After the snowy slog the day before, we awoke with an up and at ‘em attitude as we took on the climb right out of camp. Going from lake side to hill top took us through a snow patch woodland and along a ridge line with with views of the valleys all around. We then slide our way down the icy slope – most painful glissade yet – until we were below the snow line and switching back and forth down a scree canyon. The trail went back on itself taking us for a surprise tour of the canyons knooks and crannies beneath its many waterfalls.

Crazy Legs was way ahead and unfortunately, despite our efforts, we never managed to keep up before reaching Ebbetts Pass where he had left his car. Good bye hobbit man, stay tuneful. After yet more snow fields before the pass, it’s opposite side was a pleasantly snowless surprise among open granite formations. We felt strong as we broke away from the few snow patches left and headed along open ridges clad with a shrub named Mules Ear. It was hot in the exposure of the afternoon sun, but the dramatic change in environment from the familiar world of snow land strengthened our push.

From ridge line to yet more canyons, we strode along with ease taking on steep traverses as if they were nothing, though one forced us to scramble along the rocks below. Our legs just wouldn’t stop, but eventually we came across a camp spot we couldn’t refuse. It had stunning views of the next days trail cutting its way through woodland. Beneath the gnarled juniper trees and in the shelter of rock we made a fire, stretched out in the evening light and treated ourselves to a well deserved early night under the clear starlit sky.