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Rounding a curve in the trail the view of the mountain got better. Looking at the ridge that would have to be climbed was intimidating. I had already climbed 1200 feet and the route requires a 900 foot descent into the East Cross Creek valley, bottom right, before starting up the ridge. I had been on several long hikes this summer so I felt like I was in good shape. It was about 8:30, I had an early start, had plenty of time and pressed on.