Unfortunately, I think this last trip yesterday just might close out the season in the high Sierra. The forecast for the coming week is for cold and snow. Too bad, I had hoped to get one more trip in to investigate a different trail to access the Desolation Wilderness than I did yesterday.
This trip started out at the Eagle Falls trailhead, across Highway 89 from Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe. When I arrived around 8:45, there were only a few cars in the lot and a bit of a chill in the air. The sky was cerulean and the sun bright, although not high enough to reach inside the canyon as I climbed. That would change for the descent. My goal for the day was to visit five different lakes: Dick's, Fontanillis, Upper Vilma, Middle Vilma and Eagle. In addition to those, I found numerous ponds, puddles and ice along the way.
The trail was probably the roughest I've played on in the last few years. The climb up out of the canyon was staggeringly studded with two-foot step-ups and loaded with rocks and roots. Challenging on the way up and downright treacherous on a tired-leg descent after 10 miles!
I did spot an unusually large fir (Abies concolor, if I am not mistaken) quite high up, and solitary in the rocks. I had to scramble over to take a closer look and some photos. From an inaccurate arm-span measurement, it appeared to be around 25' in circumference. Pretty large for a tree as high up (about 8500'). I, of course, took a photo or two.
I did take a self shot at each lake. If the person in the photo induces hurling, look only at the scenery.