Muir Pass was awesome! I was not afraid of falling and dying, not even once. Instead of a long approach over flat snowfields and then a very sudden very steep mountainside with a ton of switchbacks, Muir Pass had us going up and up through snow long before we could see the pass. Suddenly, we crested a little hill and there was the hut!
Then we hiked down down down down down, missed the Evolution Lake inlet crossing. We had to backtrack, cross, and go down down down some more. We crossed Evolution in the high water year alternative crossing: the water was waist-deep on me, but the Mosquitos will be remembered and cursed for longer, however.
When we stopped for lunch, still way above snow line, a blonde black bear came barreling down to the river, crossed the river, and continued in a beeline for us. I was in "situation" mode as soon as the bear was spotted: I shoved my food into my bear vault, closed and locked it ASAP, grabbed my bear spray, and waited on standby. Everybody else just got their cameras. When the bear got close enough for comfort, we yelled, it saw us, and ran like no other up through the snow away from us.
- Typoed on my iPhone