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Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby longri » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:16 pm

I know about the easier route but I could never be bothered to climb up the extra little bit.

What's the historical angle on this? Is "Cox Col" actually labled somewhere (USGS?) as being something other than the lowest point? Who was Cox?



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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby John Dittli » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:04 pm

Chris Cox, backcountry skier of the '70's and 80's. Skied with Bard atal. Still lives in Bishop, great guy! But no, I don't know of an other reference. The "historic" angle I was referring to is that the general pass area was referred to as "North Col" for many years prior to Peaks, Passes and Trails.

Unfortunately I don't have great pics, but here to the right you can see the two notches Secor talks about.
1106_ 1680_D1A.jpg


This is looking across the terrain toward the low point from near North Col.
1106_ 1589_D1L.jpg
Last edited by John Dittli on Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:06 pm

- Cox Pass was named in the honor of Chris Cox, one of the pioneers of the Redline ski
tour, but not sure whether this official or not.
- Mount Julius Caesar is named by Alfred H. and Myrtle Prater who in 1928 made the
first assent to its summit. Name came about by its proximity to Lake Italy.
- Mount Abbot named by the Whitney Survey in 1864 for Henry Larcom
Abbot (1831-1927) a solider and engineer.
- Mount Gabb also named by the Whitney Survey in 1862 for William More Gabb
(1839-1878) a paleontologist.
- Mount Hilgard was named after Eugene Woldemar Hilgard (1833-1916) a professor
of agriculture.
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby longri » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:39 pm

Thanks. That name rings a bell. I must have seen mention of him in one of Moynier's guidebooks, or somewhere.

So who is this "North" guy the other pass is named after?
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby John Dittli » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:49 pm

longri wrote:So who is this "North" guy the other pass is named after?


Oliver
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:11 pm

JD wrote:

Oliver


:lol:
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby John Dittli » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:12 pm

Chris a few years ago
092_47_D1A.jpg
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:38 pm

Note that Secor, 2nd edition considers North Col and Cox Col synonymous rather than separate passes. Quote: "This pass is also known as North Col." I went over this in the summer of 1986 (6 yrs before Secor 1st ed) and I'm pretty sure I didn't go over the lowest point. I looked at the topo and looked at the terrain and aimed for the lowest gradient rather than the lowest point. It was strictly class 2 moderate angle firm talus on the E side (very easy class 1 stuff on W side), but the biggest problem when I did it was the steep snow just below the crest that made an ice axe handy (we had them). I have checked back through earlier guidebooks (Roper, Smatko, Voge) and they don't have a description of this route, so I may have heard about this indirectly through Loma Prieta PCS folks.

The key, as always, is reading the terrain on the map and on the ground, rather than being too dependent on blow-by-blow route descriptions. There are in fact a number of cross country ridge crossings where the easiest point of crossing is not a low point, and a few counterintuitive ones where the easiest crossing is a high point (two examples are Picket Guard Peak and Electra Peak).
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby longri » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:22 pm

giantbrookie wrote:Note that Secor, 2nd edition considers North Col and Cox Col synonymous rather than separate passes. Quote: "This pass is also known as North Col."

That's true. In his first edition Secor says that Cox Col is the only route available and says nothing about North Col. In his second edition he says that North Col is another name for Cox Col, and still describes a route near the low point. In his third edition he treats the two seperately, adding that Cox Col can be icy and may require an axe, and that North Col is the preferred route since it avoids the "steep loose slopes" and "seasonal snowfields" of Cox Col.

So he changed his mind, possibly in reaction to reports of people having problems with the "class 2" on Cox Col.

I agree that you can't rely on the guidebook 100%. I heard one story from a friend where Secor himself was on a trip to climb a peak and insisted on going a certain way because that's how it was described in his own guidebook. The others disagreed with him. So Secor went the way his own guidebook said and the others went their way. Eventually Secor discovered his way didn't work and he had to turn around and join them. There was more to this story and I wish I could tell it in the way I heard it because it was hilarious.
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby John Dittli » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:59 pm

While it doesn't seem to be mentioned in David Brower's Manual of Ski Mountaineering 1942, there are certainly photos take from the vicinity (both sides) of the col. Personally I've been skiing over it since the very early '80's.

There are variations on most passes, so it seems silly to name every point within a couple hundred yards of one another when they all lead to the same place. It's just a different route on the same pass. I've crossed Muir Pass north of the JMT but that doesn't make it another "pass".

As GB said, many times the optimal passage is over a high or "higher" point; McCabe "pass", near the summit of Ansel Adams and over the top of the high point north of Tunemah I've found to be the easiest ways.

But, I guess if you write the guide book, you can name anything you want!
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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby manny » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:37 pm

acvdmlac,

I'm planning on doing this very trip next week (just ran across your post). First nite (Monday 8/26) - Dade Lake, Day 2 will be over North Col and Gabbot pass. Hope to take in Pioneer Basin before headding back over Mono Pass.

I spoke with someone near Dade Lake last year that was on his way down from Bear Creek Spire. When I asked about North Col (the higher point north of Cox Col) he said that if you fall, "you'll just fall on the ground". Sounds like class 2 to me.

If the weather cooperates and we are able to drag our old bodies over North Col, I should have a nice TR for you.

Now I'll check the mosquito and fishing reports......

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Re: Cox Col and Gabbot Pass Loop

Postby bmorrow » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:22 pm

I crossed Gabbot Pass last week (from the south). No snow in the area. Gabbot Pass is one of the easier non-trail Sierra passes. North Col will be physically taxing but poses no particular challenges or dangers (unlike Cox Coll).
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