Tuesday rolled around and I was still deliberating about whether to do Trapezoid with the Sierra Challenge the following day. I wasn't feeling particularly motivated for either a 6 am start or trying to keep up in my sluggish recovery state. My housemate, Lisa, said that she would be interested in joining me the next day if I decided to do something short. That seemed like a better idea, so I settled on a repeat of the SE Face of Emerson, with its obscenely short approach and which Lisa hadn't done previously.
We headed out late morning for North Lake to find both parking lots almost full (mid week!). The clouds of mosquitoes that had accompanied me on my previous backcountry trips were completely absent and the skies were completely smoke free. We hiked up the Piute Pass trail passing loads of wildflowers and before long we were at the base of the route.
The chimney, which had been running with water back in May, was dry but polished. I was feeling slightly more energetic and we stopped only briefly to snap photos. Once on the ridge traverse we were met with sweeping views of the surrounding peaks, including part of Evolution, which had so far eluded me this season. We stopped for a snack break on the summit, not looking forward to the scree laden descent. This time there would be no glissade.
We picked our way through the gravel-covered slabs, plunge stepping when possible and beelining for the trail skirting Loch Leven. We made it back to Bishop in time to hit the weekly potluck and Tricia and Matt's.