After spending four days at altitude, the last two days were a breeze. Thinking the climb from LeConte Canyon up to Dusy Basin would take all day, we got up pretty early. Since the climb was all on trail, unlike the hike over Lamarck Col a few days prior, we had a pretty easy time with this one.
The climb started right from the get-go. In fact, the steepest part of it was the first two or three miles. We quickly gained altitude and had great views over LeConte Canyon. The trail switchbacks up along the cascades that flow down from Dusy Basin. We had no trouble at all, despite the steepness of the climb, but we took our time and enjoyed the views.
Seemingly out of the blue, we found ourselves by a lake resting at the mouth of Dusy Basin. Over the horizon rose the Palisades, some of the most rugged terrain along the entire Sierra crest. Through every turn of scenery we were kicking ourselves for not making camp there. Clear blue lakes, meadows, light trees, and mountain vistas filled our views for the next hour or so.
The climb up to Bishop Pass from the Dusy Basin is relatively mild. We were on top before we even realized that we were near the top. For the first time in a few days, we could peer down into the Owens Valley area and the East side of the Sierra. We descended from the pass, past a few lakes, to our campsite near the aptly named Timberline Tarns.
This, our last night of camp, was cold. We slept late after watching the stars for a while. The next morning we woke up early and hiked out. The hike was quiet, and the air was still. We got back to the car at South Lake around 8:00, our final steps over trail rather anticlimactic. This had been a big trip with a couple really long days. We were tired, dirty, and worn out, but still a bit sad to leave the backcountry.