Start: Alexander Basin trailhead in Mill Creek on Wednesday afternoon.

Finish: Lake Hardy Trailhead in Alpine on Saturday afternoon.

Route: Up Gobbler’s Knob from Alexander Basin, through Mill A Basin, down to the S-curve in Big Cottonwood. Up Mill B south trail to Lake Blanche, up to Mt. Superior, down Cardiff Pass into Alta and Snowbird. Walk the ski resort trails down to White Pine trailhead, up to Red Pine Lake, following the Beatout Traverse to Chipman peak, descend to Lake Hardy, through the Hamongogs into Alpine.

Highlights: Upper Lake Blanche drainage is outstanding for scenery and solitude. Most scenic part of the Wasatch I think I’ve seen.

Endured 2 nights of crazy monsoon-like thunderstorms, including one night at red pine that nearly sent me back to the trailhead. Lightning strikes all over the ridges, and hail that I was sure would shred my tent. Fortunately, it cleared out after a couple hours.

Ridge scramble from Red Pine to Chipman peak is extremely scenic, last stretch up to Chipman has some exposed scrambling.

Lowlights: walking through the ski resorts, and the terrible trail from Lake Hardy down to 2nd Hamongog.

If I could do it again: First, get in better shape. Living at nearly sea level for the last 8 months did me no favors. With more fitness, I’d get to Alta, head up collins gulch, and do all of the bullion divide camping at red pine, then pick up the beatout from red pine over the next day. Oh well, next time…