This hike required all of the calories we consumed the prior evening for dinner and the requisite pie from TPR. Having hiked Dana a number of times, I’ve always gazed to the south at Gibbs and wanted to explore it as well. The hike proved to be longer, but lacked the boulder-hopping required on Dana.
Taking off cross-country from the Mono Pass Trail, we begin climbing the forested ridge up to Mt. Gibbs. We pass an old cabin and I tell Shad to be on the look out for markings on trees left by sheepherders. We proceed, enjoying the quiet. It’s a hike of solitude – we will see no other hikers the entire day.
Up and up we go as we ascend the shoulder of Gibbs, rising above the forest into high meadows littered with whitebark pines, and then into fields of colorful scree. Two false summits draw sighs from Shad and me (actually I wasn’t really fooled since my altimeter watch showed too low an elevation, but I had hoped my watch was malfunctioning). Finally we reach the actual top and relax and enjoy our views of Mono Lake and the White Mountains.
To descend we ski down the loose scree on the south shoulder of Gibbs and find ourselves in a small, pleasant meadow littered with wildflowers. Two deer flee as we approach, and Shad attempts a picture, but alas, the vowed zoom lens still hasn’t been purchased.