We arrived at the parking lot in Franklin Basin about 11 am and started off shortly after. Dave W and Alex were on skis and the rest had snowshoes. After crossing the first meadow, we followed snow machine tracks up the Steam Mill trail. .
The snow was fairly crusty. Dave and Alex decided early on that skis were not working well under the conditions and they would remain down in the meadows instead of climbing the hill with the rest. The main group continued up, stopping for lunch about 12:15 pm. We sat on a log with light rain falling. After lunch the six of us continued upward sweating from the exertion. Dave P turned back to return the way we came, while the rest continued upward.
Fifteen minutes later we made the ridge and rested for a few minutes in the foggy forest. We encountered a mix of rain and snow and had climbed 1100 feet. We then turned right and made our way slowly down through aspen and conifer with the help of GPS waypoints. Coming out into the open on the exposed ridge the snow became more difficult. The snowshoes would sink in deep and Nickolai had to be dug out when his snowshoe got stuck.
Making radio contact with Dave W, the group continued down through the woods and out into the meadow where the others were waiting. The last stretch took us along the bottomlands, across the bridge and back to the cars about 3:30.
Thanks for Dan for the narrative, photos and GPS work, and Dave W. for photos.