Mile 1122 to 1098
Today I leave camp early, knowing I will face significant snow going over Dicks Pass. It is over 9,000 feet high and approaching from the north means we are going up the unmelted side. What I did not realize is how many fantastic alpine lakes we will pass on this day. Before the pass is Richardson, Velma, Fontanillis, and Dicks. After the pass we will visit Gilmore, Susie, Heather, and eventually Aloha.
The snow traverse going up Dicks Pass is over a mile. It is afternoon so the snow is soft and wet. We follow the tracks of others and only posthole occasionally. Though our feet are freezing, we laugh at how clean our trail running shoes now look. Near the pass are ski tracks from someone who clearly had a fun run down to Dicks Lake.
The other side is a long snowless traverse, with spectacular views of the rest of the lakes. We also encounter a fat, lazy marmot, who cares not the least that we are there.
We eventually tire of walking and begin looking for a campsite. We overshoot some of the better ones, and are now shore walking the spectacular island-dotted Aloha Lake. It is lined with snow and very exposed. We are warned by some young backpackers that it gets extremely windy near this lake. We walk until we eventually find a small clump of trees, which we hope will block the wind.