Special thanks to all who have worked on the various segments in recent years, making fastpacking the Stein on your weekend a viable option (for now).
- Hike up to Lizzie cabin (4hrs) had a few sections of damp push thru some 'carwash' alder thanks to rain Monday nite.
- Snow patches started just before the cabin, mostly avoidable until past Heart Lk.
- The west shoulder (300m elevation gain) of Caltha peak is a good alternative to the boulder trudge around Tundra Lk. Took ice axe and micro spikes but didn't need 'em... but they might be nice in a few weeks 'tho.
- Trail is tricky to find as it traverses then begins its final descent to Stein Lk. Look for the faded markers and some cut logs. 12hrs Lizzie cabin to Stein Lk, with some time spent wandering in the whiteout.
- In spite of a ton of excellent trail work on the mid valley, a lot of trees came down since last year and some bushy sections are growing quickly... but the trail was never hard to follow like it was before the work was done.
- At least three debris flows have crossed the trail and have baked solid in the sun. Easy travel and easy to find the trail on the other side.
- Razzberries were excellent and ripe, strawberries too. Thimbleberries just starting.
- Two sets of cubs encountered a few Km downstream of Cottonwood - they seem to like that spot. No problems with cubs or mammas thankfully.
- Contract crew have brushed and cleared TH to the suspension bridge this year - lots of great work. They had to pull out early last week due to elevated fire hazard. Not sure if the final shifts will take place...
High country pics to show snow conditions - Caltha and Tundra Lks. Traverse should be in fine condition in 2-3 weeks... get after it before more trees fall down and the mid valley gets overgrown!