col, Mt. Gabb side



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