What a difference 4 weeks makes. The knee to waist deep snow is gone and its relatively quick to gain the 600m vertical to the peak in under two hours. We extended the trip by heading north dropping down to a col on the connecting ridge to Holy Cross Mountain. There is still some lingering snow among the trees, knee deep occasionally. We made short work of it and didn’t encounter more than a few small patches after that. Very obvious and good trail to the Grass Pass..Far more interesting than the direct trail up the creek from the road. Once at the Grass Pass we sat in the sun and had lunch. Unfortunately the hungry ticks were having the same idea. I seemed to be the target. and my companions swiftly brushed off 5 or 6 from my jacket before we got going again. We headed up to the right along the ridge to a highpoint known as Boundary Pine.. A large stand of old limber pines cover the west slopes. They lean away from the prevailing west winds.. I haven’t seen this in the Rockies however it is very common on seacoasts where constant winds seem to cause foliage to grow on the leeward side of the trunk and the whole tree leans away from the wind. No gales or heavy wind from the west today just a light cooling breeze. From there we headed directly down the ridge sometime on a well marked trail . Other times just crossing open ground avoiding deadfall or brush. As we neared the end of the ridge it looked like a dropoff would halt progress .We did notice a rubbly break that brought us down to some scree slopes that almost reached the road. This section was the only real scrambling of the day. Some Bighorn Ewes and their offspring were munching the new grass on the roadside on the way back to the car. Its been a long winter so I’m sure they were eager to stock up on some quality feed. We stopped at Marv’s diner in Black Diamond on the way home for some well earned burgers and shakes. Yes a very relaxing leisurely day with great company. Better keep an eye out for those unwelcome hitchhikers for the next few weeks. I know I’ll be scouring the car for a few days for the eight legged creatures. Good thing my dear wife is away until Tuesday. LOL 🙂 Thank you all for joning me on a most excellent adventure ticks and all.