Mile: 2251.2 to 2272.8 (21.6)
up/down 4100/2800 feet
How long has it been since we hiked truly alpine? Lake Tahoe? It's been a long time. Today we are back in alpine habitat, tree line and breeding American Pipits.
We left camp in the dry meadow to the sound of numerous Varied Thrush all around us. That's the way it goes, once you've seen a bird that's been hard to find they are everywhere. So wouldn't you know that within 30 minutes we would be staring at binocular filling views of a male three-toed woodpecker - another bird we searched to find for weeks.
We climbed a ridge and had our first views of Goat Rocks, a beautiful mountain range we would soon be hiking through. After an early lunch at a small creek we started climbing into the mountains for real. By early afternoon we had reached the ridge and entered an alpine wonderland. We continued climbing and the views just got better.
After crossing Ciprus Pass we gathered water for the evening and ascended to our lofty perch just below Old Snowy Mountain. Tomorrow we will climb to the top and cross the airy feature known as the Knife's Edge with glaciers below in both sides. Should be fun!