Thankfully we had done a good bit of our ascent on Day 18, camping right at the tree line at an elevation of 11,240 feet. However, that still meant we had nearly 2000 feet to climb in about 3 miles.
As had become our routine along the trail, we were awake by about 6 a.m. and on trail before 7. From the plateau, we switchbacked alongside the upper section of Bubbs Creek and emerged into a large basin with Junction Peak at it's head.
The trail climbed at a pretty easy grade without too many large boulders or small ankle-twisting rocks in our way. We took a short break at the head of the basin at "Lake 12,250."
We moved on after a snack and a chance to catch our breath (as much as is possible when sitting above 13,000 feet!) The south side of Forester Pass was much steeper than the north side. We descended a large number of exposed switchbacks, many of which were carved right into the rock.
About a mile south of Tyndall Creek we climbed onto the section known as Bighorn Plateau. This high and exposed plateau offered us amazing near-360 views of the surrounding mountains.
Tomorrow, we would be standing on top of the world.