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Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

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Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby acvdmlac » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:45 pm

Hello, I'm a Level 3 backpacker, planning a trip 2nd week of this September, and am looking for information and trip reports regarding a loop I'm contemplating that would involve crossing Cox Col and Gabbot Pass with full packs. Haven't found a lot of posts/comments on either...Secor calls them both class 2, but as I hear he underestimates difficulty I am looking at the closely-spaced topo lines above Upper Mills Creek and either side of Cox Col and thinking they might involve Class 3 sections + more if there is snow (although that doesn't seem likely in September of this year...). The week-long loop we're contemplating would take us up Little Lakes Valley to Dade Lake on day 1, then over Cox Col to Lake Italy, over Gabbot Pass to the Mills Creek Lake, then down to the Mono Creek Trail and out over Mono Pass with side-trips to Fourth Recess and/or Pioneer Basin. Any feedback/advice welcome...Thank you! :)



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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby John Dittli » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:05 pm

North Col (aka Cox Col) is class 2. Approaching from the east, don't go to the low spot, but rather work up the rib to the right (north) of the col. Do this early. You will end up climbing higher than the low spot but it's much easier. Walk of the west side.

It's been many decades since I crossed Gabbot sans skis. I only recall lots of talus, no extraordinary difficulties.

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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby acvdmlac » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:47 pm

Also, anyone have any experience going over "North Col" that Secor describes as Class 2 and preferred over Cox Col as a route from Dade Lake to Lake Italy?
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby John Dittli » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:31 pm

acvdmlac wrote:Also, anyone have any experience going over "North Col" that Secor describes as Class 2 and preferred over Cox Col as a route from Dade Lake to Lake Italy?


I'm not sure what you are asking. I think North Col and Cox Col are the same thing. Pretty straight forward.

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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby longri » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:19 pm

"North Col" is what Secor calls the higher, easier route that John described that is just above Cox Col.

I went over Gabbot Pass a couple of years ago in the summer and don't remember anything particular about it other than that it was pretty casual.
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Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby Bluewater » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:26 pm

I went over Gabbot Pass in late June this year. There was a small snowfield on the north side at the top and a few others on the way down to Upper Mills Creek Lake. Everything was melting fast. I had no problem making it over with a full pack and trail runners. Here's the tr: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9588
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:00 pm

Gabbot Pass is not to bad but would definitely recommend doing North Col
just north of Cox Col. Cox Col is more class 3 near the top which requires
the usage of your hands and feet to climb not for someone with no climbing
experience, attempting to do this with full pack would be only advisable for
backpackers with good climbing experience.
Hopefully we'll be lucky this year and get a TR from you Acvdmlac. :)
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby acvdmlac » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:53 pm

Thank you all for the useful suggestions!

You're right, Maverick, I'm overdue for a trip report, having received some useful advice over these last couple of summers...but last 2 trips have been mostly on-trail during late August and September when snow, bugs and creek crossings are not issues...is there an interest in such reports? If we go over Gabbot and North Col I certainly will post some photos and narrative...
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:01 am

Acvdmlac wrote:

is there an interest in such reports?


All TR's are appreciated on HST!
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby acvdmlac » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:59 pm

Thanks, I'll post after this trip...
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby John Dittli » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:10 pm

Sorry to leave you hanging on this, I just got back from ten days "outback".

Secor confused things quite a bit with the "Cox Col" thing. Both "passes" take you to the same place. The lower notch is used mostly by those wishing to climb Bear Creek Spire. We use it in the spring when it is a bit easier to kick steps up the snow, and ski down it in the winter (exciting!). But in summer (or even winter or spring on skis really), it's just the "wrong way" to go IMHO.

The higher northern route is the proper and historical "col".
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby Ska-T » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:55 pm

John Dittli wrote:Secor confused things quite a bit with the "Cox Col" thing. ... The higher northern route is the proper and historical "col".

Our HST Map describes the route as Secor does, " the 1st notch south of the lowest is preferred". It would be nice if this were corrected, but since I've never been there I'm not the one to encourage it.
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