It was relatively busy on the trail and especially at the top (a lot of people getting on or off the PCT/JMT), but the views were tremendous in both directions. Big Pothole Lake backed by pure granite spires is one of the most beautiful sights I've yet seen in the Sierra - and seeing more pinnacles go on and on to the southwest was the icing on the cake.
So much reward for comparatively little effort. Just try to go on a quiet day, unless meeting all kinds of interesting people is your idea of a good time.
Quite a bit of snow still above the lakes; beautiful scenery. The field traverse above the last lake, just below the pass, is a little hairy on the snow without an axe and roped partner. It's pretty steep and a long way down sliding into the lake. But we did it anyway and it was ok - gave us something to talk about.
Crowded at the pass but gorgeous on the descent into Kings Canyon National Park.
A nice moderate hike to the pass; the views are dazzling from the pass.
Also in '96. and one other time all to climb Mt. Gould.