As for where to go, gf reminded me I like granite, so I figured, what's got steep relief with exposed granite, is not a national park (George), not the PCT (seen it), doesn't have permit quotas (Desolation), and isn't further than 4 hours from Berkeley? Emigrant, Mokelumne, and Carson-Iceberg are the places that come to mind.
So I went to Emigrant and ran a couple loops. The crossing of Relief Creek above Relief Reservoir should not yet be done where the trail technically crosses, but maybe a half mile upstream there's a brief respite from the insanity where things mellow out and you can carry a fifty pound dog on your shoulders and still keep your balance. There's some snow, but only above 9,000 feet.
It was extremely pretty, and the trails were in great shape. That said, when I go back, I'll probably get off said trails to bag peaks, and to get more solitude and more vertical gain.
|Fish in the Ford|