Hiking 3:30:00  9.0 mi (23:20 / mi) +600m 19:20 / mi
shoes: Saucony Peregrine
Backpacking with Sam, Carly, Jim, and Presto out to Mount Elwell! We backpacked into Smith Lake, which was pleasantly only a mile or so, and set up camp before heading up to Mount Elwell with daypacks. The hike up was fairly uninspired - pretty steep and kind of warm with not a lot of views. We eventually popped out at a big section of snow, which we were a bit worried we wouldn't be able to make it over, but with some careful scrambling, we managed to get up it. The views from the peak were truly excellent over to Sierra Buttes and across a bunch of alpine lakes. We could even see Lassen in the distance.
We came down the other side of the mountain, which had way better views and went past Long Lake, which is absolutely gorgeous, but doesn't allow camping. We were starting to push up against dark, but managed to get back to the campsite (which amusingly, required going back past the car again on the way...) in time to jump in the lake for a quick swim and get the water filtering and a fire started. Fun, fun!