Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Another early start, this time to outrace the sun's heat on the ridge climb stripped by last year's fire. Kirsten and I made it barely in time.

Keith scouted ahead for ways around snow barriers reported by other hikers on the trail, while Tom lead us around the edge of a smaller ice pack.

When we caught up with Keith, we found him looking at a hundred-yard section of ice-blocked trail on a near vertical slope. No surprise that so many hikers had turned back!  Our two mentors, though, stepped over the trail edge and into the scrub that clung to the slope, edged along and through narrow rock fields, over smaller snow packs. The cross country approach saved time, our guides said, as we descended to Slide Lake. 

The rest of the group, who had come up from the other direction, welcomed us! They were getting ready for a short walk to explore Little Slide Lake, would we like to come along?

Sure! We'd hardly had any exercise that day, the sun was still high in the sky, and the mosquitos were still descending on anyone who stayed still for more than a few minutes.

As it turned out, Little Slide Lake was as much a highlight of the trip as Strawberry Falls and the mountain summit. The glass-clear water, the thick sea green moss covering the bottom, and the rock ledges and trees surrounding the lake called thoughts of fae folk to mind, the sun's warmth invited thoughts of an impromptu swim call -- so a few of us did.   

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