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TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

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TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:26 pm

With a very ambitious route in mind, our group of eight took the ferry across Edison Lake Thursday morning. After two trips to get us all across (they only ran one boat) we were hiking up the Mono Creek Trail by 9am. This trail is pretty straight forward and I kept us as a good pace since our goal was Lower Mills Creek Lake.

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Walking across the lakebed.


By 1pm we had crossed Mono Creek and after a lunch break, began the climb up into the Second Recess.

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Looking up the Second Recess.

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Approaching Lower Mills Creek Lake.


It was slow going as we had heavy packs and the altitude affected a few members of the party. By 6pm we reached Lower Mills Creek Lake. Another large group was already there, so we headed for some granite benches just above the coveted spots by the outlet. It was an 11 mile day with 4k of climbing. We were beat.

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Mt. Gabb, Lower Mills Creek Lake, and the Moon.


The next morning the group split up with most staying to fish while I and two others attempted to climb Mt. Gabb.

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Morning walk.

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Approaching Mt. Gabb.


We were going to try the "Glacier Route" as mentioned in Secor. While up there, I was going to scope out our proposed route for the next day. I had thought we could cross the ridge north of Mt. Gabb and loop through the upper reaches of the Second Recess. That idea was was quickly disregarded. It was beyond our ability and fitness level. One of the guys with me decided to head back and so just two of us continued up Gabb.

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The "Glacier Route" is missing most of the glacier.

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Looking back down our route.

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Very loose scree.


We managed to climb up a very loose scree slop to the NW ridge of Mt. Gabb at about 13k. At this point both my companion and I were having some second thoughts and were worried about descending. The scree slope had seemed a bit too dangerous for us, and while I'm sure it was easier than it looked, the remaining climb up the NW ridge looked too daunting. We decided to eat our lunch here and then descend. Looking back, I probably could have summited Gabb, but at the time I went with the safest decision.

The view was spectacular. I could see Red & White, Ritter, Banner, The Silver Divide, and many other peaks from my lunch spot.

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13k view.


(...continued)
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.



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Re: TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:38 pm

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Looking down to Upper Mills Creek Lake.


We returned to camp around 2pm and heard great stories of fishing. Some in our party had fished the area between to the two lakes and pulled out some 12-14" goldens. I let everyone know that our intended route was not an option (no one was surprised) and we decided toe stay another night at Lower Mills and then hike down and find a spot along Mono Creek for our final night. This would put us in position to catch the early ferry on Sunday.

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Evening at Lower Mills Creek Lake.


The next morning we packed up and headed back the way we came. We stopped for a an hour and a half at the beautiful meadow in the Second Recess. I fished the creek there and pulled out quite a few small, but beautiful goldens. Then we headed to Mono Creek and camped across from the bottom of the First Recess.

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Second Recess meadow.


We had a leisurely evening watching the thunderstorms pass to the west. We had about 3 minutes of rain. I watched the sunset cross the First Recess.

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The First Recess.


The next morning we were hiking by 6am and made it to Edison Lake with time to spare. After a couple boat trips we headed down to Huntington where beer and pizza awaited us.

Although we didn't manage to make the intended loop, everyone had a great time. We pushed our limits and it spawned some great discussions of future trips and how we can lighten our loads. Bugs were very light—I never put on DEET the entire trip.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:55 pm

Hi Carne,

Great TR and pictures, especially like the Lower Mills Creek Lake evening shot.
Did you by any chance take any shots looking down from the top of the ridge
towards your intended original route?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:04 pm

Maverick, this is where I kick myself. I was so preoccupied with deciding whether to keep climbing or descend that I forgot to take many photos. I do have one or two photos I can post, but it will have to wait--the HST site won't let me upload the large unprocessed photos from my phone.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:19 pm

PM sent.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:48 pm

Nice report. I really should get up that way sometime. Gabb is a very nice peak, too, a peak that is underrated by many but a very prominent landmark that can be seen from very far away.
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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TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby Bluewater » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:45 pm

Thanks for your report. I really like the alpenglow photo on Mt Gabb from Lower Mills Creek Lake. I was there earlier this summer and it takes me right back. Roper calls the outlet creek area of LMCL one of the 'classic Sierra' spots, and I agree!
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Re: TR: Second Recess 7/18-7/21

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:03 pm

Great stuff! We were up in that area two years ago over 4th of July weekend, and you couldn't get NEAR 2nd recess because the creeks were so high!
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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