Putting the aside the toil/sweat/punishment, the whole area is a blast. And as time marches on, I begin to forget the suffering and focus only on the good stuff. That is what keeps me coming back.
The best part by far was the Saturday scramble to the top of Granite dome (10300) from our camp at Ridge lake (9200). Climbing with a light pack makes for a much easier time, though the ascent in the thinner air was slow nonetheless But once we crested to the top, we had a multi hour exploring assignment to work. Dangerous cliffs, granite meadows, weird rock formations, and even a volcanic mound to the east… very odd.
There was also the fun use of the Gopro for swimming, trying out the waterproof aspects… those were also fun.