|A winter view in the summer. Bear Lake and the Sweathouse spires from Sky Pilot.|
The day started off with an hour long bike shuttle from Big to Bear creek. From the trailhead, the run up Bear creek to Brian lake was relaxed and fast enough. I filled water bottles just above the lake before pushing up to the pass and scrambling to the summit Sky Pilot. Having visited Sky Pilot many times in the winter, it was rewarding to see a familar view without snow. For future reference, the scramble up Sky Pilot from Bear Creek was quite enjoyable, and would make a great ~5 hour out and back run/scramble. A quick descent and climb put me on the summit of the peak above East Fork lake in good spirits. However, a preliminary look out to Ranger peak revealed a characteristically complex and slow ridgeline, so I mentally prepared for a long, scrappy grind before setting off. The ridge turned out to be every bit as slow as I had feared, but I worked it out, making many deviations on the east and west sides, and fighting a little bit more scrub brush than desired. In retrospect, it would have been faster and perhaps more elegant to drop to the Pearl lake group and bypass most of the ridgeline on the east.
|Looking out to Ranger peak from the point above East Fork lake. This is going to be slow.|
|Looking back to Sky Pilot from Ranger peak.|
|Looking east to Big Creek lake and the Heavenly Twins from Ranger peak.|
|The route is in yellow (red and white are ski routes).|