Saturday I got a bit more ambitious and dragged my friends Anne, Simon and Darren up above the Birch Creek trail head near Big Pine.
Wispy high clouds made for some nice light early on.
Darren and Anne head up with Birch Mtn behind.
The Thumb is a splendid ski, but not on today's itinerary.
Nemo makes his way ever higher with the North Face of Birch behind.
Anne skins up one of the many huge snow fields.
Unnamed but not unnoticed.
Darren boots up with Birch behind.
The cloud shield dissipated by late morning, but the winds remained steady, especially above 9000'.
Enthusiasm waned, so we headed down.
Firm, but smooth snow higher up gradually transitioned to smooth soft snow as we descended.
This is the view from the trail head with Birch Mtn on the left and the Thumb distant center.
It is still a fairly short hike (10-15 mins) from the trail head to snow and should remain until the next prolonged heat spell - whenever that may be.