The only plan for the next day was to hike out, but after a rather lazy 9:30 am start, Pilot Knob beckoned us from across Humphries Basin. People we had met on the Piute Trail said it had a great view. It stands isolated at the edge of Humphries Basin overlooking French Canyon and lower Piute Trail. On a whim, we turned for the peak at about 10 am. We tried to travel at a constant elevation, passing Mesa and Square Lake across smooth tundra-like flats, then contouring along at about 11,400 toward the notch east of the peak. Trees, boulders and ledges made contouring difficult. We reached the notch shortly after noon and the summit in another 40 minutes. A short visit with others on the peak brought us back to the notch around 1:30. We dropped to Knob Lake for water and tried to avoid contouring because trees and boulders seem, unfortunately, to grow together. We passed the north side of Tomahawk Lake, then made a beeline toward Piute Pass, encountering the trail around 4 pm about 1/4 mile below the junction with the trail to Desolation Lake. We reached the roadhead by dark (about 6:30) and spent the night in Bishop after hearty meals at Whiskey Creek. An early morning flight brought us back to "civilization", the only benefit of which is (in my view) the Barefoot Coffee Roasters, yum!
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