I would like to obtain some information regarding the talus/scree conditions on the divide between the third and fourth recess lakes in the mono creek drainage, and hence, whether there might be a reasonable (but off-trail) crossing point between the two. All I have are my topo maps and distant memories of the upper part of (I think) 3rd recess lake on the way to Bear Creek Spire from the NW, neither of which are in particularly good working order or ease of access right now.
I don't know if this is much help, but this is the view from Mono Rock along the ridgeline with Third Recess on the right. The ascent to the rigdgeline from 4th Recess Lake is class 2 and the descent to third recess looks steeper but should also be only class 2.
Thanks a lot Michael. That image does provide at least an idea of grade on the 3rd Recess side (and is a great picture btw). Scree and talus conditions are always a bit of a wild card I guess, until you're right in them, or at least at close enough range to see the rock size. My main concern is to not try to slog straight up any scree slopes, which typically presents more or less of a challenge to my sense that I'm having a good time and not in fact on a high elevation treadmill.
The scree from fourth to third is not bad at all. It's not loose like on Shasta. On the Third Recess side it is more slabby and steep but still second class. There is a slot in the slab a little north of the saddle that is waist high and provides a easier route.