We got stopped three-quarters of the way to the top of the first pass when the steep footing became sandy and a class 3 headwall loomed above us. I realized we would never make it to the Muir sketch sites and the way down this pass would be more dangerous than the way up. Reason prevailed and we descended to a lovely grassy alpine spot among the rocks serenaded by the many tones of the snowmelt waters under the rocks.
I spotted a pattern on a rock that looked just like a hunting wolf and sitting quietly for an hour above Helen Lake I was visited by a curious short-tailed weasel investigating my hiking staff. Pikas called from the boulders and gray-crowned rosy finches flew over the snowfields. We had a lovely afternoon soaking up the wild wonders while resting and sauntering back across the meadows to our Mono Pass camp.
Note: click on any image to enlarge and scroll through.
|Black Bear scratching tree|
|Assessing our situation|
|The Hunting Wolf Rock|