South Fork Trail is in GREAT shape right now. 6 inches of packed snow on the trail, and it's spongy, but not sloppy, and best of all, there is NO mud yet. This weekend will most likely be the last of the mud-free trail until...late October! In addition, Eagle and Symphony lakes are both 3+ feet thick with ice, and the whole boulder field to Symphony Lake is passable by simply walking across Eagle Lake and cutting straight up the ridge. I spent all day Sunday in the valley past Eagle Lake, and there simply wasn't enough time!
The plan: run from South Fork Trailhead to Eagle Lake, which is 5 miles one-way. Then run/walk along Eagle Lake to just underneath the hut, cut up to the hut, down to Symphony Lake, cross Symphony Lake to the back bowls behind it. I'm guessing most people will want to simply run the 11-12 miles roundtrip to the hut and turn around, but I do plan on bringing some hiking shoes in my pack with me to explore. The trail is in great shape all the way to the bridge. From here, it gets deep. If it snows a lot in the next few days, this update no longer applies :)
Hikers/slower runners welcome of course, but starting 30 minutes before would be a good idea to meet up at the hut between Symphony/Eagle Lakes at the same time.
I'm always totally open minded and flexible, but this time I am totally dead set on exploring that entire bowl behind Symphony Lake. The running part is simply a fast way to get back there. Everyone else is welcome to turn around whenever they'd like, continue on farther, etc etc. This is simply a great time of year for exploration.