5300 vertical feet and 5 hours later (whew, did it really take me that long to climb the Copper Creek Trail?) I reached Granite Basin. I took this SHR alternate with more established trail due to snow on the ground and weather conditions (cold, possible snow). Also, supposedly there’s a ranger station nearby (I didn’t find it). I just didn’t want to take any chances since I was solo and without an emergency beacon.

Granite Basin is spectacularly granite-y and features a Yosemite-ish dome. I made camp as quickly as possible at 10,250ft near Monarch Divide, and dove into my down bag. Many coyotes sang me to sleep, and I woke up briefly at some point to a hail storm.