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Mono Divide 8/17 - 8/20

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Mono Divide 8/17 - 8/20

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:20 pm

Planned a 4-day trip to Apollo and Cirque Lakes, but thanks to a boneheaded mistake on the first day I wound up doing a 3-day trip on the Mono Divide instead. Still a great trip, though. Went up to Recess Peak Lakes and One Halfth Recess (the 'recess' west of First Recess). Spectacular country, and plenty of solitude (didn't see anyone else along the way).

Image

Trip report part 1 (with more pictures) is here: http://tehipitetom.blogspot.com/2007/08/mono-divide-trip-report-part-1.html (I'll be posting part 2 tomorrow)

Full set of pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomhilton/sets/72157601602999435/



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Postby Jeremy » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:43 pm

Cool! Thanks for the report and pictures. Will be in that vacinity in a couple of weeks.
Are you ready boots?
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Postby giantbrookie » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:47 pm

Nice report and great improvising to make a good trip out of a bad beginning. I had a somewhat similar experience to begin a trip carried out over a much shorter distance--believe it or not, it resulted in THREE round trips for me between the North Lake trailhead and the overnight parking before the real hiking started. I was looking forward to your Cirque, Apollo adventure, but your trip sounded like a dandy, anyway.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:12 pm

Thanks! Glad y'all enjoyed them.

GB, whenever I do a trip I try to make sure I've got some kind of Plan B. You never know what the weather will bring, among other contingencies.

Jeremy, where are you planning to go?
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Postby maverick » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:11 pm

Nice Alpenglo in the pics. That area holds some real gems.
The lakes north of Volcanic Knob are pretty cool to as are Mist Lake
and the other no name lakes between Gabe and Hilgard and
of coarse my favorites in the region Lower and Upper Mills
Creek Lakes.
I hope you get to Apollo, Id like to see photos of it again, it is a very pretty lake, which I have not seen in a long time!
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Postby SSSdave » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:57 pm

Tom, I know how the thought of leaving your car unlocked may have gnawed at your psyche. Same thing if you drive off wondering if you locked your home front door. Once I drove back home about 20 miles just to find out it was closed. I always carry two full sets of keys with me. On occassion have misplaced or temporarily lost a set of keys and wondered if one set was left in my vehicle door or at home. Always better to be safe than sorry. I never leave keys or wallet in my vehicle. Just too easy to break in.

Sounds like you had returned to your car by midday. If it was me, I'd likely have found a pleasant place to kick back several hours along the road along Mono Creek below Edison. Then about 6pm when things had cooled down a bit and I was rested, would have begun the hike again in late afternoon. By 10pm I'd expect I had reached the creek area at 8800 feet below Kip Camp. From there you could have easily reached Apollo the next morning.

Last Sunday my plan A was to hike over Bishop Pass into Dusy Basin but because of the Zaca fire smoke and my read of all my internet sources, was very pessimistic about that being worthwhile. After driving over Sonora Pass, I went south on US395 to Conway Summit in order to peek south in the Owens. It was horribly hazy from weeks of that smoke getting trapped in the valley's chronic inversion layers so I went past plan B to plan C driving north to Lake Tahoe for a Desolation trip. On day 4, my hike out day, I decided to try for some late light photos about 4 miles and 1700 feet down from the trailhead. Thus began hiking out at about 8pm and didn't reach my car until 11pm. Night hiking has its advantages in warm summer conditions though one ought have a strong headlamp like my Yukon HL.

I did a trip up to Recess Peak lakes in late August of 1987. Superb view of Red Slate and Red & White from the ridge just above the lake. All those big meadows west of the peak have a lot of arctic willow. By late August of good wet years, there is still a lot of seepage and marshy areas so some meadow areas remain nicely green and the willow makes for broad swaths of leaf changed red. The neatest place isn't the basalt on the knob but rather the peninsula that juts out like the prow of a ship with cliffs on all sides into First Recess. ...David
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Postby TehipiteTom » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:55 am

Dave, even if I had the energy to go another 8 miles or so, I'm definitely not a night hiker. More of a night sleeper. ;)
The neatest place isn't the basalt on the knob but rather the peninsula that juts out like the prow of a ship with cliffs on all sides into First Recess

I think I know the one you're talking about...unfortunately my shot of that didn't come out. I did get some nifty shots from that saddle above First Recess, though (for some reason it isn't letting me embed the picture in the post): Image
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Postby TehipiteTom » Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:05 pm

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Postby Jeremy » Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:41 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:Jeremy, where are you planning to go?


We are heading out of Bear Dam Diversion and on to Marie Lake. We will either hike over Seldon and down to Blayney Hot Springs and then over to Florence. Or, if we don't want to take two cars, we will explore the lakes east of Marie, like Medley et al, and then turn around and retrace our steps. I'm hoping the trip will be better than I'm thinking. So far, I haven't been too excited about it for whatever reason. I thought it lacked a little inspiration. But, I have never been in that area so I'm hoping I'll be wrong. And any day hiking is a good day.

Thanks for posting Part 2.
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Postby SSSdave » Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:56 pm

Jeremy wrote:We are heading out of Bear Dam Diversion and on to Marie Lake. We will either hike over Seldon and down to Blayney Hot Springs and then over to Florence. Or, if we don't want to take two cars, we will explore the lakes east of Marie, like Medley et al, and then turn around and retrace our steps. I'm hoping the trip will be better than I'm thinking. So far, I haven't been too excited about it for whatever reason. I thought it lacked a little inspiration. But, I have never been in that area so I'm hoping I'll be wrong. And any day hiking is a good day..


A lot of hiking mileage and vertical down in the hot areas. The high country is gonna look rather dried up and gone to sleep by then although Marie fishing and the creek fishing will be fine. Between BDD and the PCT and Blaney and Florence are going to be hot, dry, and unpleasant at this time of summer. Would have been nice early to mid July. Lower Bear Creek like Mono Creek is one of the few Sierra west side creek canyons that actually has quite a bit of aspen. If you waited a couple more weeks, by late September into early October you'd get to enjoy some fall leaf color, temps would be more moderate for hiking, and you could loop back via Bear Ridge down to Mono Creek then take the ferry back. If you have map skills and want a real challenge, take off cross country along the creek after Twin Falls then cross back onto the trail near Kip Camp. You'll enjoy all the swimming. ...David
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Postby Buck Forester » Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:33 pm

Great report and pics! Sorry to hear you forgot to lock your car. I've, ahem, done that before too and had to turn back. It's something you usually only do once, thank goodness.
It's all about the WILDERNESS!!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/buckforester/page9/
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Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:45 am

Thanks, Buck! Yeah, after this I'm going to check about six times before I ever start hiking. ;)
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