Upon reaching the pass, I turned right immediately and headed up fairly solid scree toward the long NW/Se summit ridge of Starr. Three descending climbers passed me a hundred yards or so to my right. I hit the summit ridge too early and engaged in quite a bit of 3rd class scrambling, fun but not necessary.
I reached the summit at about 11:45 and took a break. The views from this peak are sublime. The Palisades were in fine form and Banner and Ritter were obvious to the north. Most interesting to me was the peek I got into the Mono Recesses, a very challenging area to reach.
I packed up and finished traversing the long ridge. I descended NE on easy, sandy slopes for about a half a mile. I passed the first major East Face couloir (very steep, but do-able) on my right and continued to the second big couloir. I descended this to the SE for some hundreds of yards and then traversed for a short time until I hit the first couloir. It was steep and very loose. A couple of places required great care to avoid an uncontrolled tumble.
I cut the Mono Pass trail about a mile above the Little Lakes Valley junction and reached my car at 2:30. The East Face made for a swift descent route. The loose sand and talus make it a highly unattractive ascent route, in my opinion. All together, this was a fine mountain, much better than I'd been led to believe by various guide books.
To file a trip report, please fill in the Report Entry form or contact the webmaster.