Didn't start too late this time, got to the top! Once again, I'm going to write for novices like myself and those who do this despite their fear of heights! Before beginning the ascent of the ridge, the soil of the trail was actually frozen in the high valley below (about 8 a.m.)...in July?! I've never seen that before in July but it was a precursor of what was to come...mud! It wasn't terribly muddy up on the ridge but enough to make it slippery in just a couple of precarious sections. There's just one 'iffy' 10-ft. downclimb on the way up and it was slippery with sloped footholds and it lead directly to the scree below which you could easily keep sliding down, so for the novice like me, it's not to be taken lightly given the conditions and with muddy soles. That's probably the only reason I'm posting a report. If you're skiddish on a section that exhibits a slight-to-moderate degree of danger, you'll feel it in this section if it was very wet the night before so a heads-up on that. Even so, it didn't scare me so much that it kept me from attempting it. Didn't think of taking a picture of it.
Besides the mud, it was a perfect day to hike:
View north and the ridge hike
marmot games, could only catch 'em chasing his friend who escaped my pic
The highest wildflowers on the ascent to the ridge
The best wildflowers and color in the high valley below
Never seen so many marmots before, about 8 in all. Wildflowers were outstanding like last year so it must often be good here. Tons of people were coming down from Belford which gave Missouri extra purpose, I guess.