If you got here without reading Part I, you're probably reading this trip report way out of order.
Dream lake was swollen with meltwater. The stretch of trail that follows the northern shore was under 3-4 inches of water. After a minute I came upon the pool (I talked about it in my adventure last week, remember?). Look at last week's picture of the pool and compare the snow-melt.
I tried the same trick from last week -- if I found my way up to the south side of the gorge, I could bypass Emerald Lake and find myself on the moraine without a lot of boulder-hopping (since this lower area was still under a firm layer of snow). Some pictures enroute, first of the Dragon's Tooth and Dragon's Tail on Flattop's south face (if you look really close on the second one, you'll see a line of 7 climbers heading up Dragon's Tail Coulior):
This was where I turned off the week before, heading up a gully to the fabled East Ridge. Today I would continue up the gorge, traversing beneath the massive north face of Hallett. After practicing placing a snow picket for a while, I donned crampons (which I really didn't need) and an ice axe and followed tracks below the north face.
And I took a few pictures of Flattop's south face along the way.
The snow slopes jut up against the north face of Hallett Peak. It's no wonder why Hallett is world famous for its rock climbing (yes, it even rivals the famous Diamond on Longs... with less people!)...
This shot looks up at the second and third buttresses on Hallett's north face. The deep cleft between the buttresses is called The Slit. The second buttress is on the left, the third is on the right.
Just below the West Gully on Hallett's north face, the snow gave way to scree. There are two entrances to the west gully, this first picture shows the first (harder) entrance. The second picture shows the second (class 3) entrance, and a sneak peak into the upper reaches of the gully (which is, by the way, a big nasty loose scree-filled gully). The big tower on the left of the second shot isn't really a tower, but rather the third buttress.
From here I could also see my first real views of Tyndall Glacier, at the head of the gorge...
Why are you still reading this when you should go on to Part III?
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