Before setting off we got the fire going again to give any items that froze overnight a chance to thaw and dry. SOBO set off early anticipating heavy snow at the top of the today’s climb, and about an hour or two later the rest of us were on our way. Immediately our spirits skyrocketed by the sheer beauty around us. Gnarled and twisted redwood trees shoot out from the gravelly soil, white-breasted nuthatches darted from trunk to trunk, the only disturbance – quite a big one I might add – were fighter jets flying low over head every 30 minutes or so. As we climbed we found that snow wasn’t the issue, it was the altitude that weighed on us.
We got views of Owen’s Valley near to the peak and tucked down for lunch before tackling the snow covered North face. Slipping and sliding our way down through the snow our next challenge was water rather ironically. Snow melt everywhere but not a decent enough flow to pass through our filters. Luckily just before our camp spot was a meandering creek cutting its way through a meadow. Our site on top of a ridge had stunning views of the meadow, and with a fire going as always, the evening passed on by with food and chat until the cold got too much.