Combined N. Tarryall with Topaz and Tater Top, which made for a long day. You can make a neat loop out of this by descending west from the Topaz/Tater Top saddle to the end of FR 141. The advantages to doing it from the south are less snow and you don't see as much of the devastation from logging activities.
With fresh October snow blanketing the area, we set off from snow-crusted Lost Past through dense timber. After reaching the saddle and beginning the steeper section of our hike, we were startled by a large owl taking flight from a tree above me. (My 90 pound dog even crouched in fear!) The day was brilliant and sunny, the mountains dusted in snow from the previous night’s storm. The icy wind at the summit was punishing, forcing us back to tree line after less than 15 minutes of enjoying the views. Partners: Janet & Cassandra. Dog: Lela.
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe