We are joyously wallowing in a remarkable run of Indian Summer days, the kind that forebodes a change in season is long overdue. Mornings are crisp, exhales steamy, and the ungloved hand seeks warmth in pockets. Wardrobes are a contradiction if fall, a time when shade mandates extra layers while full sun begs a simple t-shirt will be more than adequate.
Ten days after our long awaited triumph over the elusive and arduous Bimetallist to Weehawken backcounty footslog up and over a lung-sucking 13,000 foot pass, we were itching for a redo. This time Hiker Babes Ruthie and Michelle joined in (Jen is still on Injured Reserve after falling and breaking her leg on an earlier attempt).
Logistics on this, or any, one-way hike requires dropping a pickup vehicle at the hike's endpoint, then driving on up to the start point. Our feet hit the trail at 7:45 AM. It was shaded and frosty, but the immediate uphill switchbacks rapidly warmed us up. Twenty five minutes later, we found the sun. Time to shed some layers.
Having been lured out her seasonal "I'm-too-crazy-busy" retirement by Your's Truly, Michelle confessed she was desperate for a long, hard, steep hike capable of purging a few "demons." Well, she asked for it...
|Zoom in on the above photo to see the route (red line)
|Danger: Hiker Babes at play on an Indian Summer day.
This whole hike was "New Dots" for Michelle. Ruthie, however, was along for the failed attempt, the one where "Guide Noir" led three Hiker Babes down the wrong drainage. Jen crashed and broke her leg on the retreat.
|Dropping into Basin 1
|From Basin 1, looking back at the ridge we crossed
|From Basin 1, looking north
|Ruthie lends "scale" to Basin 1
|The climb out of Basin 1
|Michelle, "outstanding in her field."
|The False Summits :)
|Taking a break before heading up to Potosi's saddle
|Gaining Potosi's saddle
|Uh...we're going down this???
|You're shitting me, right?
|Nope. Just follow Bobbie...
|Easy Peasy, NOT!
|First one to fall buys ice cream....oops, sorry Ruthie.
|Geezer training ground for Grace and balance. It's steeper than it looks, too.
|Finally off the scree-fall onto sweet, soft tundra
|Time for lunch
|A table-rock for three...
|Almost down,, dropping below timberline into Ms Autumn's fall palette.