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Lake Italy

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Lake Italy

Postby Strider » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:30 pm

We're planning a hike over July 4th weekend from Bear Creek Diversion Dam to Lake Italy and would like to cross-country to 4th recess lake. Any advice on technical grade, conditions, routes, etc.?
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby SSSdave » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:00 am

You will certainly see considerable snow on the north side of class 2 Gabbot Pass just to reach upper Mills Creek and an ice axe may be useful in a few spots. To reach Fourth Recess most efficiently you would need to go downstream all the way to Mono Creek and then follow the main trail. There are some class3 to 4 steep scree avalanche chutes one might cross climbing way up to directly access Third Recess and the steep north sides would certainly be ice axe and crampon terrain. Or you could cross east on the ridge north of Bear Creek Spire and down into Rock Creek but you would need to climb way up over Mono Pass again. Again at this time of year areas of steep snow may need to be crossed. With so much interesting cross country one might do in the Bear Creek drainage, making an effort to reach Fourth Recess from Lake Italy does not make sense logistically. ...David
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby Strider » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:48 am

We cut the trip short by a day due to car trouble, so we just went over Gabbot Pass (80% snow, but hard-crusted and easily walked on) and back to Edison.

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=7516010
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby hikerduane » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:50 pm

Thank you for the photo, really surprised at the lack of snow.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:40 pm

Wow, the snow really melted away fast.
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby cmon4day » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:44 pm

[quote="Strider"]We cut the trip short by a day due to car trouble, so we just went over Gabbot Pass (80% snow, but hard-crusted and easily walked on) and back to Edison.quote]

Did you take the ferry across Lake Edison???
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby Strider » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:03 am

cmon4day wrote:
Strider wrote:We cut the trip short by a day due to car trouble, so we just went over Gabbot Pass (80% snow, but hard-crusted and easily walked on) and back to Edison.quote]

Did you take the ferry across Lake Edison???


:crybaby: No, our car was parked at the Bear Ridge trailhead, and the boat was just leaving full, so we decided to hike back on the south side of the lake. BIG MISTAKE! There is no trail, and we had to pick our way through sharp rocks and loose scree for 2 1/2 hours.
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:15 pm

Strider >>>"No, our car was parked at the Bear Ridge trailhead, and the boat was just leaving full, so we decided to hike back on the south side of the lake. BIG MISTAKE! There is no trail, and we had to pick our way through sharp rocks and loose scree for 2 1/2 hours."

Your group obviously had never viewed those slopes into the reservoir from the ferry. Of course from that parking lot the first mile or so looks doable. But one cannot see the back end of the lake. Didn't any of you bother to look at the topographic map? Unpleasant crumbling coarse granite sand ball bearings on moderate to steep bulldozed smooth reservoir slope into the water. There IS a trail along the north side of the reservoir of course. Just making the effort to travel the nearly 4 miles along the reservoir is bad enough, but on the south side one would need to walk another unpleasant mile on the south side of Mono Creek to the JMT trail bridge as it is too large to easily cross. And that section on the seepy north side of the canyon is particular painful with a few brush and willow aspen thickets.
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby Strider » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:16 pm

SSSdave wrote:Didn't any of you bother to look at the topographic map?


Go ahead, rub salt in my blisters!!!
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Re: Lake Italy

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:07 pm

Strider wrote:
SSSdave wrote:Didn't any of you bother to look at the topographic map?


Go ahead, rub salt in my blisters!!!



I've been there too. There's a time when all of us were trying to figure out how to do things and make decisions in the backcountry. Way back when I was a 20-something, I hiked from Crabtree Meadows to the back end of Wood Lake about 10 very rocky miles. Not wearing boots but rather well worn tennies of the day. The bottom of my feet were so sore the next day I could hardly walk. It was early summer too of an El Nino year and there were vast clouds of mosquitoes about I was barely prepared to deal with. You have the right attitude, smile, laugh it off as a lesson learned. Live and learn.
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