Ali and I visited the mountains last weekend. While I don’t stop backpacking, it still felt like the “start” of the season.
We chose a classic early season trailhead. The rangers told us that the road was still blocked by downed trees. We found that someone had recently cut them enough to pass.
One set of footprints led the way. Everyone else stopped at Kibbie Lake. Relatively easy snow patches started about a mile before Styx Pass. We were glad that we pushed that far. The view of the snowbound high country and the roaring and empty forks of Cherry Creek were worth it.
Lightning and thunder came and stayed late into the night. We really felt like we had that corner of Emigrant and Yosemite to ourselves. The backcountry just feels wilder in the off season.