Finally at the truck, it is a relief to drop our packs for the last time, get out of our boots, long underwear, and other cold weather accessories, and head home. A dinner stop at Bear Mountain Pizza capped the evening.
We emerge from the trail at 6:25pm with plenty of sunlight remaining in the sky.
Finally, we're really heading down. This makes it much easier to reach the target elevation of 7,000 feet where the Trooper is parked.
Just when we thought it was all down hill from here, we had another hill to climb... the hump seen in the background.
Without being able to locate Pear Hut, we stop for our last lunch on the trail.
Back down in the lowlands, just below 10,000 feet, we're back among some trees, and they continue to get thicker as we get lower.
Our last big bowl, Table Meadows. After a nice snack on the rim of the bowl, we were keen to find the Pear Lake Hut, a popular backcountry ski base, for lunch.
After numerous bowl and ridge crossings we arrive at the Tablelands where the undulating terrain can get tricky to navigate.
Looking back up the spine of the ridge is the prow of The Fin.
Being on the Kings-Kaweah Divide ridge is an amazing feeling. The land falls either way from under your feet. Deadman Canyon to the right, our new bowl with Lonely Lake to the left.
Under The Fin, we start our climb up to the ridge from which it protrudes.
The Fin is our next landmark and we head that way by circling around the contour of the upper bowl of Deadman Canyon.
All packed up again, and for the final time as we start our huge push to hike out.
Teri is up and jotting down her notes while enjoying the sunrise from bed.
Peter is snug as a bug in a rug snoozing through the sunrise.
Sunset or sunrise, The Fin is impressive. Amazingly, it just happened it was the time of year when the sun rose between a gap on Glacier Ridge to the east and acted as a spotlight to illuminate just The Fin.
And suddenly, the sun is gone. The sky goes blood red, then black and a myriad of stars sparkle to life as we call it a night and rest up for our last day on the Sierra High Route.
The sun really did roll down the back side of The Fin.
A closer look at The Fin and the burning sky.
The sun rolls down the north side of the Fin and brings the clouds and sky to a fiery glow.
Our tracks spread out from the base of the chute and all eventually lead to our camp in Deadman Canyon.
Peter and Daniel find a crease in the snowy slope and determine it's a good place to camp with just enough sun in the sky, and the long shadow of the famous "fin" stretching toward us across the head of Deadman Canyon.
Daniel makes use of those long legs and takes big strides down the hill.
Once we clear the narrow chute, the snow field opens up and we can glissade down toward Camp V.