Met Miracle Marilyn at Manker and left a car (I hate hiking down Bear). It was lovely to not be plagued by gnats, biting flies and mosquitos in the lower section. A group was camping at Bear Flat. As we headed up the dreaded switchbacks through the brush, it was obvious that someone has worked on the trail and trimmed back the brush. Whoever it was, thank you!
We ran into new deadfall at about 7.2 K. My favorite part of this trail is the middle section -- pine forest, expansive views, winding uphill through rocks. Ran into snow just past the narrows and donned microspikes. From 9 K up, what is normally a long slog without snow became even longer
Enjoyed lunch at the peak before heading down the ski hut trail. Kept the microspikes on until the beginning of the "rock garden" at the base of the bowl. From 9 K down to the bottom of the bowl, the snow is a slippery mess -- landed on our butts and backs a few times. Met a couple going up who wanted to come down the Devil's Backbone to the Notch -- we discouraged them. Lots of water in the streams that cross the trail and in San Antonio canyon. Wonderful day.
Miles of smiles,