|Upper Henry's Fork with Kings Peak on the right (almost hidden by trees) and Gunsight Pass just out of view on the far left (eclipsed by the flanks of Gilbert Peak).|
I'm told that I'm not the most decisive person, I second guess all my decisions, but in this case I was reluctant to head home to work and to the reality of a bitchy world. While hiking out, I suggested we camp another night at Alligator Lake, which is five miles closer to the car and would allow for a quick morning exit. Upon reaching the turn off to Alligator Lake everyone unanimously pointed for the trail head, which was only another 2 miles down the trail. So out we went. All told, we hiked roughly 18 miles on our summit day and about 27 for the two days, in just over 24 hours. Quick, fast and I wish I could say light, but I carried way too much crap for an overnighter.
|Same place, broader view.|
|After a cold night (rain, high humidity, bad sleeping bag), we started early for Kings Peak, to avoid lighting and weather.|
|Painter Basin from Gunsight Pass (view SE). I've been told this is very reminiscent of the Brooks Range of Alaska.|
|Summit of Kings Peak (13,528 ft.) with the crew: (l-r) Me, Carter, Con, Eric, Sam, Nate.|
|Eric descending the north ridge of King's Peak with the clouds are again building.|
|Wild flowers everywhere, even above timberline in the scree. I'm surprised they find enough soil through the rock to sustain their short life cycle.|