One of the coolest, awesomest, and hardest things I've done. The variety of terrain, remoteness, technical challenge and route finding all come together for an incredible route. Started at 7:20 AM to cool temperatures and clear skies. First 11.5 trail miles flew by, aided by some spectacular views. Left the trail at 1:32 in, waded the Green River, and started up the Tourist Creek drainage. Soooooooo much loose rock, and hunting for the best line was tricky. It was a relief to get up into the high alpine at the top of the drainage and find some slightly smoother going.
After crossing over the Tourist-Wells divide, I found more loose crumbly rock, and tried to keep as much elevation as possible while heading to "skinny" lake. From there, it was more scree and loose talus slogging to the base of Mirror Glacier. Crossing posed no major issues, and I continued picking my way up slab and scree to the base of the summit gully. The fourth class climbing here was actually a relief - solid rock at last - and I churned upward. Summit at 4:35.
The views were so good I was compelled to stop for a few minutes for photos, before one last look around to take it all in, and then headed down. The initial drop back to skinny lake was largely a controlled fall down the loose slope, trying to stay as upright as possible. Then back to the Tourist Creek drainage, which was the most mentally challenging part of the day. It was such slow going, and I constantly felt like I should be moving faster than I was. I probably wasted a good few minutes searching for easier terrain as I made my way down.
Finally I made it back to the trail at 7:05, and put my head down and ground out the miles back to the trailhead. Scorching temperatures in the last 5 miles slowed my pace a bit, but the cheers of my wife and friends at the trailhead lifted the spirits and pulled me in to the finish, just under Anton's time. Whew!!!